Kindergarten Lessons Ain’t What They Use to Be. Part II of My Blog Series about the STEM 5-E Lesson Plan.

Howard Gardener’s definition of intelligence uses 3 primary and overarching categories:

  1. ability to create an effective product or service that is valued in a culture
  2. set of skills that make it possible for a person to solve problems in life
  3. the potential for finding or creating solutions to problems, which involves gathering new knowledge

The next two phases of the 5 E Lesson Plan are Explore and Explain. During these two phases, students will be asked to use and expand their intelligence to identify and develop concepts, processes and skills. During the 2nd E (Explore) Phase students are required to actively explore their environments and manipulate materials. They will then connect the dots from Exploring to learning the lesson plans concepts. The teacher will give the students different opportunities to verbalize the lesson’s concepts and demonstrate the new behaviors and skills. Teachers will often rely on different methods to help students retain the information such as word charts, think-pair-share or graphic organizers. The 3rd E (Explain) Phase should include intentional play which will allow children to develop self-regulatory skills, supports communication and fosters collaborative learning.

The 5-E Lesson Plan uses a constructivist approach. Constructivism is a learning strategy that was developed by Jean Piaget and become popular during the 1960s. The constructivist method or approach allows students to synthesize new understanding from prior knowledge and helps students build on the past to develop new information.

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.

Purchasing Look At Me

To purchase Look At Me, Look At Me-Can You Guess My Specialty?

you can go to the following websites:

eBAY  ($19.50 with free postage & I can sign the book for you)

Etsy ($19.50 with free postage & I can sign the book for you)

Amazon ($20.00 plus shipping cost, I can’t sign the book)

 

 

SCBWI Summer Conference

It was wonderful to have an opportunity to rub elbows with outstanding children’s book writers and illustrators this past weekend. The SCBWI events never disappoint and in fact leave you with an uplifted writing spirit. I was fortunate to sell my book during the Members Book Sale along side Jennifer J. Chow, author of Dragonfly Dreams and A.E. Conran, author of The Lost Celt. Both ladies were supportive and entertaining. Listening to them providing insights into their books as they engaged with passer-bys was exciting and made me happy to be amongst writers who believe in their work and share it with pride.

Look At Me, Look At Me-Can You Guess My Specialty?

LOOK_AT_ME_BOOK_COVER

Look At Me, Look At Me-Can You Guess My Specialty? allows children to use their natural powers of observation to recognize patterns that animals share such as master jumpers having long, powerful hind legs and master predators having all sharp teeth.

The illustrations by Lori Ann Levy-Holm beautifully provide the visuals for the characteristics and patterns of 36 animals.

Lions – Master Hunter

Lions are a featured animal in my first book, Look At Me, Look At Me – Can You Guess My Specialty?  The extraordinary physical features of lions stand out and when matched with their empowering spirit, they are true master of their domain as hunters and king of beasts.

Writing a STEM Children’s Book

My goal of writing a nonfiction children’s book about a STEM topic is coming to fruition. The accomplishment of seeing the book in print feels wonderful but writing is only the beginning.  The publisher will make the book available soon and then the work really starts.  Having children enjoying the book and learning from its content in their homes, at school or in libraries is the ultimate mission accomplished.