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STEM-Infusing the Elementary Classroom

STEM-Infusing the Elementary Classroom

Foreword by Cary Sneider

May 2016 | 160 pages | Corwin

Make learning relevant with STEM essential questions

Planning interdisciplinary STEM lessons that meet K-5 grade level expectations can be a challenge. How do you fit it all in? In this engaging, well-organized guide, STEM instructional trailblazer Miranda Reagan provides a teacher-friendly, research-based guide to quickly and confidently infuse STEM concepts across content areas. Real-world vignettes, sample lessons and templates, discussion questions, and immediately applicable action steps help you seamlessly promote college and career ready skills. 

This inspiring guide helps teachers use STEM-infused interdisciplinary instruction to:

  • Deepen all content areas, including English/ Language Arts 
  • Promote the 4Cs: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity 
  • Require students to take risks to solve problems
  • Differentiate instruction and scaffold support 
  • Expand students’ specific measurable capabilities
  • Incorporate design skills into the curricula

Save valuable time and confidently develop standards-aligned STEM projects across all content areas with this breakthrough guide!

“Spirited Teachers Eliciting Memories. Miranda's book is an inspiration for the elementary teacher who wants to begin using STEM in the classroom.”  She has answered all of the "but what ifs" and the "I'm not sures” and given teachers the answers to the "hows and whys" it will work.”
Dr. Jill C. Mertz, Adjunct Professor of Education at Maryville College, Maryville, TN

“After reading this book, infusing STEM into your elementary classroom will be as easy as 1,2,3…A, B, C!”
Susan Schipper, Elementary Teacher, Charles Street School, Palmyra, NJ

Foreword by Cary Sneider
About the Author
Chapter 1. STEM-Infusing All Content Areas
A Way of Teaching

Misconceptions About STEM-Infusion

Said No One Ever

Spiraling Down

A Breath of Fresh Air

Model Not Subject

Working Smarter

Discussion Starters

Your Next Step

Chapter 2. Why STEM in Elementary?
Then and Now

21st Century Readiness

Motivating Change

Discussion Starters

Your Next Step

Chapter 3. Rigor Meets Relevance

Emotional Relevance

Making It Matter

The Relevance Trap

The Role of Technology

Discussion Starters

Your Next Step

Chapter 4. The Cross-Cutting Concepts Approach to STEM-Infusion
The Pattern Revelation

Cross-Cutting Concepts

Creating STEM-Infused Lesson Plans With Cross-Cutting Concepts

Concerns About Rearranging Standards

When to Use This Approach

Discussion Starters

Your Next Step

Chapter 5. The Standards Alignment Approach to STEM-Infusion
Operation Top Secret Message

Starting With the Standards

Connecting the Unconnected

When to Use This Approach

Brainstorming Project Ideas

Let the Creativity Begin

Discussion Starters

Your Next Step

Chapter 6. The Thematic Approach to STEM-Infusion
Play Ball

The Thematic Approach

Not Your Mama’s Thematic Teaching

When to Use This Approach

Discussion Starters

Your Next Step

Chapter 7. Assessing STEM
The Testing Mess

My Mistake

Assessing STEM


Student Goal Setting

Student Journaling

Improvement Logs

Teacher Clipboard

Assessing Social Emotional Learning

Standardize Testing and STEM

Discussion Starters

Your Next Step

Chapter 8. The Benefits of the STEM Mindset: Risk Taking and Resilience
Locked Out

A Mindset Shift

Growth Versus Fixed Mindsets

Growing From STEM

Student Empowerment

Discussion Starters

Your Next Step

Chapter 9. Student Collaboration
Lego Trench

Foundation of Communication

Richness of the Interaction

Discussion Starters

Your Next Step

Chapter 10. Leadership for Change
A Really Hard Night

Progress as an Expectation


Parent Involvement

Goal Setting

Sharing Resources and Providing Support

Teaching Teams

Teacher Trust and Autonomy


Discussion Starters

Your Next Step

Resource A. Pipeline Lesson Plan

Resource B. Volcano Lesson Plan

Resource C. Candy Cane Lesson Plan

Resource D. Germs Lesson Plan

Resource E. Top Secret Message Lesson Plan

Resource F. Baseball Lesson Plan

Resource G. Moon Rover Lesson Plan

Resource H. Improvement Log

Resource I. Storm Shelter Lesson Plan

Resource J. Lego Lesson Plan

Resource K. Tennis Shoe Lesson Plan

Resource L. Helmet Lesson Plan

Resource M. Blank Lesson Plan Template 1

Resource N. Blank Lesson Plan Template 2

Resource O. Additional STEM-Infused Activity Ideas


"Reagan shows the importance of STEM-infused learning with much support. The importance and relevancy of the book is very clear. She adequately explained any desired target outcomes and gave steps to achieve them. Many good examples were included . . . An excellent choice to purchase for a school or team."

Marsha Basanda
Monarch Elementary, Simpsonville, SC

"This book does an excellent job of describing a STEM classroom and the basics for beginning to design your own curriculum . . . As a teacher who helped develop the STEM program in the elementary school where I teach, I could understand and relate to the issues and concepts presented in this book. STEM has become the curriculum of the future. This book will help educators not only understand what STEM is, but its importance and how to incorporate it in their classrooms."

Marti Hooten, Early Childhood/Elementary Teacher
Leaphart Elementary School (Leaphart Engineering Arts Program), Columbia, SC

“After reading this book, infusing STEM into your elementary classroom will be as easy as 1,2,3…A, B, C!”

Susan Schipper, Elementary Teacher
Charles Street School, Palmyra, NJ

"Spirited Teachers Eliciting Memories

Miranda's book is an inspiration for the elementary teacher who wants to begin using STEM in the classroom.  She has answered all of the "but what ifs" and the "I'm not sures” and given teachers the answers to the "hows and whys" it will work.  STEM-Infusing the Elementary Classroom is full of useful and fun information to guide teachers in this new, exciting area of education.  Watching the STEM classes in Miranda’s school, while working on their projects, is amazing.  The students work together well, discuss their ideas freely, and take pride in “improving” their projects!   Rigor, relevance, and creativity, ...what more can you ask for?  I cannot wait to use Miranda's book with my Science and Social Studies Methods Class as an inspiration for our preservice teachers!"

Dr. Jill C. Mertz, Adjunct Professor of Education
Maryville College, Maryville, TN

STEM-Infusing the Elementary Classroom blends interdisciplinary STEM lessons for K-5 grades with a guide that shows teachers how to understand basic STEM concepts and apply them across the curriculum. Case histories pair with sample lessons and templates to help teachers integrate these strategies into lesson plans in such a way that existing standards are infused with STEM concepts and results."

Donovan’s Bookshelf

This book was a great fit for the course.

Mrs Melissa Wynn
Early Childhood, Univ Of West Georgia
September 29, 2020

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 2

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483392363

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