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Step Into STEAM, Grades K-5

Step Into STEAM, Grades K-5
Your Standards-Based Action Plan for Deepening Mathematics and Science Learning

First Edition

Foreword by Matt Larson

March 2019 | 232 pages | Corwin

How do you create an innovative and equitable classroom experience that prepares elementary students for jobs that don’t yet exist while placing a critical focus on mathematics and science content and practice standards—all while meeting the demands of high-stakes testing? The answer to this question is Step into STEAM, which provides a practical and accessible approach for educators to create meaningful and transformative learning experiences for each and every student.

This book guides and inspires K–5 educators through a seamless process of designing and implementing STEAM inquiries that align carefully to key mathematics and science content and practices. Taking an opposite approach to existing resources that provide collections of disjointed STEAM activities, this book empowers teachers and schools to build cohesive and sustainable STEAM infrastructures—grounded in grade-level standards and purposeful assessment—to deepen the mathematics and science learning of each and every student. STEAM instruction is for each and every student; STEAM instruction is about mathematics; and STEAM instruction can and should be implemented for student success and to engage students in making their community and our world a better place.

Loaded with resources to help K–5 teachers and instructional leaders develop, implement, and assess meaningful STEAM inquiries, this research-based book:

  • Provides practical, on-the-go resources to help busy teachers get started in creating purpose-driven STEAM instruction
  • Allows educators to interact deeply with the content and create equitable STEAM experiences that blend community and societal interests
  • Includes online companion printable resources to help educators jumpstart or deepen STEAM learning throughout a school or district, supporting STEAM professional development, professional learning communities, and book studies

Checklists, pictures, graphic organizers, reflection questions, “Try it Out!” sections, and example STEAM inquiries help teachers seamlessly connect multiple subject areas, create transformative learning experiences, engage elementary students in developing creativity and empathy, and enable students to solve meaningful and authentic problems for others—all to prepare students for their bright futures. Make the most of your limited instructional time and become part of the Step into STEAM movement!

“Through carefully crafted research-based frameworks; inspirational, authentic, and approachable practical strategies rooted in the reform efforts of student-centered STEAM learning; and opportunities for professional self-reflection, Step into STEAM rightfully re-elevates educators to their proper places as innovation experts and agents of change in their own classrooms, schools, districts, and communities. An inspirational step in a needed direction, this book from Drs. Bush and Cook is what educators have been craving: a guide to transforming ourselves, our learning spaces, and our profession.”
Richard Cox, Jr.
Expert STEAM Teacher 
Instructional Coach
Bullitt County Public Schools

Step into STEAM offers a rare opportunity for anyone concerned with education to consider what learning would be like with equity, empathy, and experience. By providing examples from teachers who have dared to put children first, this book offers more than just new way to teach, it offers hope for youth today. By considering what youth will need to be successful in jobs that are not yet created, Cook and Bush provide a platform for educators to create authentic, real-world problem-solving in classrooms with attention on the often forgotten about component of STEAM—the M! As a proponent of STEAM education, my recommendation is to grab this book and watch your students love learning again!”
Cassie Quigley
Associate Professor of Science Education at University of Pittsburgh
Author of An Educator's Guide to STEAM: Engaging Students Using Real-World Problems

Part 1: The STEAM Landscape
Chapter 1: What is STEAM and Why does it Matter?
Chapter 2: How do I Prepare for STEAM?
Chapter 3: What Frameworks Can Guide How I Engage Students in STEAM?
Part 2: Stepping into STEAM
Chapter 4: How do I Design STEAM Inquiries?
Chapter 5: How do I Implement STEAM Inquiries?
Chapter 6: How do I Assess my Students’ Learning in STEAM?
Part 3: Putting it all Together in STEAM
Chapter 7: What are Some Examples of Successful STEAM Inquiries?
Chapter 8: How do I Tie It All Together to Create the STEAM Learning Experience?
Chapter 9: How do I Gather Resources for STEAM?
Call to Action

“Step Into STEAM is an essential book for anyone who is serious about moving to problem-based STEAM in their classrooms. Step Into STEAM moves beyond written how-tos, by providing knowledge, written and online tools, and real examples that help make STEAM come alive in classrooms!”

Margaret J. Mohr-Schroeder, PhD
University of Kentucky

“Step Into STEAM is a must-read for anyone interested in STEAM! Rather than supplying a set of prescribed lesson plans to follow, the authors provide guidance, practical suggestions, and thought-provoking questions to assist the reader as they successfully plan for and implement STEAM inquiries. These STEAM inquiries, which maintain a sharp focus on mathematics and science content and practices, hold the potential to highly affect learning for each and every student in our elementary classrooms.”

Susie Katt
Lincoln Public Schools, Nebraska

Sarah B. Bush

Dr. Sarah B. Bush, a former middle school mathematics teacher, is a Professor of K–12 STEM Education and the Lockheed Martin Eminent Scholar Chair at the University of Central Florida. At the University of Central Florida, she is the Director of the Lockheed Martin/UCF Mathematics and Science Academy and is a program co-coordinator of the Mathematics Education PhD track. She teaches primarily graduate courses in mathematics education. She is a prolific writer who has authored 13 books and more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Bush recently completed a term (2019–2022) as a member of the National Council of Teachers of... More About Author

Kristin L. Cook

Dr. Kristin L. Cook, a former high school science teacher, is a Professor of Science Education in the School of Education at Bellarmine University. She received her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction specializing in Science Education and Environmental Sciences from Indiana University. Dr. Cook teaches courses in K–12 science methods and STEAM Education. In addition to teaching initial certification and advanced graduate classes, Dr. Cook serves as a professional developer and consultant for K–12 STEAM-focused school reform and project and problem-based learning development. Dr. Cook is actively involved in federal grants and research... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781544337203

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