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How STEAM Continues in 6-8: Collaboration and Project Making

January 11, 2023 | Heather Palmer Welesko

In 4th and 5th grade this term, STEAM is studying website literacy, researching social justice and people that have impacted positive change on social issues, and as creating presentations to show their thinking. At MSS, we value a integrated curriculum. Our social studies unit links with literacy because students are using Common Lit to research articles and gather leaders in social justice movements, while in literacy, students are mastering the skill of summarizing non fiction articles, defining components of websites, making their own glossaries of terms such as “heading,” “subheading,” “sidebar,” and “keyword,” and then writing summaries on the non fiction articles they research. They have a lot to do! To summarize, students are finding the main idea, supportive evidence, a quote that establishes the main idea, and a conclusion. The work in literacy solidifies the learning in STEAM.

This foundation of integrating curriculum started way back in Kindergarten with The Studio, continued through 2 and 3 with The Shared Space (remember the Notable American Unit? What fun!), and now STEAM. And this work will continue in 6-8. Check out Ms. McCallihan’s blog here on how project work and collaboration enhances student learning.

We look forward to seeing who the students choose to study as social movement leaders in STEAM this unit. We are right in the middle of it! And we are encouraging our students to remember that they themselves are leaders too! We make big and small changes with every action. A big one is our upcoming trip to the Hoboken Senior Center on February 7th and 9th, where we will meet the elders of our community and share our writing! Look out for more info in the upcoming newsletters and ThisWeek.

At MSS, we value collaboration! Everything is connected: science, literacy, writing, service, and faith.

Heather Palmer Welesko

Literacy and Assistant Teacher, Grades 4 & 5

Heather Welesko has taught at Mustard Seed School for nearly a decade as a literacy and assistant teacher. She has taught literature and writing at Kean University and Harold Washington College of Chicago. Heather holds an MFA in writing and poetry from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA in Leadership and Spiritual Formation from Evangelical Seminary.

Ms. Welesko is enthusiastic about professional development, and has advanced training in the Handwriting Without Tears program; the Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading Program, and the Responsive Classroom/ Development Designs Program through Origin. She continues professional develop through The Columbia University Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. She’s passionate about literature, creativity, comprehensive education, and believes strongly in teaching identity and diversity awareness and inclusion.

Ms. Welesko is a poet, artist, and yogi, and is still, always learning.

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