Sunday, January 24, 2016

STEM Each Month

Each month in my class we do a fun STEM project! It all started when I enrolled in the first STEM Cohort in my state. I've had so much fun doing these different STEM projects in class that its easy to make time to do them in my classroom. I teach in a Dual Language Immersion classroom and its hard to just set aside time each day to do STEM. But it isn't hard to do them once a month for the whole day. One thing I found is that students love love love this day! They always look forward to it and they will never miss school on STEM DAY.

STEM DAY costs money. So to combat spending all my money, I figured out what I'm going to do the month before and on the 1st, I send home a list of the supplies that I'll need. Then STEM DAY is always the last school day of the month! It makes it really easy for planning and getting the materials I'll need.

The first one in September was Animal Habitats where students created a Habitat in a shoe box! That one students did a fantastic job and we had so much fun! We collected shoe boxes, salt dough (in place of play-doh), paint, and paper. Students knew in advance what they would be doing and some brought their own figurines and things they had made.

October's STEM DAY was done on Halloween and took place of the party that normally occurs. Students didn't care. Doing experiments in costumes was so much fun for them. Of course, there was still the treats that the PTA provides to students but there were 6 cause and effect experiments that were stations. Parents ran each station and it was super fun.

November we are off track so we didn't do a STEM DAY.

December was 6 experiments that focused on math cross cutting concepts such as structure and function, patterns, scale, cause and effect, and energy and matter. We did those experiments right before we went off for the break and students loved. It was a little hyper of a day but I think we all enjoyed the day.

I'm so excited for this month's project because it's something for students to do that's extremely fun and focused on the Engineering component. I got the idea from a youtube comment on a video about STEM. Students are going to use cardboard boxes to create their own miniature golf course. I haven't got all the kinks worked out for that one yet, but I got a couple more days!

Anyways - if you haven't tried STEM, its something that is so much fun and can get you revamped in your classroom. It brings out an energy you never knew you had! I love love love STEM. I'm so glad that I decided to work on my endorsement!