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Teaching Science to Kindergarten in a Short Time Frame
Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:05 PM
The district that I am currently working in only gives me 15 minutes a day and three days a week to teach science to my kindergarteners. I'm having a really hard time making the lessons meaningful to my students in such a short time period. is there any strategies or lessons that i could use in my classroom that would make those 15 minutes as engaging as possible?
1625 Activity Points
Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:11 PM
I agree that you should incorporate your science into other subject areas to allow more time for science to be addressed. STEM lessons could definitely help you learn to incorporate many subject areas into one lesson.
155 Activity Points
Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:42 PM
Try integrating science into other parts of your day as well as other subject areas. There is always some sort of way to tie it in. Make the most of your 15 minutes and provide a fun, interactive, and engaging lesson that the kids will love and remember. You could try and make week long lessons as well, working on them over the course of the three days.
180 Activity Points
Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:03 PM
Hello! Fifteen minutes only? That doesn't seem like enough time at all to teach kindergartners science! I am a college student working toward my BA in Elementary Education but I think that I would try to incorporate science in different subjects. Science is everywhere. However, if you really only have 15 minutes, I would try to bring up something engaging like a non-fictional story for the children to read and then bring up examples throughout the day about the lesson. This way, they are eager to learn more the next day about that subject.
280 Activity Points
Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:14 PM
Integrating science into other subject areas would give you the opportunity to actually have the students engage in experiments. 15 minutes are not enough to have a meaningful science lesson I think integrating it would be the most beneficial.
1275 Activity Points
Thu Apr 07, 2016 2:19 PM
It does not get much better for fourth graders either! They get thirty-five minutes a day maybe three times a week. By the time you get the content taught, it does not leave any time for experiments or other hands on activites.
830 Activity Points
Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:07 PM
My friend had this similar problem as she is also in Kindergarten. Like everyone else, I would try to integrate the lesson as much as possible with other subject. For example, during reading you can read a book about a certain topic (plants) and then during writing, have the students write about the book. The children can describe characteristics (have, need, and give) and you can create a brace map and add on to it.
645 Activity Points
Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:20 PM
Hope everything is going well in your classroom. I am a student teacher in an elelementary school in Texas. My cooperative teacher has the same problem. She incorporates science into reading,math and social studies. She even uses science concepts to do word study. She may start with a book that regards a science concept and introduce it as a read aloud.The she CAN use the same book to look for dipthongs. Hope this can give you some ideas for your classroom.
915 Activity Points
Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:32 PM
How about trying cross learning activities or small group videos. There are some good science videos on youtube.com
1020 Activity Points
Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:39 PM
That is so unfortunate that you are only allowed 15 minutes 3 days a week to teach science. I am not an experienced teacher yet, but from what I have learned in my science methods class is to try to incorporate different subjects into one lesson. For example you could teach a science lesson during language arts or writing time. I recently saw a lesson on apples that incorporated science, math, and language arts and it lasted a whole week. Good luck!
485 Activity Points
Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:27 PM
I agree this is a hard task, especially with the little guys!
890 Activity Points
Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:03 PM
If you go to the Get Caught Engineering link you can find a bunch of great lessons that could be integrated into lessons during other parts of your day. This way they are still getting important science skills while also working on other skills!
95 Activity Points
Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:19 PM
The school I am in is the same way. To get the most out of your 15 mins you have to get the lesson going right away. Having the students in small groups will help with this because they can get more in depth with what they are learning than in a whole group. Also by having the students in a small group you can walk around and monitor their science learning. Students love being in centers and workstations so allowing them to do this for science will help the kids be excited and engaged.
955 Activity Points
Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:35 PM
I would definitely agree with the other posts about integrating it into other things. I student teach with kindergarteners and there are times when we are so behind on science because of this. My cooperating teacher has a science station in the literacy work stations that the students use every day!
585 Activity Points
Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:30 PM
it is a really hard situation. I hope you have already solved the problem!
350 Activity Points
Yesterday, 1:24 AM
Hello Jennifer I am currently taking a how to teach science in elementary class in the university and the best possible way to make more time to teach your students science is by incorporating science into the other subjects that you teach. Science is everywhere and is a part of our everyday lives and can be possible to be taught everyday and in fun ways as well.
180 Activity Points
Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:54 AM
I'd say do your best to do things in those 15 minute increments that are related to science that is integrated in other areas of your curriculum. For example, if you read a picture book about space (even if it is fiction) do a movement activity in your 15 minutes that has to do with space (a human solar system model, perhaps). Do you have the option of combining your small increments of time to do a longer investigation?
Also, I would recommend setting up experiments with your students that they can observe going on in the classroom even when it is not "science time", that way you can spend your short increments discussing observations and taking measurements. Some ideas might be, butterfly life cycles from chrysalis to butterfly and then release the insects, grow crystals, grow different kinds of plants, set up investigation centers where students can free play with concepts like sound, structure building, etc.
These are just quick ideas, but I am sure others have more. I think integration and setting up longer term "observable" things in the classroom is the way to go in this situation.
1630 Activity Points
Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:52 PM
I agree with Sarah too! I feel like you can really weave science in, especially with books, daily rituals, fun quick experiments, and longer experiments that they visit each day (like sprouting a bean and monitoring its growth).
I have had a lot of success with science-based animal stories, where they are learning about different animal behaviors and acting them out (nesting birds, hibernating bears, foraging raccoons, etc). Also having weather checks being a part of the morning routine could weave some meteorology into the day as well, and give them an understanding of seasonal changes (especially if you pick a deciduous tree to observe changes year-round).
Here is a website with some fun experiment ideas: http://www.education.com/activity/kindergarten/science/
Some may work in a 15 minute block, and some may be good to start and then work on a little bit each day!
15 minutes is definitely not much time, so I totally understand the stress--hopefully some of this helps weave it in other places!
20 Activity Points
Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:21 PM
I really like the options you gave on how to take advantage of those 15 minutes to teach science. I hadn't thought of including science centers throughout the day and then discussing it with them. I would also say to switch around the centers every two weeks and incorporate one science center with the weekly theme for science that way it reinforces what you teach.
810 Activity Points
Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:37 PM
I definitely agree with Sarah, as well as Tara below. I think it is such a great idea to integrate science in other subject areas! I think it would be a great resource to create a book box for science related texts, whether they be fiction or non-fiction. These book boxes could be placed in the classroom as centers. A possibility for the writing center might be to use these book boxes for writing extensions or prompts. I love the idea that these resources could be revisited throughout the year (not simply placed back in a closet after a particular unit is over!)
670 Activity Points
Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:01 PM
I agree 100% with Sarah. I think your best bet of getting the most out of your science time is definitely integrating science into other subjects. I think writing about their observations is a great way to get students to think about science while still working on writing and practicing on using their sight words as well as reading books on the topic during whole group, partner, or independent reading.
1255 Activity Points
Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:07 PM
I'm sorry to hear they only give you that amount of time. Your best bet is to make the most out of it like you've been doing!
1220 Activity Points
Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:28 PM
Completely agree with the above, cross the curriculum using PBL!
2125 Activity Points
Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:52 AM
I understand your frustration I am finding that we have very little time to do science with our fifth graders and I am struggling to find ways to make connections with them in such a short time frame. I agree with Sarah about reading them books and I would also do some quick demonstrations that gets them excited and helps them to make a connection from the book you read and the demonstration since you do not have time to do activities with them. I think I will try the observation idea and set some different experiments up in the room that we can watch and make observations about over a span of a few weeks so that maybe they can make connections that way. If anyone has some ideas to help with the fifth grade level on such a short time span also that would be appreciated.
3030 Activity Points
Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:51 PM
Maybe you could perform science demonstration. I've seen many ten-minute demonstrations in my senior education courses at my university. You can demonstrate the ocean in a bottle Step 1: Fill your bottle 3/4 of the way with water and add food coloring.
Step 2: Add Vegetable Oil. Step 3: Have the student observe what happens when you shake the bottle. All you will need is water, blue dye, vegetable oil, and an empty water bottle. You can use this to teach the different zones in the ocean or to tach about waves in the ocean. Hope that helps!
1225 Activity Points
Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:24 PM
In the kindergarten classes I've been in, the teachers always try to make their science lessons into a catchy song or a fun dance. I don't know if this may help but it's an idea.
2655 Activity Points
Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:59 PM
I think this is a great idea because having movement in a lesson keeps their attention for a longer time than sitting there and lecturing! Great way of having active learning while teaching science.
1215 Activity Points
Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:27 PM
Do you know any links or somewhere I can find examples of these songs for Science? I think using songs is a great idea but I am never really sure what resources to use to find great ones!
190 Activity Points
Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:04 AM
Since they are in kindergarten students should have the opportunity to touch things, smell, observe wake their senses with providing objects they can manipulate. Conversations are going to be rich when students have the opportunity to answer open ended questions. Also incorporate science into reading. Students homework can be to observe their environment maybe a garden and can come back to share their ideas.
655 Activity Points
Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:41 PM
I agree with Celina. They should really have opportunities where they can make use of their five senses. I think that it is a great idea to have the students observe outside for homework things that they notice in their environment. I also think that you should try your best to incorporate science in other content area as much as you can. Most importantly try to make the best out of the time that you have with them. Like Celina said, have them explore things that can be manipulated and create discussions that involve inquiry based learning.
820 Activity Points
Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:41 PM
I would try to integrate science into the other content areas. Science can be a great subject to teach nonfiction texts and text features. You can also integrate science into math or art. I did a unit where i had students graph different leave shapes and colors for math and do a leaf rubbing as an art project. Science notebooks can also be a great way to integrate Science into CCSS.
705 Activity Points
Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:36 PM
I would suggest to integrate your science lesson with another topic. You kill two birds with one stone this way, you get more time for science while also teaching another topic.
1345 Activity Points
Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:02 PM
I have to integrate science into all my other subject areas because there is never enough time!
1265 Activity Points
Fri May 01, 2015 1:04 AM
Teaching science in kindergarten is difficult when you don't have the allotted time. When I was student teaching in a TK class, we did not have any time for science. However, my master teacher would often integrate science into everyday activities whenever he could. For example, one time when we were lining up he noticed that the leaves on the trees had fallen off and changed colors. He took time out of our usual routine to have the students line up and go around the tree, and then talked about the specific parts of the tree (trunk, leaves, branches) as well as questioned students as to why they believed the leaves had fallen off (autumn, seasons, etc.).
340 Activity Points
Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:03 AM
I can definitely agree with you in not having sometimes enough time for science since the main focus is math and reading for the little ones. I'm a students teacher and I have been able to noticed. So one of the things you mentioned to integrate science into other subjects sounds like a great idea.
760 Activity Points
Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:52 PM
I had the same issue, and it was such a difficult task. The only way I managed was by not having the students do any kind of work at their seat. I did the whole thing at the whole group carpet and made everything whole group.
While there were some really interesting things I would have liked to do, it just was not going to happen. To help make sure I taught them successfully, I usually either showed a little BrainPop, read a book, or we danced to a song and sang it about the topic.
I did a mini lesson on insects, which included learning about their parts. So one day they watched a BrainPop and learned about it, and then we labeled a bug on the SmartBoard. We finished off by dancing to "Head, Thorax, Abdomen." The following times we just revisited what we had learned to see if they grasped it. On the last day, we did a little game that I had found online.
2245 Activity Points
Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:55 AM
I feel your pain, Jennifer and all teachers who have 15 minutes to teach science. Such a shame when research shows that young children are capable, and knowledge of science is crucial for participation in society and to maximize the nation’s human capital.
“We are fortunate to work in a time when the preschool mind is celebrated for what it can do rather than what it cannot do. Preschoolers were once thought to be conceptually limited, but research has since demonstrated that they are able to think and talk about many science-related topics.” Gelman, Brennenman, Macdonald, and Roman, 2010. Preschool Pathways to Science. Brookes Publishing.
“The Importance of Teaching Science Well: Knowledge of science can enable us to think critically and frame productive questions. With out scientific knowledge, we are wholly dependent on others as “experts.” With scientific knowledge, we are empowered to become participants rather than merely observers.” Michaels S., Shouse A. W. and Schweingruber H. A. 2008. Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11882/ready-set-science-putting-r...ork-in-k-8
“How can society use knowledge about early childhood development to maximize the nation's human capital and ensure the ongoing vitality of its democratic institutions…?"
"Recommendation 1— Resources on a par with those focused on literacy and numerical skills should be devoted to translating the knowledge base on young children's emotional, regulatory, and social development into effective strategies for fostering: (1) the development of curiosity, self-direction, and persistence in learning situations; (2) the ability to cooperate, demonstrate caring, and resolve conflict with peers; and (3) the capacity to experience the enhanced motivation associated with feeling competent and loved. …”
Pages 5-6, Shonkoff J. P., and D.A. Phillips, eds. Executive Summary From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. 2000. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. http://www.nap.edu/catalog/9824/from-neurons-to-neighborhood...evelopment
What to do? Keep asking for ideas from the larger early childhood community and trying some strategies, including those offered here. I agree that incorporating literacy and mathematics as part of a science exploration is a natural fit—children love to show and tell what they see and think! Demonstrations may be fun and “cover” a topic, but don’t often uncover the ideas children already hold about it. Children will learn more if they stay on one topic or do many short activities related to a single concept over weeks and months than if new concepts or topics are raised every day or week.
5780 Activity Points
Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:18 AM
I think that the best way to teach your students science with only fifteen minutes is using problem based learning approaches. You could do that through quick STEM challenges. From my experience, STEM challenges are a quick and fun way to briefly introduce science topics while engaging students at the same time! Also, you could always incorporate science into other subjects, as well. For example, if you are teaching literacy, have the students read a science article, etc. I hope this helps!
180 Activity Points
Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:15 PM
A good way to teach science even though there isn't much designated time is to integrate science standards with ELA and math lessons!
170 Activity Points
Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:08 PM
Hi, I am a student teacher!
1565 Activity Points
Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:12 PM
HEllo I am in student teaching.
1285 Activity Points
Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:24 PM
My daughter is in 1st grade and they only do science 20 minutes a day 2 to 3 days a week. This is very sad to me as i wonder what she can learn in this time frame. I have spoken to her teacher and she has stated she loves science and tries to incorporate it in as many lessons and subjects as possible. She also told me the time she does get to teach science she makes a point to make it meaningful and really get things done.
1590 Activity Points
Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:49 PM
In my student teaching I need to do science lessons as well. They are short lessons for kindergarteners and I also am looking for ideas on what to teach or how to teach it. I do not know what STEM lessons are but I definitely want to look into something like that. Thanks for the question, the responses are very helpful.
420 Activity Points
Wed Sep 23, 2015 8:34 AM
My name is Dr. George Mehler and I am a science methods professor at Temple University. I have been developing a Youtube channel for science demonstrations that can be incorporated into the classroom. The channel is entirely free and has hundreds of videos!
Here's the link, I hope this helps!
Dr. George Mehler Ed.D.,
695 Activity Points
Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:32 AM
3165 Activity Points
Sun Oct 11, 2015 11:37 PM
Sorry to hear that. Integration is a great idea.
890 Activity Points
Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:00 PM
I agree that science should be integrated into other content areas. It's a shame that science isn't even being taught every day in elementary schools. The question is how to do it? Does anyone has any unique or interesting ideas to incorporate science into the other subjects?
995 Activity Points
Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:56 PM
I am currently a student getting my Bachelor’s Degree on Elementary Education. While doing my field experience hours, I have noticed my cooperating teacher has no time to teach science or social studies. Which I agree with all of you is a shame, when science teaches you to make observations and communicate with your peers, and social studies teaches you how to become better citizens through the history of our country. These two subject areas are being left behind and reading and math are taking over, when the technology that we use to create these tests include science knowledge.
3000 Activity Points
Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:08 PM
These are some great suggestions! it really helped me with my pre service teaching!
945 Activity Points
Tue Nov 17, 2015 3:55 PM
These are great resources and ideas!
1570 Activity Points
Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:09 PM
The school district that I "work" has a 45 minute slot for science. I feel that it is an okay amount of time for simplistic content, such as water, rock, and soil properties, but for content such as earth and space maybe a 90 minute slot would be more efficient for learning time.
1135 Activity Points
Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:11 PM
theses are great resources and fun activities.
Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:40 PM
405 Activity Points
Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:20 AM
The school district I have been placed at to student teach also allots about 20 minutes for science teaching three days per week. The other two days are for teaching social studies. I have read some posts other users have posted here and they have been very helpful. I would love to integrate science content in reading and writing. I would definitely integrate science topics when introducing non-fiction books in a reading lesson.
1190 Activity Points
Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:28 PM
1160 Activity Points
Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:47 PM
I would definitely agree that integration is most likely the key to providing students with meaningful science experiences. My district only allows for 20 minutes a day of science as well, which is extremely short for 5E lessons. Most of the time the teachers have to divide one lesson up into several days.
1985 Activity Points
Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:50 PM
I think that the 15 minutes should be used on a hands on activity and then look for ways to incorporate the "fluff" throughout the day.
1075 Activity Points
Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:05 PM
Only fifteen minutes to teach science!? This is why these kids get to higher grade levels and have so much trouble retaining all the information they bombard them with. I would integrate science as much as possible into other subjects if possible. That way, your fifteen minutes turns into a little bit more time.
740 Activity Points
Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:17 PM
Time is a big thing i stuggle with. THis is a great post
535 Activity Points
Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:33 PM
It unfortunate that only 15 minutes is designated for Science in your district. It is really hard to make a lesson so short and still provide the children with a meaningful learning experience.
1015 Activity Points
Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:47 PM
My suggestion would be to try to incorporate science with other subjects. One lesson I observed, the teacher incorporated math and science. She had a lesson on mixing primary colors to make secondary colors. I think it is also good to try and incorporate non-fiction texts as well as fiction.
1805 Activity Points
Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:18 PM
I have observed how some teachers double dip science and reading. This can be done when going over informational texts. They talk about the features, but also read the book. An example was, the environment of wild life which also leads to weather and climate, geographic features, etc.
1475 Activity Points
Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:53 PM
I agree that you should try to to incooperate science in your lessons. The best way to do so would be to use an article that students are learning about and use it for literacy. At some point you can teach science. For example, have students do a little experiment when
495 Activity Points
Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:46 AM
I am student teaching kindergarten next semester and am very curious as to what kind of science instruction we will do doing. Can anyone give me the broad overview of what kindergarten science content focuses on? Thanks.
630 Activity Points
Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:27 PM
The school I am student teaching in has a limited time also in science instruction so they relay on integration. Science and Social Studies lessons are usually combined to give more time for lesson every day instead of just couple times a week. I have focused on researching more STEM lessons because there is more information in the lessons but still can be condensed in time or have good breaking points to scatter across the time we have for science. I was actually able to include science in a math lesson I did over measurement. It took effort but seems that is one of the only ways to get science instruction time in the classroom.
1260 Activity Points
Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:27 PM
At that age, I would say anything that the students get their hands into. Inquiry based science that the students are able literally put their hands in to the science while they are learning about. With only fifteen minutes you really have to focus on what the kids can take away from the science, instead of focusing on the methods of vocabulary. How this helps some.
2840 Activity Points
Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:17 PM
You could incorporate your lesson into other subject areas. For example, you could have the students during reading time, read about science. Or during math, create a lesson using science based lesson material but also incorporate the math objective in the lesson (measurement, etc).
You could also use project based learning, and have a main science objective for the week and each day for the 15 minutes the students perform small experiments or investigations and at the end of the week, the objective could be met.
I hope this helps!
870 Activity Points
Sat Apr 09, 2016 7:28 PM
It's really hard to teach all 5E's in 45 minutes. As a student teacher I am only allow to teach the lesson in 45 minutes and I just feel that most of my students' still feel confused about the lesson at the end of the day. My students have science once a week for 30 minutes and they have it as enrichment.
940 Activity Points
Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:03 PM
Children often need to engage with the same idea or concept over many weeks to become comfortable in their understanding. Could you break your lesson into sections to deliver over a month? Just the engage portion could take at least 45 minutes!
You are to be applauded for helping them build their understanding in the short time you are provided.
5780 Activity Points
Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:32 PM
It is a great idea to try and incorporate science topics into other subject areas. By doing this it gives you more time for science instruction. Some other ideas would be to cover the main topics and do them in a manner which is brief and engaging. I have found that when teaching science students love to go outside and explore things on their own. Lastly, it could be helpful to find fun and informational science clips on discovery learning.
805 Activity Points
Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:17 AM
I think that the best thing you can do and to integrate science with different subjects. You can make the lessons fun and engaging. Good Luck!
1125 Activity Points
Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:28 PM
Definitely try to incorporate science in other lessons such as reading. The students could read books about gravity, for example, and that could also be a science lesson along with a reading lesson. This will widen your time for a science lesson. Maybe read a science related book and then in science class do an activity about the book that could also be a reading comprehension activity. I believe that this will help you a lot with your 15 minute window. Try talking to your principal about this. Good luck!
3690 Activity Points
Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:38 PM
Being that you are only able to teach science for 15 minutes each of the three days, I would definitely try and focus on one specific topic for each lesson. For example, if you are doing a lesson on energy, I would focus on one type of energy each session that the students should know about for their particular grade level and have them master each concept before moving on to the next one. In addition, I would try to implement crosscutting concepts in which you can integrate these science lessons into other lessons, such as reading comprehension. By doing this, students would not feel as rushed to learn new concepts. If you present kindergarteners with too much information all at once, they would not be able to comprehend what it is you are trying to teach them. I hope these strategies help you in making this time to teach science as engaging as possible.
3385 Activity Points
Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:41 PM
Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:35 PM
It is almost never enough time to teach, yet alone teach science. It takes more then 15 mins a day for 3 days to actual teach a full science lesson and the students are able to get engage and explore etc. Sadly, teachers have to make the small amount of time work, where the students can get the best out of the minimal amount of time they are given. I wholeheartedly agree with other post that there needs to be more time given to teach a full effective science lesson to kindergarten and beyond.
2745 Activity Points
Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:12 AM
15 minutes three times a week?! In my opinion that is so inaffective. I believe teaching 30 minutes twice a week is more affective than 15 minutes three times a week because you have more time to explain to do an activity and so on. I have to agree that this is when you have to get creative and start incorporating science in any other lesson or subject! good luck!
465 Activity Points
Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:56 AM
I definitely agree that 15 minutes is not enough to teach a complete and thorough science lesson. Unless it's like a quick explanation over something that has already been discussed or something to set off the topic then 15 minutes should be enough. But when you mix science with reading or math you kill two birds with one stone and most of time it ends up being more interesting and it grabs the attention of a variety of students at the same time.
235 Activity Points
Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:05 PM
My name is Dr. George Mehler I am a professor of science methods at Temple University. I have been developing a YouTube channel that is home to hundreds of science video demonstrations that are free, fun, and easy to use. These cover a variety of topics that young learners should know before they enter high school. These videos range from 2-8 minutes and can easily be incorporated or recreated in the classroom. A quick and easy way to get big ideas across successfully. STEM does not have to take long, but it is so important to include it. Please subscribe to our channel as we regularly release new videos!
Best of Luck,
The FunScienceDemos team
Dr. George Mehler Ed.D., Temple University
Jared Hottenstein Central Bucks School District
Sun May 08, 2016 2:50 PM
After reading through some of the replies to this concern, I saw that most people gave the same answers. 15 minutes a day for science may not seem t be enough at the kindergarten level. However, the beauty of teaching is that it allows you to mix different subjects together! You can incorporate science in almost about anything from math to social studies to language to arts. Also, the internet is full of resources that could be helpful in working around this time frame for a solely scientific lesson. There are many resources that could be used to help you deal with this strict formality.
3515 Activity Points
Tue May 31, 2016 11:50 AM
How about intergrating reading and science together. Choose a reading story with a science background "butterflies" for example. I would then have read the story discuss the cycle of the butterfly and have a hands on activity for the kids. Example: Use jelly beans for the eggs, gummy worms for the larva, peanut for the pupa and then use pretzels for the wings of the butterfly, gummy worms for the throax, Twizzlers for the anttennae.
325 Activity Points
Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:31 PM
Integrating the reading, or listening and oral language, with actual science observations is a great way to help children make sense of the science concepts and also meet literacy standards. It can be fun for children to do a craft about their actual observations of a live caterpillar as it changes into a pupa/chrysalis and then emerges as an adult.
Reading a book about the process will help them reflect on what they observed.
Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:32 PM
Dear Early Childhood Educator,
Wanted to remind you about the next NSTA virtual conference, taking place on Wednesday, June 29, from 10 am to 1 pm ET. The conference will be recorded for those unable to attend the live sessions on the 29th. All registered to the conference will have access to all the archives.
Website to register:
The conference targets teachers in grades PreK to 6th. It features two NSTA Press authors, Peggy Ashbrook and Christine Royce and the content of their books. Information about the conference is below. Please forward to teachers you know.
Engaging Students in Science: PreK-6
Wednesday, June 29, from 10 am to 1 pm ET
Topics covered (teachers select from 2 parallel sessions):
Science Learning in the Early Years: Activities for PreK-2
Teaching Science Through Trade Books, Grades 3-6
Registration (includes cost of 1 e-book):
NSTA members: $63
(Use promo code SAVE10VC and save $10 on your registration cost)
All participants receive access to all the archives. Participants may purchase a certificate of attendance and participation for an additional fee ($9.95).
Website to register:
32621 Activity Points
Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:23 PM
Try to integrate your science into your other lessons. Integration is super helpful when trying to teach kindergartners!
655 Activity Points
Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:23 PM
15 minutes is all we are allowed in our district as well, but like everyone has stated... Finding ways to incorporate science throughout the day is key. During lunch I ask my students about their milk carton, and how much they think it holds. They are only kinders, so it is beyond their understanding to know that there are fl. oz. on the milk carton, but that can always come later. Also, using books during read aloud, and weather when graphing are a few ways to help incorporate science! It is a subject that can be used across the curriculum in many creative ways. I enjoyed reading this feed and gathering new ideas.. Another one is at recess, or if you have windows in the classroom, doing short observations about the changing leaves, and the seasons. There are many ways to be creative. I love teaching science to the younger ones, especially since there are so many opportunities for a hands on learning experience, but what I hate is the 15 minutes a day that can easily get eaten up by other areas!
1615 Activity Points
Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:45 PM
If I were you, I will teach a topic for a week, and you can design a short activity that you can work or interact with students everyday in that 15 mins. 5E lesson plan will a easy way for you break down your weekly topic to daily activities.
CHIEN HUI CHEN
840 Activity Points
Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:22 AM
In order to remedy this issue of having very little time to teach such important concepts, I think it is crucial for the teacher to make learning meaningful and be able to manage time efficiently. I would also try to link those lessons to whatever lessons precede and follow it by making smooth transitions that incorporate the material learned.
350 Activity Points
Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:14 PM
If you are teaching kinder it may be as simple as performing a quick experiment and recording the children's observations on chart paper.
745 Activity Points
Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:36 PM
I am currently a student teacher and I have realized that in the primary grades it is very rare that science lessons are taught because teachers spend most of their time on reading and math skills. Would anyone have any ideas on different ways that science can possibly be incorporated through another subject ?
280 Activity Points
Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:05 PM
I agree with Marlene. Integration. Science is everywhere. I think many trade books can be used to teach science concepts. It is those teachable moments that just happen....every 15 minutes.....that make learning fun!
5795 Activity Points
Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:14 AM
I agree with you, Cara, that trade books are a wonderful way to extend children's science learning. After they engage in hands-on experiences, they will have some understanding of the vocabulary that they later hear in the books. They will not get as much out of the book if they don't do the hands-on piece first, especially if they are dual language learners and just beginning to learn the language the book is written in.
The "Teaching Through Trade Books" column in the NSTA journal Science and Children is an excellent source for identifying quality science books and activities that go with them. The column has two levels of activities: one for younger and one for older elementary students.
Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:42 PM
I would implement my science lessons into other content areas. Science lessons can be used to teach language arts, phonics, math, social studies, vocabulary, and even handwriting. You could build an entire day off of a science topic. The lesson would be fun for you and fun and engaging for your students. The content will be learned better by being presented in different content areas.
1025 Activity Points
Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:23 AM
I completely understand your frustration! I am placed in a school where they don't even have a planned science time. My CT teaches science "if she has time". However, I agree that 15 minutes is a very short time frame to implement an entire lesson, especially one that is inquiry based or includes experiments! Maybe, you could plan a 45 minutes lesson on one topic and then teach that one lesson over your three day, 15 minute periods. I also agree with everyone above that implementing science in other areas would be helpful. Maybe if you had introduced the content through a trade book in reading, your 15 minute science time could be more productive because you and your students can hit the ground running. I am also wondering if maybe you can rearrange your three, 15 minute sessions into a one day 45 minute session?
1500 Activity Points
Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:32 PM
I think that you can still teach Kindergartners meaningful science lessons in that time period. You can show them introductory lessons to what they will be learning through grade school. The problem with Kindergarten is that they have so much to learn in regards to every subject. I also think you can do some cross curricular teachings to in corporate the science into Math and Literacy. That will probably be the best way to add more Science into the class.
595 Activity Points
Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:55 PM
You can try to incorporate reading into other subjects like reading. You can also try to create hands-on activities that can be broken down into three days. So one day you can do a small part, then the next time you can start the lesson where yall stopped it.
855 Activity Points
Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:13 PM
I agree that you can implement Science into other content areas and other content areas into Science. This will help to make those fifteen minutes you are provided with really count. While learning about mixtures, you could read a story to them such as "Mouse Paint." This would incorporate reading into your science lesson. Your students could also write predictions about what you are teaching and this would bring Language Arts into your Science lesson. This way you are teaching across an interdisiplinary platform, but still obliging to your school's fifteen minute limit for science.
845 Activity Points
Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:00 PM
This is definetly a short period of time! I always taught 45 minutes went by really fast, but 15?! I've had experience with third graders so I can't image teaching science to kindergarteners in such a short time frame. I applaud your dedication to teaching science with the kindergarteners.
705 Activity Points
Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:34 PM
Through hands-on science activities like planting seeds and recording the growth of plants, kindergarten learn how to observe and record scientific data. It is better if you make the activities more exciting so as to make them engaged. Teach the science in a story time so that they remember and find it interesting. http://ukessaywriters.blogspot.com/
50 Activity Points
Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:33 PM
That's a very short time frame to teach science even 30 minutes is too short I feel for kids to really explore. I feel as though there should be far more learning experiences.
555 Activity Points
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:44 PM
Science is a creative and fun subject! I think that it would be beneficial to integrate science into other areas, such as Math, Reading, Technology, and Engineering. Science is everywhere, it is a creative process that students can take part of without even realizing it. I would use books, and discuss the students' past experiences involving science(common everyday experiences: weather, baking, observing). The students will be surprised, and begin to look for science in their everyday lives. I would also have a science discovery and inquiry area set up in your classroom so that anytime a student needs to take a break or finishes their work early, allow them to explore at the science table. I think you should just do your best to incorporate science and concepts as much as you can and expose your Kindergartners with as much science as possible throughout the day.
Hang in there!
225 Activity Points
Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:47 PM
Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:49 AM
I am a pre-service teacher and am about to begin a Practicum in a Kindergarten classroom. I look forward to seeing what resources (time and otherwise) are allotted for Science instruction. Judging from the responses so far, I can see that your struggle is not unique!
350 Activity Points
Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:58 PM
Maybe you can talk about plant parts and their functions since its only 15 minutes and 3 times a week, you can go over it in a week I believe. The second week they can do a small activity and they can name atleast two parts each.
4135 Activity Points
Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:31 PM
You can always try to integrate the science lesson into another subject! Kindergarteners learn best when they are given hands on activities rather then showing them a video or something similar to that. Maybe do a read aloud and one hand one activity!
610 Activity Points
Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:34 PM
You can always integrate your science lesson into another subject! Kindergartners learn best when they are doing a hands on activity. Maybe try doing a small read aloud followed by an activity.
Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:24 PM
Kanwal, yes! Science can be incorporated into other content.
510 Activity Points
Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:36 PM
15 minutes a day of science is not enough.
I would recommend integrating science into your lessons.
Another suggestion might be to do a lesson that would take up the three days.
575 Activity Points
Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:07 PM
Its ridiculous to know that in today classrooms, some school districts only allow the teachers to have 15 minutes in a day to teach a science lesson. Even though this is a sad phenomenon that these type of situation can occur daily in any types of classroom and in any types of subjects, the teachers are the one who has to struggle with the facts and work with what they have and can do. A great idea to incorporate a science lesson plan into a short 15 minute time frame is to teach the lesson that is broken down across the whole week or when times allowed. Since there are only a 15 minute time frame to teach a lesson plan, another great way for one to teach science is to incorporate it with teaching another subject whenever possible. For example, when teaching about an informational text, instead of using a reading text, one can rely on a science text. And when teaching unit graphing, instead of using a math text or information, one can get the data from a force or motion activity. Regardless to what the teachers have to do, we would always have to be creative and just go with it.
1235 Activity Points
Tue May 02, 2017 5:56 PM
I agree with others who suggested integrating science into other subjects. This could be successful if you tried integrating science with a reading or math lesson. Spreading a lesson throughout the week might also be a good idea and would make it easier for kindergartners as they are not feeling overloaded on information.
545 Activity Points
Sun May 07, 2017 10:04 PM
I am definitely agreeing with everyone when they say to try to integrate science into other subjects. A common subject that teachers like to combine is science and math, so maybe try to come up with a lesson that will be able to teach both that way you have more time to teach the children science as well as being able to teach the students a good math lesson. You could also try to make it so that you could take the time to give the students one day teaching them and the next time a day of hands on experimenting. That way they could get a good lesson on the first day and reinforcement of what they learned on the second day. I hope this helps!
3585 Activity Points
Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:15 PM
Wow, that is short. Though, make that 15 minutes longer by integrating Math and Reading. For example, If you have a read aloud book, you could do a shared Reading and discussion as the intro, then whatever Science activity that may go along with that Read Aloud book. Then I'm sure you could do math things like counting and sorting with the Science objects, etc... That would be like a 45 minute Science Lesson that integrated Reading and Math.
465 Activity Points
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:17 AM
I love to see so many replies for a topic that is so important and needs addressing...there should be science every day for every student. I agree that integrating literacy, math, science, social studies and the arts will not only help give you more time teaching science concepts to your students, but it is part of best teaching practices for the students to really learn and retain the skills being taught across all disciplines.
Thank you for sharing. I hear from a lot of educators who would like to be teaching more science that they do not always have the support of their administrators. I believe this needs to be addressed if we are to make real effective change for all students. I believe it is a critical time in education and I feel so lucky to be part of promoting the next generation science standards. It is an exciting opportunity for teachers to transform education for all children in order to prepare them for the 21st century. Thank you for all that you do as educators!
"We'd all be better off if schools taught reading as a tool to support learning those big ideas found in science and social studies instruction, transforming reading instruction from its current role as the curricular 'bully' in our schools into a role it is better suited to play - being a curricular 'buddy'," P. David Pearson, former dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley.
Even More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children’s Books to Guide Inquiry, K–5 Collection
You may also have an interest in this collection of free resources related to the NSTA Press Book: Even More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children’s Books to Guide Inquiry, K–5 found in the NSTA Learning Center. Even More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons delivers the whole package: teacher-friendly lessons, strong standards-based science content, and a kid-magnet formula that will get your students engrossed in science while they improve their reading skills.
Teaching Science Through Trade Books Collection
This collection supports the popular “Teaching Science Through Trade Books” columns in NSTA’s journal Science and Children that are based on the concept of using children’s books to pique students’ interest. Use this collection of columns to combine science teaching with reading instruction in an engaging and effective way.
Interview with Emily Morgan, Karen Ansberry, and Christine Royce, Teaching Science Through Trade Books, http://youtu.be/IZrHbPn9-JA
"Picture books, both fiction and nonfiction, are more likely to hold our attention and engage us then reading dry, formulaic text...Engagement leads to remembering what is read, acquiring knowledge, and enhancing understanding." Harvey and Goudvis, Strategies That Work.
Next Time You See Collection
Sample chapters and free resources to go along with the Next Time You See series by Emily Morgan.
Interview with Emily Morgan and Karen Ansberry, Picture Perfect Science http://youtu.be/_9Vm90Rarl8
Interview with Emily Morgan, Next Time You See http://youtu.be/Y2mIAnz9R94
13465 Activity Points
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:19 AM
The Early Years column, preK-grade 2
by Peggy Ashbrook
The Powerful Practices series
Uncovering Misconceptions: Elementary
by Learning Center Online Advisors
Uncovering Student Ideas in Primary Science Collection of Resources
by Learning Center Online Advisors
Interview with Page Keeley, Uncovering Student Ideas http://youtu.be/gc6e-zOlYeQ
Teaching NGSS in Kindergarten
by Kathy Renfrew
Interview with Steve Rich, Outdoor Science http://youtu.be/UB6G4jisKTE
K-2 STEM miniconference
by Kate Baird
I Wonder Why
5E's - Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate
by Learning Center Online Advisors
Early Childhood Resources
Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:27 AM
Multiple opportunities here for ideas on teaching science to young students. As a student preparing to be a teacher and not knowing what age i'll be teaching in the future, being prepared for all grades is the best. I think i'm lacking in the young students area of science so this is a great post that can help me with ideas.
1189 Activity Points
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:20 PM
This is such a useful list of resources! I am currently a student working towards my degree in teaching. I will definitely keep these links in mind when working on developing science lessons. Thank you for sharing!
190 Activity Points
Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:54 PM
As a student who is almost going to be student teaching, all of these websites will be very helpful to me. Teaching science isn't always easy, so being well prepare will sure be very helpful.
190 Activity Points
Yesterday, 8:30 AM
Fifteen minutes is such a short time frame, another challenge teachers must face and find a solution too. I love the idea of incorporating science into the other subjects, at least mentioning how the certain task can be related or linked to science.
200 Activity Points
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