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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

The new teacher in a group a veteran teachers | Posted in New Teachers

Great advice, Gabe. I totally agree. If we make a mistake when we are teaching a concept that is new to us, it is a teachable moment! Ask students to give input on what went wrong. Ask how they think they can change some variables to have the experiment work correctly? Most scientists do hundreds of trials before getting the results they hoped for. We don't have that same luxury of time and materials in school but there are times we can go back and have a do-over. 


Pamela Dupre

The Rock Cycle | Posted in Earth and Space Science

It would be helpful to know what the students already know about rock formation and earth science in general. If they have a basic understanding of rock formation then a hands-on activity identifying rock samples in a general way would reinforce their beginning understanding of the characteristics of sedimentary, metamorphic, or igneous rocks. The processes that form rock are more easily understood when looking at actual rocks.


Margaret Ashbrook

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