Month: February 2016

Interactive STEM Notebooks: Science and Engineering Debrief

As with any STEM project, having a way for students to debrief or reflect is important.  Research shows that by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on what they have learned, enhances meaning, encourages insight and provides a platform for more complex thinking and learning.Although I like and use the debrief pages in the above link, sometimes a lesson just requires a little bit of a different angle.   As a result, I’ve created a new set of debrief and reflection pages that are  aligned to the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices.  Teachers can choose to have students use them all at the end of the inquiry or throughout the inquiry for more complete learning during the inquiry.

4 Super Fun Science Experiments for Kids

Interactive STEM Notebooks: Foldables

I’ve posted about foldables before because I think they are a really creative way for students to further their understanding through STEM Notebooks.  Most foldables are pretty general, lending themselves to almost any application (and other subjects as well).

Here are my favorites:
Engineering Design Process foldable- The EDP foldable allows students to chart their progress and record their steps as they seek solutions.

Three-Flap foldable- I like this one because it can serve many purposes.  Students can use this foldable for vocabulary words, linear processes, lists, etc.

Triangle Foldable- This one is also pretty general, but I like to use them for Claim, Evidence, Reasoning.  They are also helpful when students are comparing different designs or writing main ideas and supporting details.

Spinner Foldable- This foldable is good for concepts that lend themselves to cycles or processes

Get All 4 Foldables Interactive STEM Notebook Pages!


Interactive STEM Notebooks: The Nature of Science and Engineering

One of the first content pages in my Interactive STEM Notebooks is regarding the nature of science and engineering.  I like for students to ponder what science is (and isn’t)  and what engineering is (and isn’t) so that they can use this information to form a working definition of Science and Engineering.

Students have all kinds of conceptions of what science and engineering are.  By letting them discuss these ideas with their partner and then with the class, I find that they gain a better understanding. As the year goes on, students are invited to modify and add to their definitions, showing both growth and mastery.

Get the Nature of Science and the Nature of Engineering Interactive STEM Notebook Pages!


4 Super Fun Science Experiments for Kids

Interactive STEM Notebook: Table of Contents

Another element that I like to include in Interactive STEM Notebooks is a glossary.  I like them to become personal glossaries, but I model the process as a whole class during the first quarter so that students understand the expectation.  First, students glue the sheets in the back of the notebook, starting with the last page and working forward.  I start using four pages (2 full sheets per student)  After that, students are on their own to collect words that are new to them or have special meaning.  Blank sheets are made accessible so that students can glue in new ones as needed.

To keep everyone on track, I do suggest that perhaps *this* word might be an interesting one to write in our personal glossaries.  In order to make sure that students write down the correct definition, they have “approved” sources from which they can get the definition.  That way, students aren’t guessing at the meaning of a new word.

When I grade the Interactive Science Notebooks, there is a spot on the rubric to assess their attention to their personal glossaries. (Stay tuned for the rubric!)

Get the Glossary and Table of Contents Interactive STEM Notebook Pages!


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