Reading and Engineering—the Perfect Pair

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 8/17/16 9:53 AM

Student Reading
Classroom engineering can help meet your goals for ELA instruction!

Reading is a clear priority in elementary classrooms across the nation. The average
K- 3 elementary student gets nearly an hour and a half of reading/language arts instruction each day, according to the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education. Science and engineering instruction are a much smaller part of the school day in most schools. But here at EiE, we’ve found that reading and engineering are natural partners.

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Topics: Engineering and English Language Arts

Classroom Engineering Engages Kids in Hands-on Learning

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 5/31/16 11:00 AM

2016.01.26__Evaluating_a_Knee_Brace_EiE.jpgThink back to when you were in elementary school. What do you remember most vividly? Was it listening to a lecture, watching a demonstration, or filling out a worksheet?  Probably not! Personally, I’ll always remember the time in fourth grade when I installed a light bulb in a cardboard box to make an incubator and hatched baby chicks for the school science fair.

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Topics: Engineering and English Language Arts

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

Engage Kids in Hands-on Learning with Classroom Engineering

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 1/26/16 11:00 AM

2016.01.26__Evaluating_a_Knee_Brace_EiE.jpgThink back to when you were in elementary school. What do you remember most vividly? Was it listening to a lecture, watching a demonstration, or filling out a worksheet?  Probably not! Personally, I’ll always remember the time in fourth grade when I installed a light bulb in a cardboard box to make an incubator and hatched baby chicks for the school science fair.

Read More

Topics: Engineering and English Language Arts

Download EiE Storybook Illustrations and Support ELA Instruction

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 9/10/15 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. And every storybook has 15 or more illustrations. During a read-aloud, you can show pictures to your students the conventional way, by holding up the book for everyone to see, or by having students follow along in their own copies. Did you know that storybook illustrations are ALSO available to download on our website? You can use a computer/projector or Smart Board to show illustrations on the big screen as you read the story.

Beyond the convenience and excitement of this approach, storybook illustrations are a terrific teaching tool for English Language Arts, and especially for the English Language Learners in your class. Stories appeal to all kids, regardless of cultural background, interests, or learning style. Instead of reading a storybook word for word, project the illustrations while you retell the story at a language level that’s appropriate for your students. Or, print them out to use in classroom activities.

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

Engineering Goes Hand-in-Hand with K - 5 Literacy Instruction

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 7/30/15 11:00 AM

You'll find helpful tips for teachers every Thursday on the EiE blog.

Each Engineering is Elementary curriculum unit integrates with the science you already teach . . . starting with a storybook. For example, if your elementary students are learning about plants or insects, they'll read a storybook with an agricultural engineering theme, about a young girl who wants the exotic plant in her garden to bloom and makes a device for pollinating it by hand.

2015.07.28_EiE_ReadingThere's a good reason to start with stories: they provide an age-appropriate context for the engineering activities that follow. But you don’t have to stop with the “official” EiE storybooks. We have another terrific set of resources to support literacy instruction and reading in your classroom. Check out our Literacy Resources lists—there’s one for each of the 20 EiE units.

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Topics: Engineering and English Language Arts, EiE Teaching Tips

There's More Than One Way to Read an Engineering Storybook!

Posted by Cynthia Berger on 6/2/15 11:00 AM

Each Thursday on the EiE blog, we answer your questions about classroom engineering.

Q: I know that each Engineering is Elementary Teacher Guide comes with one copy of the storybook for the unit. Do I need to buy additional copies for my students to read?

A: The answer is, it depends on the ages and abilities of your students.

2015.06.02_Reading_EiE_StorybookEiE storybooks are written at about a 5th-grade reading level; they're classified this way because of all the science and engineering vocabulary words in the stories!

If you teach upper elementary students (or students with advanced reading skills), a class set of storybooks allows each student to read independently. Or you might have your students read in pairs, or small groups.

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Topics: Engineering and English Language Arts