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Field Trips | Posted in Elementary Science

Greeting Rochelle! 

Of everything that I can remember loving in school, field trips topped the list for me! For science class, I can remember loving going to the local science museum. The one in the state I live in is extremely interactive and covers many different scientific concepts. I think if you decide to take them to a museum, first visit it yourself. Make sure the museum is interactive, fun, but still educational. If it meets all of that criteria, take them! They will learn so much and love it! But, the field trip that tops the list for me was in the 5th grade when we went camping. At this trip all of our lessons were incorporated in some way to nature. The thing I remember the most was the science sections of the lessons; we were able to have ands on lessons with different rocks we were learning about. We also were able to go on nature hikes and study the plants and creatures we saw. It was such an amazing experience that I think all schools should encourage it if the resources are available to make it happen!


Nicolette Walker

Chem for those who do not like it | Posted in Chemistry

Hi! I think you have hit the reason for NGSS right on the head! The phenomenon approach to learning is what drives those students in the classroom. When teachers engage their students with phenomena they have a true curiosity or interest in the interest levels in the classroom drive up. Students are shifting from this rote memorization or even just learning content in isolation; to having a role and a mission of trying to figure something out. Chemistry is especially daunting in isolation. When you give students a task, then build a story around that task where now they need to know this information to complete the task. They will be more engaged. The hardest part is choosing a phenomenon that fits your students. You should figure out what are they interested in. What are things that would hook them? Once you get to know your students more you will know the types of phenomenon’s that will drive them.


Jessica Holman

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

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