The Expert Generealist
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Posted by: Racheal Mick
STEM knowledge starts with bare basics
Incorporate STEM into storytime
Get local schools to use more library resources
would you like to be a contestant on Jeopardy tonight? We'll
fly you out—no, there's no time to study or prepare—and give you a new
suit to wear. Oh and this show will be broadcast live. That
doesn't sound like fun? You may not feel ready for Jeopardy,
but your knowledge of the world is actually amazing. If a kid starts
talking to you about amphibians or planets in the solar system or
momentum, you know something about all those things.
I'm talking about is background knowledge, and it's a critical part of
learning. Part of what sometimes makes kid logic so funny is
the gaps they have in background knowledge. They know you have to cook a
turkey before you eat it, but should your cooking temperature be 69
degrees or 500 degrees? Should it bake for 10 minutes or 6 hours?
They don't know enough to make an educated guess.
educated guesses starts with education. If the same kid who guessed 10
minutes to bake a turkey can switch off the annoying notifications on
your smartphone, it isn't because they were born with innate smartphone
abilities. The notion of a digital
native is a bunch of hooey. Kids learn technology the same way they
learn to cook: observation, practice, instruction, and so forth.
don't need to be Jeopardy-winners to be able to teach background
knowledge. If we can get better at explaining the basics, we'll
have done a great deal to help students prepare for long-term learning.
Swartzendruber, SWON Technology Educator
STEM starts in storytime
storytime is a great setting to start building STEM knowledge, and you
don't need to dedicate entire programs to STEM to be effective. Create
opportunities to bring STEM concepts into the conversation, and you'll
be building the background knowledge students need to continue their
this into practice at SWON's "Strengthening STEM in Everyday Storytime."
Join Saroj Ghoting, an Early Childhood Literacy Consultant and national
trainer on early literacy for a full day of training. She's teaching
this program twice: October
27th in Dayton and October
28th in Cincinnati. Don't miss your chance to attend.