S.T.E.A.M. News

September/October Newsletter for S.T.E.A.M.

Welcome back to the 2019-2020 school year!  I am very excited to introduce S.T.E.A.M. instruction to the library this year.  Teachers are also welcome to bring their students to the library during certain periods of the week to explore the wonderful array of books found in our school library.  However, classes that are scheduled for my class during the week will be learning all about S.T.E.A.M.   The S.T.E.A.M. Program engages students in project-based learning using hands-on engineering applications.  Students are exposed to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) in a student-centered environment where they are encouraged to be problem solvers and innovative thinkers.  When these areas are taught in an integrated way, students are better able to appreciate how each part is necessary for the success of any complex, real world project.  During the first months of school, the children will be exploring scientific tools in grades Pre-K through 5.  They will focus on the Engineering Design Process and will learn all about what scientists do on a daily basis.
The idea behind S.T.E.A.M. education is to prepare students for successful careers in the 21st century workforce.  We live in a time where information is at your fingertips and there is a constant explosion of knowledge.  Our children will be working in jobs that don’t even exist today.  One thing which is certain about careers of the future is that they will involve constant change.  S.T.E.A.M. education seeks to teach students to be creative, innovative, critical thinkers - all skills needed for adapting to change.  It engages students in project based learning, where they are often given real world engineering challenges.  Teams of students work together to seek multiple solutions to these challenges.  They learn that failure is sometimes part of the process and they should seek to try again and improve upon ideas.  If students develop skills needed to think deeply and critically, they will be prepared to become the innovators and leaders of our future.  

I look forward to meeting with all of the students here in the library this year - whether it be to book shop or to come explore S.T.E.A.M.!  

November/December Newsletter for S.T.E.A.M.

Why is STEAM Education important?
Not only can STEAM save the world, it can save our kids too by making their future bright. STEM jobs are expected to grow by 16% in the US between 2014 and 2024 compared to only 11% for other sectors. And right now, science & engineering careers earn more than double the income of the median job in the United States.  The best part?  STEAM education can start at such an early age and is so simple to do!  It can start with you and your family by inspiring your kids to ask questions and think creatively. It doesn’t have to be hard to incorporate STEAM into your world.  It’s all around you!  And here’s a great way to get started.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math Fun for Kids
Looking for some more STEAM inspiration that you can use right now? Check out my STEAM website online.  I’ve complied great resources for each grade level for you to explore with your child.  Visit my website for the most up-to-date STEAM resources to use on any electronic device at home.  Also, make sure to check out the library resources that were sent home last month.  You’ll find great ebooks and interactive books to use at anytime of day, anytime of the week.  If you have any issues or questions, feel free to email me at anytime!
Ms. Kafkalas 

January/February Newsletter for S.T.E.A.M.

Happy New Year!  I hope you’ve all had a great start to the new year and a wonderful holiday season.  In fourth and fifth grades, we have started our new cycle so I now have three new fourth grade classes and three new fifth grade classes who come to see me for STEAM. 
All students have also received their usernames and passwords for Destiny Discover, our online Library catalogue.  This site links you with the exciting and engaging interactive e-book collection.  If you experience any issues with your username or with the site, please feel free to contact me at any time.  You can find a link to my email on my website: MsKafkalas.snappages.site Here you’ll find library resources as well as many STEAM projects students can complete with you at home.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact me by clicking on the “Contact Ms. Kafkalas” link on the website.  Please be sure to use a valid email so I can answer all your questions promptly. 
STEAM careers make up a huge part of today’s (and likely the future’s) economy, and it’s imperative that we fuel the natural, ravenous interest so many children have in STEAM topics (science, technology, engineering, art and math).  Sadly, that enthusiasm that young children have tends to fade when they get older.  You can encourage your child to keep being inquisitive and curious about how things work in the world and try out a few STEAM challenges at home.  STEAM activities are vital because in today’s age of information, the ability to innovate, be technologically fluent, and understand how and why things work together is incredibly important. 
Ms. Kafkalas 

Help our Classroom On Donor's Choose!

Click on the picture below to visit our Donor's Choose page for our latest project!

Raz Kids

Great news!  Our classes are registered to use the online guided reading program called Raz Kids.   The website is filled with interactive ebooks, downloadable books, and reading quizzes.  Sign into your page today!

Interactive Sites

Click on the link below to connect to an interactive game collection website.  On this site you'll be able to find various interactive websites in all subject areas.  

Reading Levels : Online Resources

Some parents in the past have expressed a desire to have references on our website regarding reading levels.  They wanted something to help them figure out levels of books they had at home as well as suggested book lists of leveled books.  Below you'll find a wealth of resources to help you with your child's reading at home.  Thank you again for your cooperation in your child's education and I hope the websites listed are of help to you at home!  
Leveled Books Datatbase
Click on the link below to look up a book by it's title or author.  You can also access book lists by level by clicking on your child's reading level.  For example, if your child is reading on a level M, click the M beneath "By GR level" for an extensive book list. 
Book Wizard 
Click on the link below for another website that will help you find books by level or look up books you may already have at home.  Scholastic provides a way on their website to search for books and browse books by level.  Click on the tabs at the top of the Book Wizard to search for books, search for similiar books to a book your child might enjoy, or search books by reading level.  
TIP: Make sure you select Guided Reading for the search.  This will allow you to see the levels we use in school.  
Leveled Book Lists
Click on the link below to access a great website that allows you to browse the titles of books by level.  To find these book lists, select Grades 1-4 for the levels of our classroom.  You'll find titles of books that are appropriate for each reading level.