For us to achieve our mission, we must ensure that each and every child in our school progresses toward mastery of our learner outcomes. Our instruction will be relevant, real, and rigorous. Our students will find purpose and passion in their innovative collaboration. We will utilize differentiation strategies to meet the varied individual needs of each student during Tier I instruction. The use of technology as a tool and as a skill will enable us to maximize learning and prepare our students to be digital citizens.

According to STEM by Design, "STEM as originally conceived is intended to get kids up to speed on science and math using an engineering design approach, emphasizing teamwork and real-world problems."

The Eight STEM Criteria

  1. An engineering design process is used to integrate science, mathematics, and technology.
  2. Science and math content is standards based, grade-appropriate, and applied.
  3. Students focus on solving real-world problems, or engineering challenges.
  4. Students regularly work in teams to plan, design, and create prototypes and products, then test and evaluate these and plan how to improve.
  5. Students use a variety of communication approaches to describe their challenge and justify their results.
  6. Teachers facilitate inquiry-based, student-centered learning that features hands-on investigation.
  7. Failure is regarded as a natural part of the design process, and an essential step toward creating an improved or successful solution.
  8. Students are introduced to STEM careers and/or life applications.

Instructional Strategies

To address the needs of our students in a STEAM program, we commit to the following instructional strategies schoolwide:

Project Based Learning

  • A teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge
  • Challenging problem or questions; finding resources and applying information; Authenticity- creating real-world context: speaks to students' personal centers, interests, and issues in their lives. Student Voice and Choice. Student and teacher reflection of work obstacles and how to overcome them
  • Inquiry Based Learning starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios—rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge. The process is often assisted by a facilitator

One-to-One Technology

  • Each student will check out a chromebook in August to use during the school year
  • Teachers will utilize a common Learning Management System (LMS) on which students and parents can access class content and monitor student progress
  • Personalized Learning - teachers as coaches who carefully observe students, identify their learning needs, and guide them to higher levels of learning

Equity and Differentiation

  • Cooperative Learning & Complex Instruction - Successful teaching strategies in small team, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject
  • Universal Design for Learning - Scientifically valid framework, a proactive approach that uses instructional strategies while taking advantage of flexible technologies to support diverse learning needs
  • Peer coaching, peer mentoring - Another student serves as a resource, a helping hand, a sounding board and a referral service. Provide support, encouragement, and information to students
  • AVID - (Advancement Via Individual Determination) - proven practices in order to prepare students for success, brings research-based strategies and curriculum
    • WICOR Strategies- (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization & Reading) - Instructional strategies to increase the level of student engagement, content understanding, and college readiness for all students
    • Cornell Way - Ten steps in the Cornell Note Taking System. Digital Cornell Notes
    • e-BINDERS - Web-based electronic binders (LiveBinders, Google Sites, Evernote)