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Different levels of understanding | Posted in Elementary Science

One thing I have done is leveled puzzles...not hand outs but actual puzzles. If a student finishes their work, they can go to a side table and work on a puzzle of their choice. I started with simple puzzles but over the course of the year, I increased their difficulty. I used jigsaw puzzles or tangrams...I found one kind of puzzle where all the pieces were square with four different pictures on each side and the pieces fit together in only one way--these were extremely challenging and students took many days/weeks to complete (sorry I don't remember what they were called). Puzzles are quiet, independent activities. With only five students, they could collaborate on more difficult puzzles. If they are old enough, you could have them design a puzzle for their peers and let them actually print/cut the puzzle to give to the other students. Great way to engage them in  and teach about the design process.


Lisa Mitchell

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

Implementing STEM in my classroom | Posted in STEM

Leslie, I believe STEM is best implemented by allowing creativity, expression, and collaboration in the classroom. In all grades, but especially in the lower grades, I have noticed that students often learn best from each other. I would begin implementing STEM by designing activities around group work and/or students teaching each other. In math, you can have students share how they got their answers step by step so that others can see and hear their peer's thinking and strategizing. In science, a great idea is having students work on group projects to "research" about the weather, water, and other Kindergarten TEKS. At the end of the week or lesson, the groups can share their findings with the class. I hope my ideas can help you implement STEM education in your Kindergarten classroom!


Kelsey Nason

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Laura Markham

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