In the learning center world, math and literacy seem to dominate. However, there’s always room for the underdog. The subject that has standards to be meet but often is seen as a separate entity: science. Integrate science into math and literacy centers can be a complete game changer in your classroom.
Why Learning Centers?
There are so many benefits to learning centers when it comes to math and literacy, why would science be any different? When you start using centers, you are using a format that hits multiple learning styles, easily differentiates, and reviews the basic skills students needs to move on to the next step. However, science usually doesn’t get too much time in the learning center framework. Why? Because we tend to run out of time to focus on science. Usually, we are cramming science into a 30-minute block, but you can use centers to focus on STEM.
1: Integrate Science Curriculum into Math and Literacy Centers
Sometimes it’s not always about having a separate center time for a specific subject. There are ways to integrate science into your math and literacy centers by having science questions in both centers. If you are working with a formula in science class and they need to do some math with it, put those problems into your math centers. It can be an extra 10 or 15 minutes of science in a simple way. If you are working on informative texts, integrate some passages about whatever your science topic is. This can help your students gain background knowledge on science topics while practicing their literacy skills as well.
2: Digitally Integrate Science with Osmo’s Creative Starter Kit
If you’re digitally learning or trying to use digital centers, you can still integrate science with Osmo Creative Starter Kit. This start kit works with the iPad and allows kids to go on adventure by solving problems with drawings that Osmo brings to life. Not only do the students get to see their work come to life, there is instant feedback given to students as they learn and discover though this great kit. Not only does this help integrate science into your math and literacy centers, it also helps you out by providing that immediate feedback. Plus, it works whether you are in the classroom using digital centers or distance learning.
3: Use Ready Made STEM Bins to Integrate Science into Centers
Creating centers takes time. It can be hard to find the time, especially right now, to get everything together. So, what can you do? Find ready-made materials like STEM Bins. These bins were created by a National Board Certified Teacher and is great for hands-on STEM work. The best part is, these bins are easy to sanitize to keep everyone safe. An even bigger bonus is you can use each bin for a different center station.
4: Create Your Own STEM Centers
We all know teachers are on a budget. If purchasing STEM pieces, like the STEM Bins or the Creative Starter Kit, is not in the cards this year, you can make your own centers. I know, you’re probably groaning, just one more thing to do. Never fear! I am here to help you out with the STEM Supplies Checklist so you can make sure you know what you need to make affordable STEM centers.
Whether you are using something already made or making something yourself, science has a space in math and literacy centers. By integrating STEM into your centers, you are giving your students all the benefits centers offer. This will help with general understanding, testing, and overall student engagement. So, dig deep and use your centers to teach science.
Until next time…
Keep Being Education Rock Stars!