While coordinating S.T.E.M. curriculum for grades 1-5, I observe students exploring the STEM process who are truly engaged with hands-on learning.
For the most part, students LOVE it!
Sometimes I also see students who are not yet comfortable with taking risks.
They are not emotionally equipped for dealing with the disappointment of a great idea that doesn’t quite work out the way they wanted.
They’re threatened by other students who have good ideas. They’re defeated when they can’t make their ideas work the first time.
For those students, S.T.E.M. challenges can also be an emotional challenge.
So should we avoid doing S.T.E.M. with those students?
Absolutely not! On the contrary, it’s the perfect learning opportunity.
My solution to this situation has been to combine Growth Mindset concepts with my STEM projects.
S.T.E.M. and Growth Mindset concepts complement and reinforce each other perfectly, so teaching them together is a perfect match!
WHY IS GROWTH MINDSET SO IMPORTANT?
Growth mindset encourages exactly the kind of positive thinking that will help with STEM challenges.
-mistakes help us learn
-persevere through unexpected problems and disappointments
-sometimes it takes several tries to solve a problem
Growth mindset concepts also foster an inner dialogue that is essential for STEM exploration.
-I can always improve.
-I’m on the right track.
-I can keep trying even when it’s hard.
-This may take some time and effort.
-I can build on previous ideas.
-I haven’t solved the problem – YET!
HOW TO TEACH STEM AND GROWTH MINDSET TOGETHER
As pictured in the images abolve, we start with fairy tales. Most students know them well, so we read partner plays that change the story a bit.
In this example, Granny has a fixed mindset, and Little Red Riding Hood has a Growth Mindset!
Students quickly learn how to tell the two apart:
We also do some writing and sorting to solidify the concept.
We use workbooks or flip books!
INTRODUCING THE STEM CHALLENGE
At the end of each play, students are presented with a STEM challenge that relates to the story.
Here is an example of how the partner play ends with a specific STEM challenge:
Gather a bin of supplies, such as tape, cardboard, stir sticks, paper cups, elastics, pipe cleaners, and anything else you can think of.
Let students plan, collaborate and build!
Here is a video of students designing and testing the catapult they made in order to get the cookies over the forest to land at Granny’s house!
We use either WORKBOOKS or FLIP BOOKS to write about our STEM exploration.
LOOKING AT STEM RESOURCES
Do you use STEM challenges in your classroom?
Are there students who would benefit from pairing growth mindset lessons with STEM?
If you’d like to try some of the examples I’ve shown above, they are available two different bundles:
8 Fairy Tale partner plays, 8 STEM challenges, and workbooks for both growth Mindset and STEM writing.
8 fairy tales, 8 partner plays, and 8 STEM challenges and 8 Flip Books.
This bundle has 8 fairy tale partner plays, 8 STEM challenges, 8 Growth Mindset Flip Books, and 8 STEM Flip Books. I used flip books rather than workbooks for variety – for those students who will be working through both bundles as a full year set.
Both sets are available together at a reduced bundle price! This covers 16 Fairy Tales and lots of literacy opportunities to help students become experts in Growth Mindset and STEM challenges!
Would you like to try a Growth Mindset flip book with your class?
It’s available to download in the preview of Bundle 2. Click on the preview button on the TPT page, download the preview and print! It can be used with any version of the story.
Pin this free flip book for later!
MORE STEM RESOURCES
Are your students clear on the steps involved with STEM process? I have posters outlining the steps on my wall so I can refer to them often during lessons and discussions.
If you’d like to download my posters to use in your classroom, you can download them for free.
Pin this free flipbook for later!
Pin this post for later!
GROWTH MINDSET IN THE CLASSROOM
Looking for more GROWTH MINDSET ideas for your classroom?
There are 30 posters, Growth Mindset journals, Art and Math posters, Art and Writing Posters, Printable Banners, Banners for students to color, task card writing prompts, and positive notes for students!
Click the image or the link above to see photos of everything!
You can also grab two FREE posters and activities for writing, math and coloring (as pictured above) by clicking below!
Thanks for taking a look! I hope you enjoy using STEM and Growth Mindset in your classroom!
If you have ideas to share, I’d LOVE to hear about them!
Pin this Growth Mindset Free Poster Pack for later!