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Keeping Students Engaged | Posted in Elementary Science
I think along with Katherine said about engaging and hands-on activities, students interpret and understand new information well when they can connect what they learn back to something they are familiar with in real life. In other words, creating meaningful activities and asking purposeful questions that help students think about the subject outside of school terms is a great tool when teaching. I also like KWL charts and flow maps that can help the teacher evaluate if the students have gotten the "big picture" out of the lesson.
First Day of School Science Activities | Posted in Life Science
I teach only science, so for me, I get the kids for a short time and I am looking to make it pop. In elementary classes, I start with procedures or expectations but I weave that into an inquiry/discovery lesson. Mostly I use units from the Picture Perfect Science books by Karen Ansberry & Emily Morgan. They include lessons on discrepant events like the jumping beans for 4-5th biology (where students learn that not everything is as it seems at a glance) or "Earthlets" where students learn the value of piecing together all the information that they discover. I've used their lesson on the learn'd astronomer or Rachel Carson, "a sense of wonder" in both cases to introduce in a soft-start way that science is more than "doing". It includes pondering, wondering, ruminating over how amazing creation is...and helping students to place themselves inside that story as active participants in the science journey.
Field Trips | Posted in General Science and Teaching
I am currently a student teacher in 2nd grade. We recently took a field trip to our city's Children's Museum. There were tons of different hands on activities for them to engage in over a broad subject matter. However, they did have some wonderful areas for science specifically. One part of our Children's museum has a place called "force works" where the children can use basically a large cauldron that rushes water through the entire exhibit! The children can see how the force of the waves move whatever the put in the cauldron.
In addition to this, there were areas where the children were able to see the life cycle of certain animals, specifically chicks.
These are just a few of the science-related exhibits there are, but it was a great way to get the students more engaged and interested in how science works!
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