Little Scientists

Dates: March, April and May 2021.

Name: Leticia Gil Ramos. Toledo, Spain.

The picture is the author’s own (Attribution CC-BY)

INTRODUCTION

A widespread idea about the need to introduce STEAM methodology in the school curriculum is shared by great experts, nowadays. STEAM allows our students to approach and solve problems efficiently. What is more, it is essential to learn a development in the environment of our students trying to solve problems in their day-to-day problems. What is more, our students learn in a motivative way, being the protagonists of their learning.

BENEFITS OF STEAM METHODOLOGY

The development of the STEAM methodology from early years, is one of the latest trends in the educational landscape, which is why different countries have begun to modify their curriculum.

The experience I am going to show, includes children aged 4-5 years old. They started coding and developing STEAM activities when they came to the school for the first time, when they were 3 years old. They are digital natives, and we, as teachers, need to obtain the best of the situation.

To boost their cognitive skills could be the main benefit coding has in our students, nevertheless, I would like to remark the following:

  • They can learn new ways of thinking of breaking up problems into smaller steps. It is essential if we want to individualize our teaching and, even, if we have children with educational needs in class.
  • They can learn how to take the fear out of making mistakes and failing. It teaches persistence in finding a way to solve their problems.
  • They can learn while they are playing. In this educational period, more than others, the best way to learn is playing.

CONTEXT

The experience is going to be showed takes place in a public school in Toledo. The experience involved twenty children aged 4-5 years old. A heterogeneous group with different levels of maturity and learning. Coding allows adapting to each level and improving the learning of each one of them.

ACTIVITIES FROM THE BEGINNING

As I mentioned before, we started coding when our students were 3-4 years old. Mainly, we develop:

Science activities. Mainly experiments.

Coding activities. Unplugged and Bee Bot.

Experiments and Art.

Maths. Binary Code.

Engineering. Lego.

Technology. Digital Board and Escornabot.

CONCLUSION

It is necessary to continue training, encouraging other teachers we work with to STEAM methodology with students. What is more, Families support is vital in order to continue motivating our students. I encourage them to participate from the beginning explaining to them everything in our first meetings.

To sum up, the present experience tries to encourage other teachers and families to start with the STEAM methodology. To program simple activities that really motivate our students knowing the positive effects it has: the development of the creative problem-solving abilities and the increase of cognitive skills. In this regard, crucial revision and upgrade of the curriculum is needed to guarantee teacher training and the inclusion of this type of programming in their annual classroom programs.

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