Let’s Talk S.T.E.A.M. / S.T.E.M. and Literacy
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math
“Should we invest our limited education resources in teaching critical reading skills or in what’s known as STEAM/STEM – science, technology, engineering, arts, and math?” The answer is “we can and must do both”-Chris Roe and Ralph Smith. Future scientists, technologists, engineers, artists, or mathematicians can’t possibly comprehend complex texts or create new pathways of thinking and discovery if they can’t read! Science and math have the potential to engage youngsters, encouraging them to read more. This increases a student’s chances of reading proficiently. The key milestone when students transition from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’ is third grade. Texts beyond the third grade require students to decode unfamiliar terms, recognize advanced vocabulary, and make sense of increasingly complex and interrelated ideas.
Children are curious, starting at birth. Build on that natural curiosity by developing their interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, math (STEAM), and reading. Develop these skills through play and exploration and observation.
Research demonstrates that having a strong foundation in science, math, technology, engineering, and arts can lead to higher achievement in reading. For young children, focus on STEAM through exploration, play, and building curiosity about the natural world and the way things work. The real-life skills that are developed when learning with STEAM helps make children better problem-solvers and learners as they grow.
Literacy skills—reading, writing, speaking, vocabulary, should all be integrated in STEAM activities. These are key literacy skills the Common Core State Standards emphasize. You can develop literacy skills through STEM/STEAM and here’s the recipe: Take a day filled with play, exploration and observation, and add generous amounts of talking, reading, singing, drawing, or whatever works best for your child. It’s never too young to start!
Beginning this month, Buckaroo Buckeye is starting a focus on just such a theme, and offers more insights and ideas for laying this foundation. Buckaroo’s monthly Newsletter is offering exciting STEAM activities and books for reading. Go to www.buckaroobuckeye.com and sign up today!
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