Elementary Science

Engagement during lesson

Hello everyone, is there ways to gather students attention or re-engage them during a science lesson?

Thank you

Ann Pena
Ann Pena
205 Activity Points

Before starting a lesson, start with a set activity thats fun and interactive. The set activity will catch the students attention and engage them through the lesson. The set activity can be a game based off the lesson taught that day.

Blake Alexander
Blake Alexander
295 Activity Points

Hi! 

From my experience, using the 5E, inquiry based lesson plan is great to get students interested in a science topic. Depending on your students grade level, I would recommend using structured, controlled, guided, or even free inquiry. This type of teaching requires students to take initiative and learn how to investigate and discuss and share thoughts, in small and whole group settings.

Alyssa Baena
Alyssa Baena
95 Activity Points

I find that starting with phenomena they can relate to in their real lives helps. If they can see it or touch it, it is more meaningful. Allowing them time to draw about and talk about their thinking is helpful. I have some students who willingly, however, sit back and do the minimum when there is a lot of group time and then are lost when I ask them for an actual product of their own making at the end. So to keep everyone on their toes, I have "exit tickets" or a final product that needs to be in the science notebook daily. I always ask them to write something - an idea, a question, a personal experience that helps them understand. This piece of accountability (they know it's coming!) can be used as formative assessment so I can visit with the students who might be struggling. 

I also try to use group work a LOT with science. I attended an "Argument-Driven Inquiry" session at the Seattle regional conference in December 2019, and found the ideas surrounding dialog and explanation reinvigorated my thinking. The important piece to remember is that "argument" does not imply there can be more than one right answer...  instead it means that when a child makes an assertion that assertion needs to be supported with data (observations, research) or experience from real life.

To re-engage when they are lost, sometimes reading a story book helps (I have used this in many content areas, up through middle school!), as well as things like creating a skit or tableau around a concept. Making a physical model changes the mood for many students, and allows kids who are not as articulate to demonstrate profound understanding without the burden of writing.

I have the luxury of setting my own pace. If you do, sometimes it is okay to stop mid-lesson, switch to something else for a while, and then come back after the kids have had a break. If I am the one who is stuck this also allows me some freedom to rethink the goals of the lesson and come up with alternative paths to meet them.

 

Kathleen Stidham
Kathleen Stidham
350 Activity Points

Do your students get too excited during science lessons? (Like in a "crazy" way) or do you mean they aren't interested? First of all for me, using the 5E Model really helps to organize my ideas on how I'm going to engage my students. Just like any good book, the introduction is crucial as is the learning target. I always find that when they make that connection of why learning the subject is important, their engagement goes up. I also have science journals where they can not only write in their findings but reflect at the end on why this was interesting/not interesting to them. Most of the time I find that they are interested in learning more. I have them do either partner or small group work. Each class is different. This year I have a more challenging group that requires me to really manage the time they spend on partner work. Last year I didn't have as much of an issue with them staying focused.  Still, you want to make sure that you always go back to your learning target at the end and see if you need go over some things again.

Brenda Velasco Mizenko
Brenda Velasco
2695 Activity Points

Hi Brenda, I love the 5E lesson plan model.  It has so many ways to keep the students engaged and give them hands on and minds on experiences.  I also find that if the students have some choice in what they are doing (experiment, research, etc) they will be more invested and engaged.  

Emily Lamaze
Emily Lamaze
805 Activity Points

Do your students get too excited during science lessons? (Like in a "crazy" way) or do you mean they aren't interested? First of all for me, using the 5E Model really helps to organize my ideas on how I'm going to engage my students. Just like any good book, the introduction is crucial as is the learning target. I always find that when they make that connection of why learning the subject is important, their engagement goes up. I also have science journals where they can not only write in their findings but reflect at the end on why this was interesting/not interesting to them. Most of the time I find that they are interested in learning more. I have them do either partner or small group work. Each class is different. This year I have a more challenging group that requires me to really manage the time they spend on partner work. Last year I didn't have as much of an issue with them staying focused.  Still, you want to make sure that you always go back to your learning target at the end and see if you need go over some things again.

Brenda Velasco Mizenko
Brenda Velasco
2695 Activity Points

Do your students get too excited during science lessons? (Like in a "crazy" way) or do you mean they aren't interested? First of all for me, using the 5E Model really helps to organize my ideas on how I'm going to engage my students. Just like any good book, the introduction is crucial as is the learning target. I always find that when they make that connection of why learning the subject is important, their engagement goes up. I also have science journals where they can not only write in their findings but reflect at the end on why this was interesting/not interesting to them. Most of the time I find that they are interested in learning more. I have them do either partner or small group work. Each class is different. This year I have a more challenging group that requires me to really manage the time they spend on partner work. Last year I didn't have as much of an issue with them staying focused.  Still, you want to make sure that you always go back to your learning target at the end and see if you need go over some things again.

Brenda Velasco Mizenko
Brenda Velasco
2695 Activity Points

I am currently attending FIU, and something that the science professors really encourage us to do is to use a 5E Lesson Plan Format when teaching science. I have used this format when completing Field Experience hours and I find that it engages them from the start and keeps them engaged and interested throughout the whole lesson. 

Dapheney Martinez
Dapheney Martinez
755 Activity Points

Focusing on student-centered learning will help keep students engaged during a science lesson. Having the students constantly engaged in discussion or problem solving keeps students from getting distracted. If the lesson is more of a lecture, make sure to have interactive material for the students in the powerpoint such as: poll everywhere or QR codes. 

Molly Heffron
Molly Heffron
1725 Activity Points

I like to give my kids a lot of choice in the lessons. I usually have at least 2 different things for students to choose from (drawing or writing their answer, or doing a kinesethic activity) to show their understanding of the topic. I get these ideas through Howard Garners Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Remember that not every student learns the same way! It helps if you really know your students and can incorporate their interests or backgrounds. This helps to get them excited about learning in a more organic way! If you just need to get them refocused, do a brain break like a GoNoodle, kids love that! Or, I like to take my kids outside and run around for a minute or two to get their wiggles out. I only do that if I know I have time to spare or I am ahead of schedule though!

Kristen Mitchell
kristen mitchell
1080 Activity Points

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