Sunday, September 11, 2016

My Adventures with STEM: Week 2 & 3

Yay!!!  I made it to Week 3 of STEM teaching, and yes, I still love it...and maybe even more now than I did at Week 1!  First and foremost, the last two weeks since I updated the blog have been a whirlwind, but I'm glad that I have some time today to do some reflection.

On Week 2, our Second Grade team chose to integrate Good Citizenship into all the core subjects, especially STEM.  After learning about what it means to be a good citizen, the students were challenged to create a medal for the following awards that represents good citizenship:

-Cares About the Environment
-Helps Others
-Team Player
-Use Kind Words
-Model Behavior

After the students illustrated what their medal would look like, they were given the following materials: a paper plate, cup, four pipe cleaners, three straws, a roll of masking tape, and two paperclips!  Immediately, the students were quick at work, and I was able to witness their progress as took turns being team players and team leaders to each other.

Upon completion of their medals, students were asked to create a criteria for winning their award and then nominate someone in our classroom who exhibits those traits.  Next, students were asked to compose a short speech to award their nominee after I composed a sample speech along with the class.  Here's an example of one of the completed medals!

When it was time to present, the kids were so excited and giddy!  As they read their speech, all the students' faces lit up with excitement and felt so proud of their friends who won and themselves for completing the design challenge!  And how could I forget to mention?!  Two teams awarded me their medals as I helped save a gecko trapped inside our class to freedom (school parking lot) and for being a good teacher! They were oh so sweet and definitely had me caught off guard!  :)

On Week 3, our team integrated U.S symbols into STEM and had the students research of various symbols using QR codes.  As they learned interesting facts on each symbol, they were asked to write them down on sticky notes inside their U.S Symbols booklet.  After completion, we created an interactive anchor chart/ word wall together using the students' own handwriting and learning.

But the best part of all???!!!  The students were challenged to choose one of the symbols and recreate it using LEGOS!  You should have heard the screaming after I told them they were using Legos! hahah... Nonetheless, they had such a wonderful time working with a partner on this and were so proud to share their design!  The criteria were to have the design be freestanding and be made of only LEGOS.

Below are examples of the kids' designs!

The Lincoln Memorial, Liberty Bell, and Bald Eagle

Our Statues of Liberty

I'm so proud of my little engineers and can't wait for what of the rest of the year will hold!

If you need more resources on Good Citizenship & U.S Symbols, click to resources below!  


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