Magazine article The Elementary STEM Journal

What a Teacher Needs the Most

Magazine article The Elementary STEM Journal

What a Teacher Needs the Most

Article excerpt

When I made the transition from a first-grade classroom to a third-grade classroom this year, I was most excited about the new possibilities for incorporating Children's Engineering into my classroom using the new curriculum I would be teaching. What I didn't anticipate was how challenging this would be for me to accomplish.

My classroom this year is like a revolving door, with students coming in and out during all parts of the day for things like speech therapy, reading intervention groups, and extra support for math, writing, and word study. This occurs so much that there are only two 30-minute blocks of time each day that I actually have all of my students with me. And one of those blocks is recess! As a result, I have had to do three things that I would normally not admit to--and that are very much out of character for me--to ensure that my students are exposed to the concepts associated with Children's Engineering. I have had to beg, borrow, and steal.

Now, you may be asking yourself, what exactly is it that I am begging for, borrowing, and/or stealing? Well, let me start by telling you what it is not.

It is not ideas for design briefs. The curriculum lends itself to infinite possibilities for some really fun design challenges and projects. Plus, there are some fantastic websites out there with ready-to-use design briefs, as well as other teachers who are more than willing to share ideas with me. Also, after being involved with Children's Engineering for almost four years, I consider myself to be very creative when it comes to thinking up and creating challenges for my students. …

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