For this article I will be focusing on the inquiry question “what are helpful classroom management strategies to assure a STEAM project is a success?”.
Classroom management is an important part of STEAM projects because it structures the learning environment. One of the most important classroom management strategies when teaching a STEAM lesson (or others) is setting clear expectations. Setting clear expectations allows students to feel comfortable in their environment while also minimising confusion about what they are supposed to be doing. Expectations should also be visibly posted for student reference throughout the activity.
Another classroom management strategy that is important to STEAM projects is constant interaction with students. A teacher cannot simply review expectations, hand out supplies, and then sit at their desk checking emails for the next 40 minutes. For STEAM activities to have the biggest impact on students, the teacher must ask leading questions and offer challenging insights into student projects. Further, teachers must also be around to support students who need extra guidance.
Finally, the last classroom management strategy I will be discussing is relationship building. Although this may not sound like a classroom management strategy, it is arguably the most important. When a teacher has a relationship with their students they are better able to assess their needs. For example, if there is an ELL student in the class who cannot write proficiently in English yet, the classroom teacher could place him in a STEAM group with a student who could support him (peer support). By thoughtfully creating STEAM groups, students will be able to create, collaborate, and problem solve at their highest potential.
Attached is a video that highlights a STEAM school in Atlanta, GA.
Thanks for reading!