Elementary Science

How to get Students involved in science

One of my biggest questions is how to get the younger elementary students involved in science. Should we do more hands on activities, or should we watch videos? As well as having them participate in the environment.

Francisco Garcia
Francisco Garcia
325 Activity Points

This is a very good question, I have been wondering the same thing. Firstly, I think it's important to have a positive attitude towards science. I also think it is important to have the students do hands on activities that are fun and interactive.

DIANE TERIAKY
DIANE TERIAKY
340 Activity Points

Hellos Francisco, I am a student teacher in an ELA/Social Studies classroom. I have had many conversations with the science teacher across the hall about what it takes to keep the students involved in science. He has told me that he tries to make all the parts of his lessons engaging. Some days he has the students doing hands-on activities and other days they watch a video or listen to music. What I have also noticed is that the teacher is very enthusiastic and animated with the students. This also seems to keep the students interested. I hope this can help.

Eddy Martinez
Eddy Martinez
1110 Activity Points

In my opinion, the important thing for elementary students is promoting them to have a positive attitude toward science first. I think should let them play and learn, they will learn from what they play. An important role of a teacher is to be a facilitator, ask some questions to let them talk or share what they learn from playing.

Onrumpa Kumnuanek
Onrumpa Kumnuanek
520 Activity Points

Children are natural born scientists! They were born with curiosity, a willingness to experiment and trying to figure how the world works. I think adults do a good job of stopping them from exploring and asking simple, but tough, questions. I believe that hands on and out in the real world is where students really learn science. Have students make their own videos! Record what they are trying out. Like Onrumpa said, the role of the teacher is to provide opportunities to explore, have students reflect on what they saw and to teach some basic things like: how to conduct a fair test; observation not conjecture; recording data; how to reach a conclusion based on evidence. In essence, teach children the nature of science - not just arbitrary facts. Hope this helps, Gabe Kraljevic

Gabe Kraljevic
Gabe Kraljevic
2235 Activity Points

I am currently a second grade student teacher, and I notice that both hands-on activities and incorporating technology (such as watching videos) into the lessons are equally important for involving elementary students in science. Younger students learn better when they use manipulatives, but they also need a visual to get them started on the activities. Introducing them to a science topic by showing them a video is a great way for them to have an idea of what they are getting ready to learn and work on. As for the hands-on activities, I try to find something fun and enjoyable for them to work on. Children can’t sit for too long without getting bored out of their minds, so I definitely like to find activities that allow movement around the classroom or maybe outside in the hallways. I often refer to this website for great lessons to the younger elementary students: https://globaldigitalcitizen.org/36-stem-project-based-learning-activities. I hope it helps! And of course, be a good role model. When students see a teacher who is enthusiastic, understanding, and passionate about science, it will resonate with them.

Jeanette Nguyen
Jeanette Nguyen
120 Activity Points

Hi Francisco, I really like you point out this question, because I used to be bored of science class. I still can remember that my science teacher always teach us obscure definitions, theories, and concepts. There was less lab and hands on activities during the class, we have to memorize all the knowledge teacher taught in lesson and prepare the exams. I really hate this, in my opinion, teacher’s job is led students think more and practice more, so give the protagonist back to students is number one important thing. Teacher should give more hands on and lab activities instead of just teaching knowledge. Teacher shouldn’t teach too many concepts at same time, they just need to point out a main question, and let students find out the result.

Yixiu Yan
Yixiu Yan
315 Activity Points

There needs to be a balance of both. The hands on is certainly going to be very effective, but they need to know the concept and the reason why they are doing the experiment. I do inquiry first before going into the investigation. I do try to stay away from the text book although once in a while I use it as a resource.

Brenda Velasco
Brenda Velasco
2280 Activity Points

I think hands on experiments and activities can truly liven any science lesson. Videos can as well, however student engagement can be lost little more quickly with videos. With hands on activities, you can allow students to explore what they are about to learn about, as well as see it come to life. During these activities, students can also make their own connections without you having to make those connections for them. They can take ownership of their learning this way.

Hina Anwar
Hina Anwar
325 Activity Points

Hello Francisco, I am currently a student teacher in a first grade math and science classroom. I have been able to create science lessons using both strategies. Children learn best using hands-on materials but through these upcoming years technology has made an impact in children's learning. Not to long ago, I taught a science lesson on objects in the sky. The lesson consisted of a BrainPop video, a discussion, a clear anchor chart, and a research activity to teach my students about planets. I would recommend Brainpop because it has a lot of level based videos for students to find interesting. In addition, during the research part of the lesson I allowed my students to use the classroom iPads to research their assigned planet. Each group had an iPad and a graphic organizer to facilitate their learning. The cite that each group used was PebbleGO (https://www.pebblego.com/) and they found so much useful information for their research. Students were on task and engaged on their activity to gather information on their planet. I believe that students all learn differently, therefore, giving them the opportunity to participate on hands-on activities, use technology, and their surrounding environment can help students understand the lesson concept better.

Darlyng Trujillo
Darlyng Trujillo
171 Activity Points

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