The following classes are being offered at STEAM for the Fall 2019 Semester. If you do not see a description for the class(es) you are interested in, please check back as we are updating regularly.
Art (Grades PreK-6)
Art is a part of Steam education because it is an essential avenue for creative and critical thinking. Each project is built around helping kids to internalize the creative process: Looking at other examples for inspiration, thinking about how you can make the project your own, playing with the materials, to see what works best, and then analyzing your finished product and either accepting, or moving back a step or 2 in the process to find a new solution. A major focus of this process is helping kids embrace their mistakes as part of the process and as a learning opportunity or for new ideas.
This year in art the themes we’ll explore are media, process and purpose. Fall semester will review the creative process and elements of design. We’ll then focus on using those elements for self expression, and to create art that explores identity. Each class will begin with a look at an artist for inspiration, and then instructions for a project. We will have an open classroom, where students may work on the project available, a past project they haven’t yet finished, or present their own idea to the teacher to be worked on at the free art table. For children wanting extra inspiration, or time to think through an independent project, we have a small library of books with project ideas, drawing instructions, and from famous museums around the world.
Coding/Robotics (Grades 2-6)
Studying robotics provides students the opportunity to practice creative problem solving, learn to create and use algorithms, and build logic skills. Using the Lego WeDo 2.0 kits and the Scratch Jr app on Chrome tablets, students will create and document their Lego robots or Scratch Jr coding projects. Students will have the opportunity to share and discuss their processes with each other through monthly group discussions.
Creative Writing (Grades 2-6)
The Creative Writing classes are focused on nurturing students’ confidence, skills, and passion for written expression. Students pursue writing projects that have personal meaning and purpose, and they learn to communicate in effective ways in various genres. The emphasis is on seeing the world in a writerly way, expressing yourself effectively and intentionally, and learning from mentor texts and authors. Some sample projects: persuasive letters, activism projects, picture books, newspaper articles, and short stories.
Early Literature (Grades PreK-1)
Literacy classes allow students to playfully explore language. We sing songs, learn letters and letter sounds, rhyme, compose narration, tell stories, and read wonderful books. Oral language, reading, and writing are all central parts of the program. Sample activities: storytelling with dolls, photo journals, friendly letters, author studies, and songs. Centers for independent and collaborative learning will complement what we do in the more formal classes.
Engineering (Grades PreK-1 and Grades 2-6)
In engineering class, we will sharpen problem-solving skills, discover how things work, and collaborate on building/design challenges that are both fun and enriching. Through a combination of self-guided and teacher-led projects, we will foster the inner engineer in every student.
Math (Grades PreK-1)
The math classes in Grades PreK/K and 1st grade allow students to playfully explore numbers. We sing songs, learn numbers and values, solve problems, engage in meaningful math discourse, play games, and pursue projects that have real-life application. Counting, place value, calculation, patterns, number sense, geometry, measurement, and data are all parts of the program. Sample activities: math games, weaving, playing store, making patterns in art, and cooking. Centers for independent and collaborative learning will complement what we do in the more formal classes.
Math Projects (Grades 2-6)
In this class, we will be exploring the beauty of math in nature, discovering how math surrounds us and using key math concepts to solve real world problems. The topics covered this year include patterns, data collection and graphing, probability, logic, geometry and economics. Every class will include a mini-lesson on the topic being covered and a hands-on project that connects the abstract concept to the real world. From creating tessellation artwork to making an economically sound business plan, we are going to have lots of fun in Math Projects this year!
Nature Science (Grades PreK-1)
The purpose of exploring nature science with young children is to help spark their innate wonder and awe for the beauty and mystery of nature. In sharing in the joy and excitement of our explorations, I hope to cultivate a lifelong reverence for the natural world. We will be using the school grounds as our lab so that the students can experience the change of seasons first hand while observing and interacting with nature. In the past students have explored nature by doing as scientists would do – using their senses! We also read stories, sing songs, create skits, hug tress, and conduct experiments. It will be a year filled with multi-sensory activities for the young nature lover!
The nursery invites exploration both in nature, and through classroom activity centers. Through play we will engage fine and gross motor skills, problem solving and imagination.
Science (Grades 2-6)
This year the focus is on the foundations of science. Organizing or classify objects and living things. We will journey through different areas of science throughout the year starting with life science. There we will learn about how to classify living things, life cycles, food chains and energy flow. Next we’ll discover the nature of matter. Reviewing states of matter, vacuums, magnetism, the water cycle, dissolving and crystallization. Following that we will connect those concepts to earth and space science, where again we will experiment with magnetism, the water cycle, gravity, reading maps and biomes. Concluding the year with rocks and minerals.
American Sign Language – American Sign Language will be a fun, lightly structured introduction to conversational sign language. We will cover fingerspelling, numbers, deaf culture, signs associated with home, school, daily routines and anything else students are interested in exploring.
Board Games – In this elective, students will have free play opportunities to participate in board games and card games of all kinds including cooperative and competitive. Through games, students can practice sportsmanship, logic, strategy, decision making and more!
Construction – Construction will inspire confidence and curiosity in students by introducing construction/engineering concepts and allowing them to execute those in groups or individually. We will enhance problem-solving skills through advanced construction challenges.
This elective will cover several the history of construction in relation to the evolution of humans from nomads to settlers. Classes will include (but are not limited to) these topics: structural building, bridges, fun architectural design, foundations, water diversions, temporary/moveable construction, and a woodworking introduction.
We will begin each session with a review of a type of construction project and it’s importance in our history. Then students will engineer/build in groups or individually, based on the availability of materials.
Filmmaking – In the filmmaking elective class, we will be exploring the art of filmmaking through viewing, critiquing and creating 5×5 films. The 5×5 film is a montage of 5-five second shots around a specific theme. Each class will film and edit a whole group 5×5 film with the option of creating their own at home to share with the class. Composition, editing and effective critique techniques will be incorporated throughout. I am so excited to see what the children create!
Music Together – Based on the belief that all children are musical, participation in a Music Together program helps to develop a child’s basic music competence. Participants will use their own bodies and voices along with musical props to experience a variety to tonalities, meters, and musical styles. Classes are informal, engaging, and meant to be enjoyed together between children and the grownups who love them.