STEM in the Classroom and My First GIVEAWAY!

Great news, friends—a sale is on the horizon, literally!

TeachersPayTeachers’ Back to School Sale is tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m writing today to share a bit about STEM in my classroom, but I also wanted to give away $10 to TeachersPayTeachers. My store will be 20% off, and you’ll get another 8% off with the code BESTYEAR. Read through to the bottom to find out about the giveaway!

Getting Started with STEM

While getting ready for the start of school last year, I promised myself that I would incorporate STEM into my classroom. I had heard about it, seen it all over blogs and Pinterest...but I was honestly a bit scared. Math and Science (and obviously, therefore, engineering) have always been outside of my wheelhouse. My go-to beginning-of-year activities, for example, are always book-driven activities and crafts. That’s my comfort zone, but I know it isn’t the case for all my kiddos.

So, I decided to change out some of my book-based activities for STEM challenges. I figured this would be a great way to offer a little something for everyone at a time when most students are feeling a bit insecure, and particularly for my boys who can always use all the movement, building, and hands-on activities I can offer. But even more so, I wanted to give my girls a chance to feel successful in the STEM arena before they caught on to our cultural stereotype that girls aren’t good at math or science.

The other thing I quickly realized was that STEM challenges were an incredible opportunity to get my students working together. We’d always done plenty of group work and partner work, but attempting to solve such an open-ended problem together poses a completely different type of challenge! Kids will naturally disagree, so negotiating those snags to achieve a common end goal is a huge source of growth across the year and a truly commendable accomplishment.

I’ve shared some of my favorite STEM tips and strategies in a packet I just posted on Teachers Pay Teachers. In it, you’ll also find the recording sheets that I use in my class. I typically use one sheet per group (this cuts down on writing time, which certainly has it’s place in STEM challenges, but isn’t the focus here), which is why one version of each the recording sheets has “Names” at the top for multiple group members. I’ve also included versions with and without lines, and simplified forms to ensure these can be used in any grade level, K-4! 

Finally, I’ve included a couple of formats of group roles and the responsibilities for each, as well as a cover in case you want to staple several copies of the recording sheet into a booklet format. I taught an after school STEM class last year, and the booklet format was great for this purpose!

I'll be back tomorrow to share a bit more about my FAVORITE STEM materials and how I use those in the classroom. Until then, please enter the giveaway below to earn a chance to win a $10 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card to spend on some of your back-to-school purchases! 

Happy Shopping!
- Lisa

a Rafflecopter giveaway