In an environment intentionally designed to provide brain-building experiences for children, the educator is available to children when they need guidance and assistance with new ideas. The teacher’s role is to help create the learning environment and offer support when needed to help children develop new skills and facilitating interplay between children and the environment. The adult is not the only source of input and exploration for children. A well-planned environment will provide children with an array of learning experiences. When such an environment is combined with intentional, brain-building learning activities, children have the best of all possible worlds.
To learn more about how experiences build brain architecture see this video from Harvard University.
Brain Building for STEAM includes the following:
Science is a way of thinking. Science is observing and experimenting, making predictions, sharing discoveries, asking questions, and wondering how things work.
Technology is a way of doing. Technology is using tools, being inventive, identifying problems, and making things work.
Engineering is a way of doing. Engineering is solving problems, using a variety of materials, designing and creating, and building things that work.
Art is a way of creating. When it comes to art, it goes beyond aesthetics. The ‘A’ includes the liberal arts as well, meaning language arts, social studies, physical arts, fine arts, and music.
Math is a way of measuring. Math is sequencing (1, 2, 3, 4…), patterning (1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2…), and exploring shapes (triangle, square, circle), volume (holds more or less), and size (bigger, less than).
The Language of Color
Emotions of Color
"This one makes me feel like a fire truck!"
"Emerald is happy!"
Letters in Colors
Colors in Clay
Mixing Primary Colors with Non-Newtonian Fluid
Mixing Primary Colors with Centrifugal Force
Mixing Colors with Oil and Water
Color and Geometry Collage
Snowflakes with Geometry, Color, and Light
Suncatchers with Geometry, Color, and Light
Exploring the Light Cube
Translucent or Opaque?
Colors in Geology
Translucent Watercolors and Opaque Tempera Paints
Rainbow ABC Yoga
Easy Cheesy Kale Chips
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Take out the stems of the kale and tear into smaller pieces then wash and dry in salad spinner. Add kale to a large mixing bowl and drizzle with oil. Use hands to massage the kale to soften its texture and disperse the oil. Set aside.
- Add 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast and 1/2 tsp salt to the kale and toss to distribute, working it into the grooves so it's thoroughly coated.
- Divide kale between 2 large baking sheets (or more if increasing batch size) and spread into an even layer, making sure the pieces aren't overlapping to ensure crispiness. You may need to bake them in two batches depending on size of baking sheets.
- Sprinkle the kale with 1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast for extra flavor and bake for 15 minutes. Then remove from oven and toss/flip kale to ensure even baking.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until chips are crispy and golden brown. Watch carefully to ensure they don't burn. Let cool slightly before enjoying.
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
Spoon into muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool and top with fresh grated lemon zest.