Imagine It - Phase 5
My Imagine It project focuses on the integration of STEM across the curriculum . My objective is to provide instructional support to teachers so that the STEM disciplines are incorporated into their instructional practices and students are immersed in exploration, creativity and real world applications through problem based learning. My first dilemma concerning my ImagineIt project addresses curriculum whereby I need to determine how to simultaneously manage the integration of STEM across the curriculum and the implementation of a new math curriculum without overwhelming myself and the teachers. The second dilemma concerning my ImagineIt project addresses students assessments whereby I need to determine how to motivate teachers to use authentic student assessments when there is such a controversy as to what is authentic student work?
In reaching potential resolutions for these dilemmas, I consulted with two of my MSU STEM colleagues and the administration team at my school. The feedback I received was very much appreciated and built on the consideration of pacing, timing and process when addressing the integration and implementation of curriculum. I also begin to realize that it was not a choice of supporting one initiative versus the other, but rather, seeing how the two can work together. My plan would be to systematically lay out for teachers how to incorporate components of STEM as they teach. It was suggested that I have teachers use the engineering design process as they teach and reference the STEM Habits of Mind that were established for the school while they teach. Some of the feedback I receive concerning authentic students assessments, was to have teachers establish a rubric in authentically assessing students. From our discussions, I also considered the idea of using videos as another means of assessing students.
In regards to my focus group, I have targeted a 2nd grade teacher, a 3rd grade teacher, a 5th grade teacher and one middle school math teacher. I have consulted with these 4 teachers and they understand the plan to integrate STEM into math systematically. At this time, they are focusing on teaching using the engineering design process and referencing the STEM Habits of Mind. Also, I provided them with an engineering design graphic organizer to help guide them in their teaching and guide students in their learning. So far, the teachers are finding the engineering design process to be a useful tool in engaging the students. The next step will be to have teachers use formative assessments daily, summative assessments weekly and MARS tasks as a means of establishing problem based learning)
As I consider my ImagineIt project, I will have to provide the teachers with tools to help facilitate the integration of STEM across the curriculum. I think it is going to be important to establish the components of STEM that are of interest (problem based learning, authentic assessments, transdisciplinary learning, cooperative learning strategies, STEM careers, real world connection, technology integration and the Next Generation Science Standards and Engineering) and find ways to identify them as part of the curriculum. This may mean providing teachers with a lesson plan template, a pacing chart for implementing the components and using other strategies as well.