Kindergarten lessons ain’t what they use to be. Part I of My Blog Series about the STEM 5-E Lesson Plan.

Finger painting and building blocks were the staples of Baby Boomer’s kindergarten classrooms across the US throughout the 1950’s and 60’s. But if you visit a kindergarten classroom in Los Angeles, New York, Miami or Chicago in 2016, you will find a much different environment, pedagogy and curriculum for our current 5-6 year old children. Teachers can tell their Generation Z students, “this is NOT your grandparent’s kindergarten” as they hand out Apple iPads and deliver their science lesson using a 5-E lesson plan format.

What you will witness during a 5-lesson plan will be the topic of a blog discussion where I will breakdown the phases of the lesson and provide an explanation and rationale for each segment.

All lesson plans start with the lesson’s objectives. Each objective begins with a SWBATstudents will be able to. Please take 1 minutes to watch this video about SWBAT: https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/making-lesson-objectives-clear.

Phase I of the 5-E lesson plan. At the beginning of the lesson the teacher will supply an initial question or set of clues for students. These questions are designed to engage (first E) the students.  The goal of the engagement phase is to capture the students’ interest and stimulate the content knowledge developed during previous lessons (prior knowledge). Many schools use a buzz phrase for the beginning of the science lesson such as “bell work” or “a do now”. This phase may include a graphic organizer including a KWL Chart (What I Know, What I Want to Know, and What I Learned). The engagement may also be a video. If the lesson is about physics, the teacher could show a short video of a race car skidding to a halt and then have the students discuss the speed of the race car and the length of the skid marks.  This phase should be a peek into the content that will be delivered during the rest of the lesson.

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