In 2004 the acronym STEM was designated to stand for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.” Even with this “No Child Left Behind” push – our American students continued to rank behind many other countries. Some people sat around and said “we need to add in the Arts” so STEM became STEAM. Others asked “what about Reading and wRiting?” STREAM?
No matter the letters that define our subject focus the point is that these fields are becoming recognized as the core of everything we do / need to do. STEM connects everything, whether it is language arts, other art forms (including music), even sports and agriculture …STEM is suppose to help us build a foundation for what kids learn about to build careers …build our future workforce.
What does the future look like for our current students? When I was a kid – I expected Back to the Future to help provide that answer – even the Jetsons cartoon, but today’s kids see different options. Some are not good options as many fear being shot at during school, terrorism, global warming, or other future uncertainties.
The students who answered with positive expectations seemed to be looking at the past for answers. The past – as in our history – as in what lessons we should or should NOT repeat. But history isn’t in our acronym. History is often as a Social Studies topic so maybe – STREAMS? When we add to lists of subjects we need to teach are we adding too much to our students workload?
Maybe we need to focus on Social Studies to answer that. Maybe we need to look across the world at how other countries view education and how they format their schools (such as Finland). Maybe we need to ask students how they learn best and what they want to learn about. In Mi Families (“my families”) programs I encourage students young and old to lead our learning.
When students lead learning they love learning! Using theme based studies they are curious about can help engage them as you incorporate all subject matters through such themes. Companies such as Mother Goose Time make unit studies easy to prepare for while providing teachers with lessons and materials in one box. MGT can be modified for tots through pre-teens to learn from.
While working with preschoolers and elementary students this week I listened as they discussed school subjects and how some are connected. Geology and Geography connect Science and Social Studies. Studies of Historical fact and Mythological fiction helps us understand stories behind holidays (cupid vs st. Valentine, Santa vs Jesus). Stories help us learn about religion, creation…
Children are curious about our past and find studies of paleontology and archaeology fascinating. As we finished our dinosaur theme we have transitioned to art history (hieroglyphics) to world history (Pangea) … If you know a student looking for fun hands on learning please email Christi@MiFamilies.com. We are currently enrolling for SPRING and SUMMER 2018 sessions!
Mi Families provides childcare, tutoring, homeschool coop classes, parent and me programs, family events, parent workshops, provider trainings … Feel free to visit www.MiFamilies.com for more info. Feel free to network with us on LinkedIN, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube … & feel free to visit www.MotherGooseTime.com to learn more about some of the products pictured in this post!
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