Teacher Experience: “Design Architect” Task for 3rd Grade Students
A Defined STEM Learning Experience From:
Sonoran Heights Elementary (AZ)
Here’s What We Did:
The first step I do when using any Defined STEM task is to introduce students to the task with the help of an instructional aide who helps with the entire process. Students started by individually exploring the big ideas, essential question, and the G.R.A.S. model information posted on the Defined STEM website. They reviewed and chose three possible products for their project. The students read the articles available, watched the videos, and worked to complete each product at their own pace. To track their progress, students can ask questions and post updates about their products on our district-wide Edmodo page. The students worked on their projects during their gifted class time, and any free work time they had in the classroom. Their motivation levels are much higher when I have an active Defined STEM project. They work harder on their in-class work because they know they will be able to move onto their project when they’re finished.
Why Defined STEM Was the Perfect Fit:
I think using Defined STEM works in my classroom because it is an online, project-based system that students enjoy and that promotes critical-thinking. It makes kids think and analyze problems, but it also allows them to be creative and create hands-on products.
The students have an opportunity to look at their final product in the end, and see they have created something amazing through all of their work.It definitely builds a good learning environment. It also encourages collaboration. And they are very proud to share their projects and critique other students’ work on Edmodo.