The K-5 STEM curriculum is designed to provide an engaging and challenging science and technology based learning environment for elementary age students. This curriculum was selected by the K-5 STEM Design Team and staff.
Science: Full Option Science System® (FOSS). Features of the FOSS program include:
- Research-based and nationally field-tested
- Students learn science by doing science
- Integrated reading, writing and mathematics
Engineering: Engineering is Elementary. From their website:
The Engineering is Elementary® (EiE) project fosters engineering and technological literacy among children. EiE has created a research-based, standards-driven, and classroom-tested curriculum that integrates engineering and technology concepts and skills with elementary science topics. EiE lessons not only promote K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning, but also connect with literacy and social studies.
Mathematics: Singapore Math. From their website:
Singaporemath.com Inc® (formerly known as Family Things) was started in 1998 by Jeff and Dawn Thomas with a mission to bring quality Singapore math educational books to the U.S.A. We lived for five years in Singapore (Dawn is a Singaporean), where our daughter attended kindergarten and the first half of first grade, before moving back to the U.S. in 1997. We were disappointed with the quality of mathematics materials used at schools here and decided to continue using the books from Singapore with our daughter, as a supplement to her school work. It then dawned on us that it would be a good idea to make these Singapore math books available to the schools and homeschoolers in this country.
Given the STEM emphasis across all curricular areas at WSS, and the need to integrate Literacy into all student-learning experiences, WSS staff will customize a literacy program to support student work in all curricular areas. Four strategies will be employed to meet the Common Core goals established for each grade level.
1. Employ the Seattle Public Schools strategies utilized in Readers and Writers Workshop to support students in their development of Narrative Reading and Writing skills.
2. Continue to use (while available) Reading Wonders to support students in the development of sentence structure, grammar, syntax, and paragraphing.
3. Design and implement a customized expository reading and writing curriculum to support student work specific to the STEM domains.
4. Implement Read Naturally (or similar) computer-based intervention program to support struggling readers at all grade levels.
Click here for more information on Balanced Literacy in Seattle Public Schools.
Music helps develop the three C’s: confidence, cooperation, and coordination. Apart from being a wonderful emotional and creative outlet, it opens countless doors in life; people who have awakened their musical abilities go on to sing, dance, play instruments, participate in ensembles, and create music.
Here are some ways that music and STEM fit together:
- STEM education is engaging and interactive, and music is that by nature.
- STEM education is designed to help students succeed. There’s plenty of evidence that music education does that as well. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills and similar organizations have noted that arts education enhances the skills needed to be successful in the global economy: creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and problem solving.
- A meta-analysis of ten years of SAT scores has confirmed the relationship between music study and better performance on standardized math tests.
- STEM education is meant to prepare students for the future. Music does too; not just with the cognitive skills I just mentioned, but also in the larger sense of helping create well-rounded, balanced individuals.
I would like to talk about how I am going to integrate technology into P.E. At K-5 STEM, students will have access to pedometers and heart rate monitors. I am going to teach the upper grade levels (grades 2-5) how to track their activity level using pedometers daily in P.E., and graphing their steps on graph paper as the year goes on. I believe it’s very important for children to see how personal fitness can help them in their daily lives.
Besides teaching with technology in P.E., children will learn the Seattle School District’s P.E. curriculum called Five for Life. Five for Life stands for Endurance, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Flexibility, and Body Composition. In addition, I believe children should learn about cooperation, community, and teamwork in P.E., which is why I will be having a day called Team Thursdays. I will be teaching team-related activities that teach students how to get along with their classmates/peers, verbal/non-verbal communication, and how to be part of a community of learners. I am excited to be part of a brand new school, and be part of a school that will be setting the ground work for future generations.