3 Ways to Get Started with STEM at the Beginning of the Year

3 Ways to Get Started with STEM at the Beginning of the Year

The first lessons you teach set the tone for the rest of the year in the classroom!

During the first week of school, your schedule should include a mix of teaching procedures and expectations as well as building a strong classroom community.

Unfortunately, introducing procedures and practicing them again…and again…and again…and again…gets boring for both teachers and students.

By teaching procedures through read alouds and STEM students are more engaged. They are also more likely to remember the routines and procedures when they are taught in a hands-on way!

First Week of School Lesson Plans

Learn how to balance teaching procedures and building teamwork with STEM by downloading our FREE First Week of School Schedule!

Want to learn more ways to engage students at the beginning of the year with STEM?

The following are 3 ways to integrate STEM at the beginning of the year.

The Big Orange Splot Back to School STEM Challenge

1.) Get to Know You Activities

In order to create a classroom environment where students feel comfortable to try, fail, and grow, students first need to know and feel comfortable with one another.

Our favorite read aloud STEM activity to help students get to know one another is The Big Orange Splot. For this challenge students design a house about them and create a classroom neighborhood.

The goal of the challenge is for students to learn about their classmates and find commonalities.

The Big Orange Splot Back to School STEM Challenge

2.) Teaching Procedures

My Mouth is a Volcano STEM Challenge

The most important thing to teach the first week of school are classroom routines and procedures. If classroom procedures are not in place from the beginning the result will be disastrous.

The key is to continue to reinforce the behaviors that you expect from students. If students are not executing a procedure correctly, immediately stop them, reteach the procedure, and have them practice again.

My Mouth is a Volcano STEM Challenge

Ensure that this process of learning procedures doesn’t become boring and repetitive by teaching them with read alouds and STEM.

Our favorite read aloud to teach about self-control is My Mouth is a Volcano. Teach students when it is appropriate to interrupt as well as strategies for what they can do to avoid interrupting. Then experiment with different materials such as baking soda and vinegar, mints and Sprite, and Mentos and Sprite to see which combination creates the biggest explosion.

3.) Team Building Activities

Team Building STEM Challenges

The last way to integrate STEM at the beginning of the year is through team building STEM challenges.

STEM education should foster the 4 C’s of 21st Century Skills (Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Creativity). Working in teams helps students practice how to effectively collaborate and communicate.

First Week of School Lesson Plans

Create a culture of collaboration, community, and respect at the beginning of the year and do it in an engaging way with STEM!

Everything you need for your first week is already planned for you! The perfect mix of read aloud lessons, games, and STEM challenges are bundled at a discount in our First Week of School Lesson Plans resource.

Love using read alouds as much as we do?!

Grab the Big Orange Splot Read Aloud STEM challenge and other first week of school favorite read aloud challenges in the Back to School Read Aloud STEM Bundle.

Join our FREE Facebook group Elementary STEM Teachers Club! Learn more about how to incorporate STEM in your classroom and collaborate with other STEM teachers! JOIN NOW!

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