Earth and Space Science

K-1: Out of my comfort zone

Hello everyone, I am a pre-service teacher at Idaho State University. This year I am in a Science Methods class that requires me to teach lessons to students that are in kindergarten and first grade. I am excited but VERY nervous. You see, my target age is middle school and I have very little experience with students younger than third grade. I am nervous not only because of my inexperience but students this age tend to be afraid of me. I have this huge personality. I talk loudly, laugh a lot and loud, and have a hard time not being sarcastic. I just can’t help it. I am looking for suggestions from those of you out there that have taught science to K-1 students. Anything would be helpful, even if it is just some encouraging words. Thank you!

Cynthia Lund
Cynthia Lund
3635 Activity Points

Hi Cynthia and welcome to the discussion threads!
Peggy Ashbrook is an author of gobs of science articles geared toward early childhood - her articles are part of a monthly series in Science & Children called "The Early Years". I did an advanced search and put her name in as author, and for key word, I used "earth science", since you posted this in the Earth and Space Science Forum. 15 articles that she had written popped up. Try it and let us know if you need help.
Here is one example: The Early Years: Adding Up the Rain
I think you will find her lesson plans and ideas very helpful.
How exciting that you are "broadening" your horizons to include early elementary, too. I am a middle school teacher with over a quarter of a century of experience. I think if I were to do it over again, I would want to spend some of my time in the younger grades, too. Every grade level has its own challenges and built-in rewards! Best of luck in your lesson planning :-)
I am sure others will chime in with lots more great ideas and words of encouragement for you!

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
86483 Activity Points

I would only mention one thing. Do not worry about a big personality. Worry about the Sarcasm. Children this age (and many other ages) do not understand sarcasm. Sometimes we adults use it with each other, and often then it is just veiled(thinly)meanness. K-1 students need stability. You want them to know they can trust you and can depend on day to day student to student being treated with care and respect.

Daniel Carroll
Dan Carroll
18550 Activity Points

I love this age! They love science songs and being read to. They also are very much into acting like a "real" scientist. As for your comfort check out the book " Yardsticks" by Chip Wood. It can help you as the teacher adjust to this age group and help you figure out what to expect from the 5-6 year olds. Have fun!

Polly Norrie
Polly Norrie
1200 Activity Points

NOt only that, but young students like this are still full of "wonder"--they are not jaded. They see whatever you as exciting, and they will respect you. It is a wonderful age to teach, as you can turn them on to STEM at an early age.

Laura Jones
Laura Jones
9735 Activity Points

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