You’ll Go Wild for These Four Animal-Themed Engineering Activities

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 4/11/17 11:00 AM

elephant.jpgAt EiE, we’ve learned that the best way to get kids interested in engineering is to connect to a subject they care about. Every kid is different—some might be interested in transportation technologies, while others would rather learn about ice cream. But we know that many kids share a common interest: caring for and protecting animals. Engineering can play a big part in the care and keeping of animals, and we’ve seen how much that can motivate kids to design and improve technologies. In honor of National Pet Day, check out these storybooks and in- and out-of-school-time curriculum units, guaranteed to be a wild success in your classroom or OST program!

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips

EiE Teacher Tip: How to Ask Good Questions!

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 2/21/17 11:00 AM

EIE 2015 JR_1062.jpgHappy National Engineers Week! This week on the blog, we're celebrating by highlighting our favorite engineering tool: the Engineering Design Process!

Imagine this scenario. Your students have worked carefully and enthusiastically to design a technology . . . only to discover that it doesn’t work as planned. When that sailboat doesn’t sail, or that model maglev train fails to levitate over the track, it’s a teachable moment. You want to be ready, not with answers, but with questions that help students do their own troubleshooting.

Education journalist Steven Hastings once calculated that a typical teacher asks 400 questions a day, or roughly one question a minute. That extrapolates to 70,000 questions a year, or 2 to 3 million questions over the course of a teaching career. But not all questions are created equal. Certain questioning strategies are particularly effective; here are four of our favorites.

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips

Ask EiE: Can I Omit the Improve Step?

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 1/31/17 11:00 AM

Q: When my students work on an engineering design challenge, do they HAVE to do the "Improve" step? It takes extra time, and I feel like they've already learned what they need to know from their first designs.

A: Please don't skip the "Improve" step! That's when crucial learning happens.

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips

Resources for Crosscurricular Integration

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 1/19/17 11:00 AM

We’ve talked a lot about multi-subject integration this month. Our January 11th EiEXchange session explored what makes integration between STEM subjects meaningful, and our January 31st webinar will explore integrating English language arts and engineering. If you’re interested in learning more about crosscurricular integration, we have a plethora of resources available on our website and in our blog. Here are a few resources to help you integrate engineering into other subject areas.

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips

Resources for K-5 Engineering Are Just a Click Away!

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 11/17/16 11:00 AM

Screenshot of where to find the resources

Your EiE Teacher Guide offers more than just lesson plans; it has teaching tips, assessment, and other useful extras. Did you know the EiE website is also packed with handy resources that help you teach elementary engineering? With our latest web redesign, these helpful teaching tools are more find-able than ever! Just click the “EiE Resources” tab and let us take you on a tour . . .

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips

The EiE Customer Service Team’s Top 5 Questions

Posted by Annie Whitehouse on 10/13/16 11:00 AM

If you’ve ever called or emailed EiE, you’ve had the pleasure of speaking to our customer service team. Our customer service representatives have an encyclopedic knowledge of all aspects of EiE, from big-picture ideas about unit implementation to the minutia of magnet sizes. They’re always happy to offer a helping hand and share their infinite wisdom—and today, we’re sharing some of it with you. Here are five of the most frequently asked EiE questions, according to the people who know all the answers!

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips

EiE Teacher Tip: Our How-To Videos Make Lesson Prep a Breeze!

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 9/29/16 11:00 AM

How-To Videos

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video is worth even more, when it saves you time and energy! That’s why Engineering is Elementary offers “How-To Videos”—short segments you can stream from our website. Each video walks you through some lesson prep for the unit you’ll be teaching.

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Topics: EiE Resources for Teachers, EiE Teaching Tips

Make Connections Across the Curriculum with EiE Extension Lessons!

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 7/7/16 11:00 AM

Every Thursday the EiE blog brings you tips and resources to help you teach elementary engineering.

EiE Parachute Designs
Engineering parachutes? Boost math learning with EiE extension lessons.

Some educators think of extension lessons as a convenient and educational way to fill a few minutes when your students finish work ahead of schedule. But they're much more than that! Well-designed extension lessons

  • make connections between the topic you're teaching and other subject areas,
  • help students explore a topic more
    deeply, and
  • provide extra support for students who need to strengthen their skills.

Did you know that Engineering is Elementary offers a large collection of extension lessons? We have hundreds of engaging short lessons, all designed by K-5 classroom teachers and expert curriculum developers so that they integrate perfectly in your engineering classroom.

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Topics: EiE Teaching Tips

Engineering Supplies are Low Cost, Easy to Source

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 5/26/16 11:00 AM

Each Thursday on the EiE blog, we offer tips for teachers and answer your questions. 

2015.08.06_EiE_Materials_Kit_Parachutes-1Q. I'm a homeschool teacher and I can only afford the EiE Teacher Guide, not the Materials Kit. But I really want to teach EiE! Can I still use your curriculum?

A. Yes! EiE activities are designed to use easy-to-find, inexpensive materials. So it's easy (and inexpensive) to put together your own kit.

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Topics: EiE Resources for Teachers, EiE Teaching Tips

Support ELA Instruction with EiE Storybook Illustrations

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 5/19/16 11:00 AM

Every Thursday on the blog we bring you teaching tips or news about resources you can use in your classroom

EiE storybooks set a context for elementary engineering activitiesEvery Engineering is Elementary (EiE) unit starts with a storybook that sets the context for the hands-on engineering design challenge. You can show the pictures to your students the conventional way, by holding up the book for everyone to see . . . but you can also download storybook illustrations from our website and project them on a screen or SmartBoard. Beyond the convenience of this approach, storybook illustrations are a terrific teaching tool for English Language Arts, and especially for the English Language Learners in your class.

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Topics: EiE Resources for Teachers, Engineering and English Language Arts, EiE Teaching Tips