The STEM Bin

What's the STEM Bin?

In the adjacent Google folders, you will find STEM slide decks, activities, challenges and learning situations (LS) that have students acting and thinking like scientists, engineers and mathematicians. Also, they tie into the QEP very nicely.

Use these resources to spice up your STEM lessons. Don't forget to add a little assessment for learning (AFL) and science talk moves to bring out all the flavours ;)

Below are ideas to help you plan your lessons.

Science in 3 phases

Phase 1

Have well formed Learning Goals. Think about possibly sharing these learning goals with the students. They may find it easier to follow you if they know where they're going.

A useful way to present learning goals may look like this:

By the end of this unit/class/lesson you will...

  • Know
    • this is factual knowledge (recall)
  • Understand
    • this is the relationship between things (cause and effect, maybe)
  • Be able to do
    • this is a task that a student completes to show they can make use of their new knowledge and understanding

Click here for more (coming soon).

Phase 2

Use the Big Science Ideas folder to select phenomena that relate to the topic you will teach.

Pair it with a thinking routine like "think, pair, share" or "I use to think____, but now I think____", or a graphic organizer. This is an equitable way to get more students involved and sharing their ideas

Use the Lesson Ideas all in a heap folder to see what kinds of lessons were successful. Feel free to email me with questions about things in the slides, things missing from the slides and the activities that were pair with the slides but are not in that folder.

Click here for more (coming soon).

Phase 3

Do a lot of Formative Assessment. This doesn't mean lots of quizzes (and corrections)! The easiest and most useful kind of formative assessment is talk. Scientific discourse not only helps you make the students thinking "visible", but students' ideas can become resources for others. Everyone gets an opportunity to hear how others think, frame problems, build on ideas and construct explanations...

Here are some useful formative assessment strategies:

Click here for more (coming soon).

The lesson cycle in 4 steps

  1. Elicit and Engage
    • find out what the students already know. Uncover misconceptions
    • hook the students with an essential question
  2. Explore and Explain
    • provide a hands-on experience to build a concept
    • formalize concepts and give practice
  3. Elaborate and Extend
    • deepen understanding by applying new knowledge to similar contexts
    • apply new knowledge to unfamiliar contexts
  4. Evaluate
    • do constant assessment FOR learning (formative assessment)
    • do assessment OF learning once your class is ready to show you what they know (summative assessment)

Rubric Ideas