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Learning Science Concepts through Play | Posted in Early Childhood

In the last couple of years, I have learned just how important play is to students. Play is just as important in the elementary grades, as it is for students preschool and below. I have learned that allowing students to play through STEM activities, allows them to work out their problem solving skills, monitor their emotions, and enhance their social skills. I believe that as teachers we need to remember that we can't hover. We need to allow our students to have play time. They need this time to enhance their skills in multiple different areas. One of my favorite play activities that students can do is through clay. I have seen so many different students play with clay, but I have never seen the same creation from a different student. This play can be as simple as having clay on the table and letting them create whatever they want, or it can be as complex as asking them to create different structures to hold something or withhold wind or water. I really like the link that you added! I believe that it is so important to allow students to learn and socialize through play as well as different experiments, and these different experiments would be great in the classroom.


Tera Porter

inquiry Based Lesson Plans | Posted in New Teachers

Hi Stephanie, 

There are a lot of ways to incorporate inquiry into a second grade classroom.  If you aren't very familar with inquiry, a good place to start is with this article from Science and Children (The Many Levels of Inquiry) that discusses the four types of inquiry. It gives some sample suggestions of how to use the four types of inquiry in your classroom.  

From there, I would look my curriculum and decide what types of inquiry I would want to use as I am teaching. What types of topics are you going to be covering in second grade?  What information do students need to know in third grade?  Knowing that information better helps in planning.  If you your state has adopted NGSS and you are unsure, you can always start by looking at the NGSS standards that can be found here. 

Another resource you might look at is an ebook, A Year of Inquiry, that the Learning Center has at a nominal fee.  

Respond back and we can brainstorm together.

 

 

 


Ruth Hutson

NSTA's Virtual Conference - Teaching Controversial Topics | Posted in Professional Learning

Hi Mary, I have had the opportunity to participate in several virtual conferences. The most amazing part of it is getting to hear firsthand from the experts on a topic. When I attended the solar eclipse one, I was blown away by all the great information that was shared. I was so well prepared to participate in the total eclipse in Carbondale this past August because of what I learned at the virtual conference. I also attended the Climate Virtual Conference where they had atmospheric scientists and meteorologists from NOAA (who actually study climate change) share their expertise. Then we had experienced educators share how to present engaging lessons to our students. Your brain leaves the day's conference filled to the brim with fresh new ideas. I love going to NSTA conferences like the one coming up in Atlanta, but it is a totally different experience. The virtual conferences are such a great value for the money. All those experts on one specific topic are gathered together for the day just for us! I am especially interested in the March 3rd virtual conference because I am looking forward to learning some new strategies for teaching controversial topics in science, AND the other emphasis, according to the overview, is about having a better understanding of the nature of science. Hope to see you there! Carolyn


Carolyn Mohr

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