Elementary Science

Engaging Elementary Students

Hello! I am from middle Tennesse, and I am currently working on my masters. I have done many observations, and have noticed how many times the science teachers just use videos and the book, no hands on. I have curreny learned a lot in my science class about engaging students. I am wondering how science teachers work withkin their set time limit for their class, while incorprating engaging materials? Also, how they keep their interest on the subject, if it has to be drawn out over a few days, if they do not have time to start and finish within one day?

Connie Hamlet
Connie Hamlet
1180 Activity Points

I think it's really important for teachers to implement inquiry based learning. This type of learning allows students to think about a specific type of phenomena right from the beginning of a lesson and allows the students to think about it by making observations and using their prior knowledge. They are able to be more engaged throughout the lesson if they can think for themselves rather than having the teacher lecture the students.

Jamie Winterbotham
Jamie Winterbotham
908 Activity Points

Great question, Connie. I work really hard to find a demonstration to start off the week. Depending on how much time I have, I will start with a demo and ask a question about the demo. I use a lot of Picture Perfect Science Lessons and I also look for demos on youtube. As the year progresses and students know safety rules, I will set up stations for them to rotate through. We keep science journals/notebooks. I do not have students write definitions but we do use correct science terminology. (I keep anchor charts up so that we can add to them as we discover science vocabulary that relates to the content.) 

Keep using the Explore All Resources tab to search for articles and lessons and use ngss.nsta.org for teaching resources to ensure you are getting the most out of your science lessons that are 3 dimensional. 

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
90754 Activity Points

Hi Connie!

 

I am an early childhood education major at Wright State University in Ohio. I agree with you, I frequently see teachers using resources like old science books and videos, rather than involving students in their learning through hands-on learning experiences. I feel that inquiry based learning is so significant in the classroom, especially during science instruction. If students have an opportunity to explore a scientific phenomena and create their own theory, they are likely to stay more engaged than if they are simply fed information. I have had the opportunity to teach several science units at my current field placement, and I have found that a good way to keep students engaged with the same lesson over the course of a few days is to introduce them to a new scientific phenomena or concept each day. Get their brain moving and ask them questions about what is going on in the world around them. Kids are curious, and they love sharing their thoughts based on their prior knowledge.

I hope this helps you!

Sara Whitehead
Sara Whitehead
1275 Activity Points

I believe that it is really important to encorporate hands on learning in science classrooms. Students learn best through hands on activities and are more engaged in learning the content. It takes a lot of practice to keep up with the time constraints. The best way to get over this is to plan accordingly. Tke notes from previous hands on lessons that you have given and use those as a giude to help with the next one.

Autumn Rose
Autumn Rose
450 Activity Points

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George Mehler
George Mehler
1340 Activity Points

Science needs to be hands on. Students can't get what they need from reading out of text book or cutting out pictures. There needs to be a connection. I use essential learning targets and 5E lesson plans. Make sure the experiments you do tie in with the standards because I have also seen the opposite with teachers doing a bunch of experiments but there is no connection to what they should be doing. Kids love being involved and engaged. You can give students a roll, such lead engineer, researcher, assistant engineer.. etc. 

Brenda Velasco Mizenko
Brenda Velasco
2585 Activity Points

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