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Hello! I will be student teaching in the fall and would love some tips on teaching amazing science lessons. I will be in a third grade classroom and I hope to teach the students a lot about the world around them. I have been teaching science lessons this semester to a fifth grade class and while it has had its challenges it was also fun and the students keep asking me when we will be doing science. The lessons that I have been doing with them have been an hour or two long, but not very realistic when we get our own rooms. If anyone has any tips on teaching science or teaching in general it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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My name is Ashley and I am a current student at Saint Peter's University studying education. One really cool experiment that I found that is really cool and easy is Summer Cloud Science.
You can easily show your kids with a few simple materials to show them how rain works. You’ll need shaving cream (use the foam kind, not gel), a jar, water, and food coloring.
1) Fill the jar almost to the top with water.
2) Cover the top with a “cloud” of shaving cream.
3) Let your students drop food coloring into the cloud until the color starts “raining” into the water below. Explain that this is how rain works too.
The water collects in the cloud until there is too much, and then it leaks through, forming rain.
Here is the link to the website: http://thehappyhousewife.com/homeschool/summer-cloud-science/'' target="_blank">http://thehappyhousewife.com/homeschool/summer-cloud-science/' target="_blank">http://thehappyhousewife.com/homeschool/summer-cloud-science/
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Take advantage of some of the Professional Learning Tools. You can select K-5 and select what kind of tools you want to use. There are free NSTA publication chapters that you should check out.
My favorite comes from the Everyday Science Mysteries. The chapters are written in short, clear narratives. In this chapter, a student planted a seedling in a jar. She weighed the jar and watched the seed grow. She hadn't added anything to the jar, but for some reason, it was gaining mass. The student decides to seal the jar just to prove that nothing has been added, but the jar continues to add mass. Why is that? (You ask your students why the jar gains mass.) You can easily bring this mystery to life with inexpensive soil, a couple of jars, and some seeds.
Another favorite is the buoyancy experiment. You need three containers (preferably narrow and tall, like a wide mason jar) three eggs, water, and sugar. You show students how an egg normally sinks in water, floats in sugar water, and then they guess what will happen with the third jar as you add sugar (and how much sugar is needed to get that egg to float.) Our experiment actually didn't go according to plan. In the jar that was supposed to have the floating egg, we didn't add enough sugar, and the egg actually half-floated. It was very cool, and all the kids were excited.
Make sure to have kids describe what they think is happening, investigate, and then try to explain in their own words what is happening. That's incorporating science learning - rather than just having cool demonstrations.
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As a upcoming student teacher myself, I found this post very helpful! Thanks so much for the insight and tools!
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