Month: November 2015

Interactive STEM Notebooks

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Interactive STEM Notebooks.  They are a fantastic way for students to take charge of their learning and unpack their thinking.  They also provide a wealth of formative assessment data as well as authentic artifacts that demonstrate students’ degree of mastery of content.In this series we’ll take a look at some elements that can be incorporated into your everyday science or STEM lessons that will help students document their work and show what they know.  Stay tuned….

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10 Ways to Engage Students in STEM

Through this series, we’ve talked about different ways to Engage Students in STEM in your classroom.  By engaging students, we can encourage them to take control of their learning.  Below are the strategies I shared:

Engaging Students in STEM: Team Roles

Engaging students generally means that we are helping them learn in a high-interest, hands-on way.  By putting students in teams to solve problems, it helps them learn how to lead, how to work with others and a myriad of other soft skills that can become very helpful when embarking into the workforce.

When students work in teams, they take control of their learning and strive to solve problems in creative ways.  One way to ensure that this process goes smoothly is to clearly define roles.  Most of the time, students have difficulty managing the tasks that need to be completed. Providing clearly defined roles help them focus on solving to problem at hand rather than arguing among themselves.

Ideally, I prefer students in teams of 4, but with large class sizes, it becomes more practical to have teams of 5.

Get the Engaging Students in STEM Bundle Pack including the Team Role Cards and STEM Organizer!

Not sure about purchasing the entire bundle yet?  Give the Team Role Cards and STEM Organizer a try!


Engaging Students in STEM: Formative Assessments

I’ve talked about Formative Assessments before (here and here too) as a way to engage students and focus their thinking.  They are a great tool to include in STEM/interactive notebooks or just to use as a classroom assessment tool.

Formative assessments are designed to be quick ways to check understanding and use that data to guide instruction.  They can be commonly used strategies like thumbs up/down, summaries, or exit tickets or uncommon ones such as CER, and agree/disagree.

Formative assessments are becoming more common as an instructional teaching tool to help students learn more effectively.

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Engaging Students in STEM: Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are another way for students to “unpack their thinking” when it comes to STEM projects.  They help students focus on one element at a time and when used in conjunction with the STEM Sentence Starters, help build language fluency and problem solving skills.

Although a variety of graphic organizers can be used for STEM investigations or inquiry-based projects, I prefer to stick with ones that lend themselves to the Engineering Design Process. Targeting the performance indicators is also important and using a graphic organizer that complements NGSS allows for deeper content connections.

Get the Powerful Graphic Organizers Bundle Pack including 28 Different STEM-Focused Organizers

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