STEM Notebooking Made SIMPLE

Greetings, teacher friends, and happy spring!! I know many of you have testing, report cards, and parent teacher conferences on the brain, and have either just finished Spring Break or are fixing to enjoy it.  Regardless, I hope that you get some much needed “you” time for rest and family.  My family is currently packing to move to a new home right by my school, so things are exciting and crazier than crazy!  I have to remind myself each day to take it step by step and attempt to remember my mental health.  Unfortunately all to often, life doesn’t allow for breaks and slowdowns very often, especially with two small children under my feet!

My Kinders, first graders, and second graders have been rocking and rolling with STEM projects this year, and it’s definitely been a learning process for both of us!  With each challenge, I am constantly reflecting on how to make it more engaging and meaningful for the next go round.

One problem I am consistently facing is the lack of TIME for written expression of STEM processes.  I mean, isn’t time ALWAYS against us the classroom?!  While I can observe my students’ learning and listen to them articulate thinking on a daily basis, often they are completely consumed by the PLAN – BUILD – TEST – IMPROVE – REPEAT model to stop and write down their ideas and processes.  In other words, they are too busy using their hands and learning by DOING (which is awesome, by the way!) that there is no time left during our sessions for students to reflect through writing.  I knew that I had to SIMPLIFY to the max in order to fully complete the STEM cycle and achieve the ultimate benefit, which is why I created an originally pack of STEM resources that are specifically geared toward elementary students, require minimal prep, and make the connection to writing quick and simple.

Here are some examples of resources that make STEM notebooking a snap for first graders and up.

Here is the cover or title page, and you can type in any grade you want for your students.

 

These are called “STEM Trading Cards,” which are ideal for introducing the STEM process for your students.  There is a pocket to glue inside the front cover.  There are several options, included cards to define STEM, students illustrating themselves as each STEM role, and writing the STEM processes.  You can either store these inside the pocket or glue them directly onto the pages.

 

Here is another option for defining the STEM process in a shutter fold flipbook.
As far as recording parts of the STEM process, my TpT package has several options, including a mini-booklet that you can use independently from notebooks.  The following flipbook can also be glued inside notebooks to allow students to records parts of the STEM process.
For my Kinders (and first semester first graders), notebooking can be too time consuming for our sessions, so we complete whole class anchor charts as we navigate the STEM process.  These anchor charts are also included in my STEM package.
How does STEM look in your classroom?   Please comment below and share your ideas!

Comments

  1. This is wonderful! Thanks so much for posting! I can't wait to start this with my kiddos this year. Love your blog!!

  2. This is wonderful! Thanks so much for posting! I can't wait to start this with my kiddos this year. Love your blog!!

  3. I'm so glad you like it, Amelia! Thanks so much! 🙂

  4. I'm so glad you like it, Amelia! Thanks so much! 🙂

  5. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the
    site is also very good.

  6. Megan Hayes says:

    Hi Brooke
    having your blog as my “go too” resource has been a life saver. I have so many ideas for the set up of my brand new STEM lab at school I am confusing myself. I will have Year 2, 4 and 6 students visit each week. your sharing is soooo very appreciated and i am planning to give back once I fell more confident with everything that’s happening.

    • Brooke Brown says:

      I am SO excited to hear this, Megan! I’m sure your students are absolutely LOVING your STEM lab!! Thank you so much for your kind words! 🙂