Early Childhood Teachers Explore STEAM Practices and ContentBy Diana Wehrell-Grabowski on September 13, 2016 in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, Teacher Training Workshops
On a blazing 98 degree day in the shade early childhood teachers at Prince of Peace Christian School and Early Learning Center spent the day getting a hands-on-minds-on introduction to incorporating science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) practices and content into the early learning environment. I introduced the early childhood teachers to foundational principles of STEAM and content. Teachers were actively engaged in conducting inquiry-based STEAM investigations throughout the day-long training. We started out the day by going outside to learn how to incorporate the outdoors, surrounding environment for introducing and reinforcing STEAM practices and content. Teachers brought journals and crayons outside to take notes, make rubbings, they used tools such as magnifying lenses, levels, rulers, and more outdoors to closely examine and gather data on leaves, trees, rocks, and buildings.
Teachers were introduced to incorporating reflective journaling in the early childhood classroom which is quite different then the traditional teacher-driven portfolio often seen in early childhood classrooms. I modeled teaching methodologies to promote a student-driven classroom, and one that will help to develop and strengthen 21st century skills in young children. During the STEAM teacher training session the following STEAM content was introduced to the teachers via engaging inquiry-based investigations: Incorporating appropriate use of technology and tools in the early childhood classroom, Integrating children’s literature with STEAM-based themes, Exploring patterns and shapes, incorporating STEAM practices and content into the block center, ramp science, tinkering, reverse engineering, and materials science.
At the close of the session, there was time for reflection… Each teacher was asked how they planned on incorporating what they learned today in the immediate, and near future within their own classrooms. And as always, teachers were asked to share what transformations they will make within their own teaching style based on attending the STEAM training. Teachers truly embraced the power of incorporating STEAM practices and content within their classrooms. A side note…. The Early Learning Center at Prince of Peace Christian School has been incorporating STEAM experiences for the past couple years. For more information about the Science and STEM based teacher training and keynotes Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski conducts worldwide complete the contact form on this site. The following photos were taken during the day long STEAM teacher training session at Prince of Peace Christian School and Early Learning Center in Texas.