I came across some cartoons that show different views on education. These cartoons are great examples of what we DON'T want a unit to look like and I use them as inspiration, along with our readings, to explain what a STEMS^2 unit should look like.
Designed with a purpose and organized using instructional scaffolding strategies. The unit is made to use immediately in the classroom.
A unit should incorporate students' cultural funds of knowledge and provide multiple perspectives.
Flexible enough to evolve with the learning styles and needs of each student because there are multiple ways of learning.
All aspects of STEMS^2, including the arts, should be present and integrated in every lesson (content areas should never be separated).
Other aspects of a unit that should be considered:
Target audience will greatly impact each unit. How often will you see the class? What's the size of your class? How long is each class? What grade-level? Is your unit for a content specific class?
Based off of Glatthorn's The Nature of Curriculum, a unit tends to last about one to three weeks. Lessons are subsets of units that tend to last from about 20-60 minutes. When I develop lessons, my ideal time for a lesson would be about 45 minutes.
The pictures below were taken by Kaipo Kīʻaha
I bit Manaiakalani* again about a month ago and just like my Uncle Billy says, “I’m hooked” on waʻa and sailing. I can’t get enough of it and to be honest, it’s consuming my life; waʻa is my work, my curriculum, my free time.
I’m lucky to be training today, that hoʻokele waʻa (navigation) still exists. It’s all because of Papa Mau. Without him and his decision to give his knowledge away to others outside of his culture, I wouldn’t have a job and I definitely wouldn’t be doing what I love to do. Every person that I’ve met on the waʻa has taught me something, from sailing skills to life lessons. I’m grateful that people choose to share their knowledge with me. There’s been some pretty good stories too.
Along this journey, I found my waʻa/hula/teaching/Kānehūnāmoku sister, Darienne. We literally stay on the phone for hours at a time talking about anything related to the waʻa and she’s positively influenced me to look at every sail with an education point of view. Which by the way, are all related to STEMS2**. Here’s a snapshot of the long list of all the waʻa related projects we have in mind:
We use the inspiration we experience on the waʻa into the lessons we teach and the curriculum we develop to further support the concepts that students are learning in school. Can’t wait to share these lessons with all of you! Just amazing, the things that the kūpuna (ancestors) already knew!
*Referring to the constellation, Maui’s fishhook
**The name of my grad program: science, technology, engineering, math, social sciences and sense of place
Kumu Kaʻai previously taught at Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy and Hawaiian Studies at Wilson Elementary School to K-5 students.