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Future educator advice
I will be an elementary teacher in just two years. What's the best advice you can give me regarding how to promote and teach science effectively in my classroom? I am a bit worried because science is one of my least favorite subjects, but I don't want my students to know that.
140 Activity Points
One of my supervisors always says, "You only need to be one step ahead of the students." Log on to your district's school board site and see what professional development offerings they have for teachers in your area. If you are student teaching or observing, ask the administration if you can attend some of the local workshops for teachers. You're very smart to be asking for information and being a member of the NSTA Forums. There is a lot of information and experience here. Have you considered going to an NSTA Conference? There may be one close to you. Students get a discount on conference fees.
Keep devouring everything you can find dealing with elementary science, watching videos, and trying the experiments yourself. Give yourself a goal of say 2 or 3 experiments a month. Try them at home and then try them with neighborhood children, or friends' children. Ask the children questions, what will happen? why do you think that? what makes you say ...? How could this be changed up to have a different outcome.
Good luck to you and keep asking questions.
88609 Activity Points
You can always include fun, interactive activities that will make your students (and you) more passionate towards the subject of science. If they are having fun, they will even forget that they are learning in the meantime. Perform experiments with them in the class, show interesting clips, and support learning opportunities for them.
195 Activity Points
It's interesting that you say this because prior to this year I was always intimidated by Science. It's not so much that I didn't like the subject, but I just thought of myself as someone that would never be qualified enough to teach Science. Now that I was placed in a situation where Science has been thrown at me left and right and I have to conduct labs, and think of experiments for my 4th graders, I actually enjoy it. My advice to you is to establish routine, rules, procedures, expectations, and rapport with students FIRST. Don't start off with the "fun" stuff right off the bat. Let them ease their way into a Science setting that's interactive. I can really assure you that once you witness the level of engagement that students have during your lesson and witness their eagerness in learning, you will start delving into the science topics yourself in preparation to teach the kids the next day :).
1080 Activity Points
I am a pre-service teacher from Iowa and I will be teaching in the classroom in just under a year! It is a exciting and scary time because I also have those concerns. Science today is being put on the back burner in many elementary schools, but it is important to still try to include it whenever you can! I used to hate science, but since I have come to college, I have learned to love it. I'm glad you realize that you do not want your students to know science is not your favorite subject. It is important to always show your students how excited you are no matter what subject.
To promote science in the classroom, I would recommend trying to incorporate in with other subjects. For reading, they could read a book about science. In math, they could solve math problems that relate to science.
My biggest advice to you would be to make science fun. Something I do is bring in animals and allow the students to hold them and learn more about them. Another fun activity is allow students to practice science by growing their own plant.
Also you do not necessarily need to teach science to teach skills they need for science. Allow your students to ask questions, be curious, and allow time for inquiry lessons.
Good luck and make the classroom fun for you and your students!
20 Activity Points
Collaborate with other science teachers and learn what strategies they are using that are most beneficial. The first year teaching is always the hardest year and you will learn a whole lot between year 1 and year 2 that will make you a better teacher. Good luck.
230 Activity Points
This is also something that I worry about in my future classroom. I want all of my students to have the opportunity of experiencing science in a fun learning environment. I have begun by practicing small science experiments with the kiddos that I nanny. I found that they are naturally curious and love learning why things happen. I will definitely be taking the advise of trying to stay one step ahead of my students!
4465 Activity Points
Great Advice! I too worry about becoming a first year teacher and all the new experiences and challenges that come with it. The one advice I that stood out to me was collaborating with other teacher about what works and dosen’t work. Science is a fun and exciting subject to teach because students are naturally curious and Science reaaly gives them the opportunity to explore. For first year teachers there will probably be a lot of trial and error but we can limit this by asking and collaborating with other teachers who have more experinence. Talking through ideas and questions I know would benefit me when creating a lesson and an activity. I want to make sure that kids are learning but are also having fun exploring and getting the correct information.
795 Activity Points
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