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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.
I really like your idea of group work and discussion in the classroom. This form of teaching should be implemented in every grade level. It is a positive way where students can learn from one another as they are collaborating together on a group project. Different roles are divided between the students in each group allowing students to depend on one another. Discussion, in my opinion, allows students to reflect on what they learned that day, provide opinions about the assignment, and possibly suggest what they want to learn more about. This process makes students become active learners! I can see my future classroom using these learning strategies.
Interaction with Force, Mass, and Motion | Posted in Physical Science
In my physics classroom, we use both hands-on activities and pHet simulations. The hands-on activities provide concrete experience with the phenomena that my students are studying. The computer simulations help them further explore those concrete experience by looking at the phenomena a different way. For example, when study projectiles, I have students build mini-catapults and test how they work. They observe and describe how motion projectile motion looks. Then they follow up that activity with the pHet simulation in which they can more easily control variables so they can test the different factors that contribute to projectile motion.
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