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Hello my name is Maria Perez, I am currently Student Teaching, but I will be graduating this December. Ay tips or suggestions about teaching science in Elementary school will be really appreciated.
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I am also Student Teaching and will be graduating this December! I am currently placed in a bilingual first grade class and I have found that providing students with hands-on activities does prove to be successful but also providing them with opportunities in which they can see the real effects of science, application-based learning to be exact.
Good luck in your future endeavors!
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Congratulations on your upcoming graduation. When teaching science especially at the elementary school level, it is important to keep it as hands-on as possible. Relating what children are learning to their lives is very important in their learning process.
What do others think? Anyone else have any nuggets of wisdom for Maria?
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I like to start science units with a K-W-H-L chart. I post s big piece of bulletin board paper in the front of the room and divide it into 4 sections: What do we know about __________? What do we want to know about ___________? (Questions) How can we learn about __________? What did we learn during on unit on ___________? This K-W-H-L chart is added to throughout the unit and is the structure for student learning.
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I will be student teaching within a year as well--how exciting! I think one of the strategies I am trying to focus on is creating a sense of wonder in my students. I want to start each class with something that gets them questioning, thinking, and analyzing, particularly about something that is a natural phenomenon.
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I love your plan to create a sense of wonder in your students. I have several activities that help with this. One is to find something intriguing that fits in your pocket and have students use yes or no questions to try to figure out what it is. I have used lichen and gastroliths successfully. For a weather unit, I put a picture of the wooly caterpillar in my pocket and when students come close to identifying it, I tell them how people used to use these caterpillars to predict how hard winter would be. Another activity is an "I wonder" raffle. When I appreciate something one of my students does, I give them a small piece of paper and ask them to write their name on one side and what they wonder about what we are studying or about anything in the natural world on the other side. I have a small prize box and once a week or so I pull some names and read their wonders. Those students also get a small prize.
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I love these ideas, another along those same lines is one that my predecessor used. He had a "What's that?" shelf in the classroom filled with all sorts of things that the kids most likely were not familiar with (nature and human-made). Once a week he would give a few students a chance to choose one thing that they'd then investigate together.
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This is a great idea! I had a table in my classroom with objects related to what we were studying -- shells, bones, features, rocks, etc. along with reference books and a hand lens. I encourage students before class or when they were finished with an assignment to explore at the "museum" table. Students often would bring in things that they had found, too.
Did the students in your colleague's class investigate as a small group or did the whole class participate?
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The whole class participated. I think if I was going to do it, I would have them get together in small groups to brainstorm and speculate about the mystery objects, before coming back together for a whole group discussion and some content.
I think one of the main things that is good to keep in mind is really letting the students self explore! As some individuals have mentioned above about a museum table, sensory tables are great for keep the students interested and learning about different discoveries themselves. In my time of student teaching, I have found some teachers like to "help" students along in the interest of time or lack of ability. I think encouragement to keep the students focused and on task so that they can really have the Aha ha moment for themselves is really what keeps kids interested in science!
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I am student teaching in the spring and have wondered the same thing about getting students involved in science. From my classes, many professors have focused on integrating subjects. This is used for science and social studies content areas. Depending on where you are teaching, would probably depend on how much specified time you are given to teach science. However, I think the key factor is getting students engaged and letting them explore.
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Hi, I am also interested in gaining knowledge about how to get students engaged in the classroom! I have also heard many things about using integration from other subjects to help students make connections.
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Hi and congratulations on your upcoming graduation! I am currently getting ready for student teaching and am currently learning about using a 5E lesson format when creating science lesson. The 5E lesson plan gets students engaged and makes for a great way to organize each part of your lesson. I would also recommend starting each science lesson off with a phenomenon. Starting your lesson with a phenomenon helps students get engaged and provides students with a real world example.
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