The Chalk Blog

STEM, Middle School, and Girl Power: An Interview with Ms. Lauren Wester

 

Anyone who’s ever worked in a middle school or raised an adolescent, will nod and smile when Lauren Wester says her middle school-age students make her laugh every day. “There isn't a day that goes by without a student saying or doing something that cracks me up,” she claims, adding, “I also feel like they are in this magical in between; their brains are developed enough to understand jokes or sarcasm, but still open to and reliant upon adult help. It feels like I’m truly helping shape them.” 

Ms. Wester teaches 7th grade life science and 9th grade forensic science in a large suburban school district. Her teaching targets range from fun and focused learning to serious life skills that reach beyond the classroom out into the community and global society. 

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Topics: STEAM/STEM, Gender Differences

Making the Shift to STEM Education

 

After completing Learners Edge Course 5080: Making the Shift to STEM Education, teacher Laurel Woodward created this amazing plan of action/implementation plan to address how she will make the shift to STEM education. Check out her STEM goals and her implementation plan to achieve these goals in her exceptional coursework below!  

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Topics: STEAM/STEM

Youth Art Month

March is National Youth Art Month and it’s a perfect time to connect the joy and fun of art to your classroom learning.  Students of all ages (teachers, too!) crave opportunities to appreciate and create art in the classroom. And best of all, the research is in - art helps students learn!

Here are 10 ideas for quick art connections you can make in March!  Try just one and join the fun!

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Topics: Instructional Strategies, Arts, STEAM/STEM

STEAM Education- How to Integrate the Arts

 

This week's blog post writer is Barb Istas. Barb is currently a Learners Edge Curriculum and Instruction Specialist. Prior to joining Learners Edge, Barb was a language arts teacher for 25 years in a large suburban Minnesota school district where she integrated the arts in her daily classroom instruction.

Arts-Integration - A Call to Action! 

Teachers, Learners Edge has a STEAM engine rolling into the station!  I am all fired-up about a new course we created called STEAM Education: Integrating the Arts into your Classroom, and so excited to share it with every teacher I know.  

First things first - you don’t have to be a STEM teacher to connect with STEAM because we can break the philosophy down to the basics and call it “Arts-Integration.” Pure and simple, this is a calling to all teachers: recognize the power of arts in teaching and learning, and tap into higher engagement that comes from creativity and collaboration. Even better - research on brain science and academic achievement supports this call to action! 

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Topics: Arts, STEAM/STEM

STEM, STEAM and Inquiry- What's in it for me?

 STEM, STEAM & Inquiry.png

This week's blog post co-writer, Nancy Lindfors, currently serves as the Manager of Evaluation and Degree Programs at Learners Edge. Nancy has experience in K-12 education as a Middle and High School science teacher, and has worked in Faculty Development and Academic Affairs in Higher Education as well as Community Education and Corporate Training and Development.

This week's blog post co-writer, Barb Istas, is currently a Learners Edge Curriculum and Instruction Specialist. Prior to joining Learners Edge, Barb was a language arts teacher for 25 years in a large suburban Minnesota school district where she integrated the arts in her daily classroom instruction.

STEM, STEAM and Inquiry- What’s in It for Me?

The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and discover, to create [people] who are capable of doing new things. ~ Jean Piaget

Google “student-centered learning” and you’ll get over 3 million hits!  Teachers across the country are working tirelessly to create engaging and relevant learning experiences for their students.  The shift toward STEM and STEAM with a focus on inquiry learning is in high gear!  Many educators believe these strategies will deepen student understanding, improve academic performance, and prepare students with 21st Century Skills needed in tomorrow’s workforce. The brain science is clear; but we’d like to focus in on another compelling factor to this equation – teacher engagement and passion! How can STEM, STEAM and Inquiry help to recharge your battery and benefit you as “lead thinker” in your classroom?  Find your flow zone!

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Topics: STEAM/STEM

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