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.
Literacy: We are one of 200 schools in a pilot program using Reading Wonders, published by McGraw Hill. The program is described in a press release as:
… built on the latest in educational technology, offering interconnected platforms for students and teachers across any device. The teacher platform provides teachers with the exact resources they need for each day, a built in plan, and facilitates digital whole group lessons through a revolutionary new presentation tool. Videos, photos, graphic organizers, e-books and other interactive content is presented in such a way that teachers have access to every resource needed for each lesson, already sequenced in the order of instruction.
Students are equipped with a digital platform of their own, where they can complete and save their work, access and submit assignments and collaborate digitally with their peers and teachers. As part of the platform, students have access to their reading materials, interactive content and engaging games that challenge and inspire them to stretch their knowledge beyond the point of content mastery. The program’s digital assessments, which can be customized to gauge individual student and class progress on a particular standard, give teachers the data they need to personalize instruction and meet the learning needs of their students.
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.