As a reading teacher I have always wanted to incorporate more critical analysis in my independent work assignments. STEAM projects are a great way to keep your students engaged and thinking on a higher level. This task journal is a great way to incorporate STEAM into your reading class, with hints of Project-Based Learning.
Students are required to research and analyze information based on the needs of their project. Teachers can use any STEAM project and assign any reading they choose to help their students do the research. This is a great way to incorporate multiple subject areas and collaborate with your students' science, math and social studies lessons.
This task journal works great in an upper elementary or middle school classroom. In my own room, I’ve used it as an independent reading task that my students work on while I continue to teach small groups. Because it works with any STEAM project, I can use it throughout the year in any way that fits the needs of my students. For example, if my class is working on cause and effect I can find reading passages with question sets that focus on that skill while still allowing my students to do research about the topic they need for their STEAM project.
Of course, I separate the task into stages over a week or two (depending on the speed and time allowed for my students to work) and give complete instruction on my expectations for their work and how they should complete it for that specific stage of the task.
In my experience, my students are completely engaged when working on this task, and this journal allows for me to view their daily work and hold them accountable for their daily assignment.