Mrs. Mantell's 2013-14 Kindergarten Enrichment Class Created an Alaska Ice Fishing Village in the Classroom as published in the Bucks County Herald
Evidence-based best practices in early childhood education consistently point to learning through play, and our S.T.E.A.M.+ concept brings about learning far beyond our plans, and usually beyond our wildest dreams! When a group of young children learn not only to cooperate, but also to collaborate, to make choices and decisions, and to move a project in a direction that makes sense and is intriguing, based on their own design and plan, there is magic and fireworks everywhere!
Over the past two years, our Kindergarten Enrichment classroom has accomplished projects including: The Pizza Parlor, The Airport, The Bakery, The North Pole with Santa's Workshop, and many more. We are currently building The Great Barrier Reef! Within each project, we have defined the work with Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math once the children agreed upon the topic. However, based on choices the students make, we often find the learning leads to subject areas including Commerce, Geography, History, and always Reading and Writing.
In response to a recent increase in requests for professional development on this topic, at the upcoming DVAEYC Conference, I will be presenting a professional development session entitled, Bringing S.T.E.A.M.+ into the Early Childhood Classroom Successfully, where a simple frame work will be provided for creating and conducting the lesson plan to meet goals and standards, along with ideas and suggestions for topics, and the "how-to" on empowering children to take the lead toward the outcome of the project.
S.T.E.A.M.+ Projects are appropriate for preschoolers at both the 3s and 4s levels, as well as kindergarten and elementary school. Additionally, there are very small projects that can be incorporated into a single area of learning on one particular day, such as snack/cooking or during your language arts block.
Wouldn't it be great to watch the classroom come alive with inquiry and theory, talent and motivation, as you facilitate the learning that the children choose to pursue? What is holding them back? Go for it! (We'll be happy to help should you need training or assistance!)
Thank You to all of the wonderful new Early Childhood Education friends we made at the conference this weekend! It was such a pleasure meeting you and learning about your education passion. This was our first exhibit with BCAEYC, and we met the most wonderful early childhood professionals. What an exciting day! We are looking forward to hearing from those who would like to benefit from our services, and we would love to have your thoughts, ideas, and needs shared here on our Beyond The Standards Blog, Cafe Edu. Grab a cup of tea, we'll be here waiting for you!
Colleen T. Mantell, M.S., Ed. Founder, President Beyond The Standards Inc. Prof Dev Instructor -PQAS Certified PA & MD Certified Teacher -Early Childhood Edu -Elementary Edu -Family & Consumer Sci -Psychology Published Author -Peer-Reviewed Journal Kindergarten Enrichment Teacher Wife and Mother of Three