Well, it’s that time of year where the ongoing countdown of number of days to the end of the summer is reaching just a few weeks for most of us. As such, I’ll be posting some recommendations for last minute professional summer reading related to science education.
A great resource for digging into elementary STEM instruction is- STEM Lesson Essentials Grades 3-8 by Jo Anne Vasquez, Cary Sneider, and Michael Comer. STEM Lesson Essentials is a timely, readable, and usable guide to STEM literacy that won’t weigh down your beach bag. (At 178 pages it is slim but packs a punch.) See some specifics below.
- The Front Matter (chapters 1-5) are essential reading for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of STEM literacy and what it means- Every K-8 principal should read this book by the way!
- Contains authentic and engaging standards-based STEM activities that a teacher might use in a classroom or that a professional development provider might use in a workshop.
- Chapter 8 provides a great framework for thinking about integration. I feel like we throw this word around in elementary education and we rarely define it or provide a continuum of what integration might look like.
- Chapters are well-written, engaging, and short… perfect for summer reading.
- Makes the case for technology and engineering as central aspects of STEM education.
- Uses the STEM Practices as a central storyline (see p. 38).
- Includes support on PBL, assessment, and STEM lesson resources.
- K-2 examples would be appreciated (as would High School)
- Clearer connections on how to obtain some of the materials in sample lessons
- Easy connection to some online supports- video, links, website, etc
- Would be nice to have deeper and more intentional connections to NGSS (this book was published in 2013 which is part of the reason for this).
Click HERE to order a copy of STEM Lesson Essentials. I’d love to get some conversations going about this book- I know that several teachers have been digging into this resource over the years. What has been valuable? What have you implemented?