Raise your hand if you’re a K-2 teacher!
Just a few years ago I wouldn’t have raised my hand, but now I’m a K-5 STEAM Teacher, so I have the privilege of teaching them all!
You’ve heard about teachers adding STEM/STEAM to their classrooms, but you’re not sure where to start? Maybe you’re afraid that your young kiddos can’t handle it? I’m here to tell you that, just like reading and writing, this is where the foundations for STEM/STEAM begin!
The basics of STEM/STEAM is embedded in creative, imaginative play, which is exactly what we want all of our students doing, but especially our K-2 students. During the first week of STEAM class I always have my K-2 students building with LEGO and you wouldn’t believe how many students look at me like I have two heads…no not because they are bored and play with LEGO all of the time. Actually quite the opposite.
They don’t know how to build with them! Some have never seen LEGO before or they tell me they don’t know what to build! This right here breaks my heart. Our students are loosing their imaginations and while that’s a blog post for another day, it’s up to us as K-2 teachers to bring out their imaginations and creative natures! So how can you bring STEM/STEAM into your classroom exactly? Just follow these easy steps:
Gather building materials (If you’re not sure what to get, refer to my Building Materials blog!)
Have students work in partners (Larger groups tend to be overwhelming for younger students and they’re still learning the basics of sharing.)
Give them a topic or don’t! It’s up to you! Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
trap for the leprechaun
Now don’t wait. Start now! It may be summer, but this is the perfect time to start gathering building materials for next school year. Be intentional about putting building time in your plans. I promise you will see increased creative play as students navigate the social/emotional landscape of building, playing and collaboration!
Soon enough, you’ll be wondering what took you so long to add this to your instruction.