Full STEAM Ahead: Combining Stories, Shapes and Art in Primary

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Participate and share : Poster

Valerie Belt  
Tiffany Anderle  

Come explore innovative project ideas you can use to build analytical and creative thinking skills for primary learners. Participants will be introduced to a variety of engaging lesson ideas that exemplify how primary teachers can integrate the fine arts, shapes and storytelling to support a STEAM approach to learning!

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Library media specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: PC, Chromebook, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: The poster session includes ideas for easy-to-implement projects with no previous skill requirements. The ideas for activities can be easily replicated and incorporated by various digital instructional tools such as Wixie and Google Draw.

Topic: Creativity & curation tools
Grade level: PK-2
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
Innovative Designer
  • Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
Creative Communicator
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this poster presentation is to share ways educators can move beyond rote activities to develop creative and innovative STEAM activities for primary students that encourage curiosity, promote inquiry and critical thinking skills, and get students genuinely interested in STEAM subjects. Creativity and innovation are essential skills for today’s digital learners, and a STEAM approach can provide even our youngest learners with skills to help them meet the challenges of a changing world. Participants will explore ideas for digital project ideas that combine stories, shape, and art to create learning experiences that are creative, engaging, and relevant for primary learners. Participants will walk away with ideas on how creating authentic digital projects can help primary students combine ideas and skills from different disciplines and connect learning with the community beyond.

In this session, participants will:

*Learn how to use creative digital projects to connect learners to the arts and math.
*Learn how students' work with illustration, animation, and authoring can improve their engagement in and understanding of STEM subjects.
*Explore resources for implementing student technology projects- including ideas, techniques, examples, and lesson plans.
*Learn how to build early literacy skills with writing and creative projects students will love.
*Learn how students' work with digital media creation can improve their engagement in and understanding of curriculum content.
*Learn how students can use digital tools to construct knowledge, developing innovative products and processes, engaging more deeply with the curriculum.
*Learn how to use technology to engage students in the 3R’s and the 4 C’s – creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.

The poster presentation will offer ideas for activities that can be easily replicated and incorporated by various digital instructional tools.

Supporting research

Anderle, T. & Kolk, M. (2020). Full Steam Ahead: combining stories, shapes, and art in primary

Campbell, L.O., Planinz, T. & Miller, M. (2016). Integrated digital storytelling: An Active Learning Strategy for Building 21st Century Skills.

Donohue, C. (Ed.) (2015). Technology and digital media in the early years: Tools for teaching and learning. New York: Routledge & Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children

El Education. (2015). Characteristics of Primary Learners.

Gifford, S. (2017). Developing Pattern Awareness with Young Children.

Helm, J. H., Beneke, S., & Steinheimer, K. (2007). Windows on Learning: Documenting Young Children's Work, Second Edition. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Kolk, M. (2007). Build Early Literacy Skills: Engage new readers and writers with creative technologies. Creative Educator.

Kolk, M. (2018). Digital Storytelling in the Primary Classroom. Creative Educator.

Kolk, M. (2017) Taking Steps to Stem. Creative Educator.

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Valerie Belt, Palisades Charter Elementary School
Tiffany Anderle, Tech4Learning