Elementary Science

General Science Question

Hello fellow science teachers/nerds,

 

I am a preservice teacher at Penn State Harrisburg. For field experience I am placed in a second grade classroom and I have been noticing that students have limited time to do anything science related. Now, I have not observed much science because my teacher doesn't teach it because the students switch for these classes and each of the second grade teachers teach different things. My mentor teacher, in particular teaches health and maybe a science lesson here or there if the other teacher cannot get around to it. Personally, I think it is sad that science and social studies (my favorite) do not get nearly enough instructional time dedicated to them that they should, despite their importance. Of course, this is a different discussion for another day. In my science methods course, we have discussed a variety of different science programs. Some of these programs are incredibly fascinating and I think students need those hands on experiences with science.

I guess my question is a more general one for all the current teachers and science professionals out there. How do teachers incorporate fun, hands on activities to teach science in such a limited span of time. Any advice from current teachers on what kinds of activities you incorporate into your classroom would be greatly appreciated. How do you manage the time situation effectively? What kinds of activites would you recommend to other teachers that you consider engaging? 

 

Thank you all for your time in reading this! I am open to any advice or response you may have. It is awesome to have an opportunity to reach out to other educators!

Bazinga! (BIG BANG THEORY REFERENCE!) 

 

Thank you,

Jen King

Jennifer King
Jennifer King
270 Activity Points

Jennifer, 

I am also a preservice teacher, at the University of Northern Iowa. I am also in my science methods class currently. Yesterday we had a guest speaker come into our class and talk about the importance of play. She talked about how through play students can learn so many different skills and topics of science in a short amount of time. One of the big activities that she talked about was blocks. Through students engagement in playing with blocks they learn about friction, balance, force, and so many other science related topics. While also learning about other subjects such as math and literacy if a book is read first to prompt their play, this allows you have more classroom time when you integrate subjects together. Other activities included shadows, tops, cooking, ramps, and so many others. I totally agree that students need hands-on experiences and I think that play is a great way for students to engage in science thinking. While I am not a teacher yet so I can't speak to how this looks within a classroom, I think it is a great idea to implement within my future classroom. I hope this helps you a little!

Thanks,

Ashley

Ashley Darling
Ashley Darling
2015 Activity Points

Hello Jen,

Many time teachers can do interdisciplinary units where you teach multiple subjects. During a science lesson you are teaching reading, note taking, writing (journal entry), collecting data (computation/math), social studies (maping,geography). It comes down to good planning and collaboration with other teachers or staff at your school. 

Gilberto Garcia
Gilberto Garcia
1085 Activity Points

Jennifer, 

This is something I noticed in my last field experience, the classroom lacked science instruction. However, when they did do science it took many days to complete a lesson, because they spent their 30 minutes of science each day doing one small part of the lesson. For example, while I was in their classroom they were working on building bridges that could support a car. On the first day, they just went over the expectations and their groups for the project. On the second day, the students made a plan of what they wanted on their own. On the third day, the groups got together and determined what they had thought would be a good plan. On the fourth day, they got supplies and began working. And on the fifth day, they continued to build as a group. The point I'm trying to make is, with a small amount of time it is possible to do science if you just break it up into smaller parts.

 

Hope this helps!

Kaylynne

Kaylynne Bratton
Kaylynne Bratton
1985 Activity Points

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