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.