I teach 1st and 2nd graders at a Title 1 elementary school, where many of the students receive free or reduced lunches. The students are always very excited and can't wait to learn when they enter the STEM Lab!
"Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning results naturally." -John Dewey.
Many of my students have limited resources and experiences. The only chance they have of life-enriching activities are at school. I want to make the STEM Lab an enriching place where students can develop a growth mindset, helping them transfer their talents and abilities in and out of the classroom.
I feel that I owe it to my students to prepare them for the 21st Century by giving them problem-solving strategies. I plan to develop inquiry-based real-world challenges to address the differentiated needs of all of the students. My project is to present situations that I know will be particularly difficult for some of them. I want to give them the tools they will need to handle it. Hopefully, these tools will help them in many other real-life situations as well. My goal is to combine growth mindset concepts with my STEM projects. STEM and Growth Mindset concepts complement and reinforce each other ideally, so teaching them together is a perfect match.
" Everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think." - Steve Jobs
By integrating STEM / Growth Mindset into standards-aligned lessons, the students will use a variety of learning experiences. For example, the Lego Education WeDo SET will allow students to work collaboratively and communicate as they share ideas through the learning process. They will also use coding, engineering design process, and computational thinking.
The Lakeshore Fairy Tales Problem Solving STEM Kits will allow me to integrate STEM and reading standards using fairy tales. Students will identify problems and solve challenging situations while learning and using science, technology, engineering, and mathematical standards.
Most of my students do not have access or opportunities to explore with things like LEGOs or reading fairy tales outside of school. These materials would provide my students the opportunity to develop a growth mindset, collaboration, social, and problem-solving skills that will transfer to other experiences throughout their lives.
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