In working on the first unit for the new STEM Class I am co-teaching for the upcoming academic year, I’m realizing that this is going to be an awesome course. I created the class because I saw how disconnected our sixth graders were from their math curriculum throughout the year. I knew it was the right thing to do, but it is shaping up to be super fun. I even incorporated some of the group work ideas discussed in The First Days of School book when crafting the group project.
While the Science, Technology, and Engineering components have created themselves, the Math work is proving to be a bit difficult. Sure, there is plenty of math incorporated into the PBL portion of the unit, but our parents expect a strict math curriculum. So, we’ve set the math portion up like a class. We have three different levels as our students come from varying math backgrounds. So, for each unit, we have three different math units to prepare. It makes the most sense so that we can tailor the curriculum to the individual students, but boy is it proving tedious. I’ve also realized my knowledge of math is quite limited. In crafting problem sets and the pretest, I had to do a lot of researching and learning. It’s been great and I’m excited about the challenge; however, there is a ton of preparation needed for this first unit. I’m sure future units will be much easier to craft once we have the nucleus set. Starting from scratch makes it difficult. I want to be sure we are challenging our students and providing them with the best possible STEM education while not overburdening them with worksheets and extra work. The math portion of the course is all about the skills and objectives and so we are very focused on staying true to that.
As I continue to delve into this new STEM class, I’m ecstatic about the learning I’m doing but also about the great opportunities and challenges we will be able to present our students with. September can’t come fast enough.