New Teachers

Supplementing 2nd Grade Science as a Student Teacher

Hello everyone! I'm going into my final semester this fall and will be student teaching in a second grade classroom. In the district my school is in, the lower elementary students don't get a lot of hands-on science. The most science they did in the classroom last semester was mainly through Scholastic News science issues. A couple times throughout the year, I tried to do some hands on stuff with them too, but it's definitely not enough. Since I will be the one taking charge of the classroom for this coming semester, I really want to try and do more hands-on stuff with them, but I don't know what I can do when it comes to obtaining materials. I have a pretty limited income this fall, so I don't think it's feasible for me to buy materials on my own until I get an actual teaching job. I really want my students to have more science knowledge beyond stuff that is clearly designed to prepare them for standardized testing. Are there any helpful resources or tips that you guys might have for me?

Katheryne Ayers
Katheryne Ayers
545 Activity Points

Hi Katheryne!
First of all congratulations on almost being done with student teaching!
I am so excited for your students this coming semester. Materials do add up quickly but that should not be a barrier to you. If possible ask your mentor teacher if the school will reimburse you for some small supplies there is no shame in that especially if you leave them for your mentor teacher. Also take a look at your local resources - Community or Local Colleges/Universities, museums, or even some of the high schools in your district may be able to lend you some supplies. I was very lucky in my student teaching and was able to take my students to the local community college anatomy and physiology lab for a field trip just by reaching out to the college professors. A lot of times you can be practicing some serious science with really cheap supplies and through observations of phenomena. If you are looking to set up a particular lab and you know you will not be able to afford it and you have enough time Donors Choose is a great source of funds: https://www.donorschoose.org/
Also here is a collection I made about inquiry in elementary classrooms. Hope this helps. Any other elementary teachers have any tried and true cheap or free labs?

Amanda Wolfe
Amanda Wolfe
16260 Activity Points

Hello Katheryn, I so happy to see you use this forum for information. Yes, gathering supplies is difficult. I have used the NSTA Learning Center many times. I especially recommend investigating the magazine "Science and Child" found in the NSTA.org website. Once there, search for the Learning Center. Select "menu", Select "Explore All Resources", Select "Journal Articles & Lessons", select either "View 200 NSTA collestions" OR "View 7,425 User Collections". Just as an example, I chose the tab, "View 7,425 User Collections". Use your "Search" and type in what you are looking for, such as "Natural Selection". You will find 79 choices of articles that deal with "Natural Selection". There are years of artcles with ideas for hands on activities. These articles use the NGSS guidelines and provide you with lists of materials you might need, many of these materials are free and only need to be gathered. Just decide what your topic you wish to investigate, go to the Library and "Search". Good luck with next year!

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia
42665 Activity Points

Hi, I am new to this website but I have already found so many terrific resources. The attached article might be of use to you, maybe you have already read this one. Good luck to you and congratulations!

Shannon Williams
Shannon Williams
985 Activity Points

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