The Porpoise of STEAM
One of my favorite books is Steam Train, Dream Train by Sheri Duskey Rinker. She is also the same author of Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, which like Goodnight Moon, I can recite by heart as it was a favorite at bedtime for many years. Naturally, when I hear the word STEAM, as in Science Technology Engineering Art/Action and Mathematics, my mind goes to Steam Train, Dream Train. What a perfect acronym – and what a wonderful picture in my mind. Children, at an early age, are usually entranced by trains. Even now when the train goes by, and my children and I are stopped at the tracks, we turn down the radio, open the windows, and listen. The train tracks also happen to run by the soccer fields in the town where I live. You can bet, that when that train comes by during Saturday Soccer, almost every child stops to watch! This, of course, doesn’t bode well for the soccer game – and it gives our home teams quite the advantage during tournaments as they are accustomed to these loud trains coming by every hour or so. Like the STEAM train, STEAM concepts also entrance our students. The art of DOING engages our students like no other practice. Children enjoy trains because they’re loud, they have gears that come together to make something so large run and they like to figure out how and why it works. This same enjoyment applies to the classroom as well.
If we look at the Cone of Learning, it’s easy to see that by DOING we retain the most knowledge and information. My children, in addition to watching and listening to the train, also had a train set and would build tracks for the train to ride on for hours! What can we do in class to get this same retention? What can we DO, what can we BUILD, what can we ENGINEER? Well, it’s easier than you think and I’m here to help! Let’s look below:
Digital Breakouts 🔐
Breakouts are a great way to have kids up and DOING! Collaboratively, they work together to breakout, unlock, and/or escape a scenario. Stacy Linnehan reached out after having much success with ELA breakouts and asked for assistance creating one for math! I had the fortunate opportunity to create and present a breakout for 6th grade. Let me tell you, every child was 100% engaged and it was amazing to watch. The kids were using technology and mathematics, they were talking and listening to each other. They had to work together to “break the code.” This activity took the exact same math problems they were going to do on paper and packaged them into a different format. Kids were high fiving when they solved problems and it was awesome to see. If you want to try the breakout, give it a shot by clicking here and see if you can escape! The forms are anonymous and not collecting emails.
Let’s Build with Post-its! 🗒
Thank you, Beth Barra and your AWESOME knowledge of using Instagram as a teaching resource (like Twitter). She shared this really cool lesson, from Post-it, creating Pixel Art with Post-it notes and using it to determine area and perimeter. Students are BUILDING, and how much fun, right? If you’d like to see tips from Post-it for this lesson, click here. There are so many STEAM concepts in this lesson!
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My students LOVED this STEAM project- designing and creating emoji pixel art and then finding the area and the perimeter of their work! 😎#steam #steamproject #stem #stemeducation #teacherlife #thirdgradeteacher #iteach #iteachthird #thirdgrade #iteachtoo #teacherspayteachers #teachersofinstagram #teachers #teachertribe #teachersfollowteachers #tpt #setthestagetoengage #bethewildcard #postitnotes @postit
Let’s Color and Bring our Creations to LIFE! 🖍
Oh. My. Goodness! This is SO COOL! I can’t really explain it well enough in words, so there’s a two-minute video below. Basically, you color a page provided by the website Quivervision (click here). There are MANY different pages that contain both fun and educational concepts. Then, you put the app, either on a phone, tablet or Chromebook that supports the Google Play Store, and VOILA! Your creation comes to life and you can INTERACT with it! My video below shows an animal cell, but the free pack also contains math concepts, maps of the world, an exploding volcano and holiday pages. I LOVE that this app is available for my own kids’ kindles too! You can download the coloring pages from the Quiver Site, or you can click here and print. The volcano Eruption is REALLY COOL!
Need More Ideas? 💡
Take a look below at some great resources that popped up in our monthly MassCUE Twitter chat which focused on STEAM, hosted by the most amazing, and a finalist for STEM teacher of the year, TORI CAMERON!
Young Readers 📕
This STEAM site (click here), for early readers, is AMAZING! It has many books that relate to STEAM concepts, each with an experiment and a read aloud on the page! SO CUTE!
What to Make? 🏗
This is a GREAT site below my Mandi Figlioli and has SO MANY AMAZING ideas! Seriously, she is amazing.
STEAM UP THE CLASSROOM 🏭
Our very own, Tori Cameron, was a finalist for STEM teacher of the year in Massachusetts! She hosts a monthly podcast that focuses on STEAM concepts. Visit her site here, and take a listen for so many great ideas!
Wakelet Chat 🗣
Lastly, if you need even more – or are just looking to expand your PLN, click here for our latest MassCUE Twitter Chat. You can review all of the great ideas and questions that teachers had regarding STEAM.
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So, what is the PORPOISE of STEAM? I believe it’s to ENGAGE and prepare today’s learner for our ever-changing world! STEAM concepts are embedded into so much of what we do! Building, doing, engineering, acting – what will you try? Let me know!
Take Care Everyone! 💙