If you struggle with figuring out how to teach science to young students when you have little time in the classroom, I have some strategies to help you achieve a positive learning experience for your students. I know for me, finding time to squeeze in science and social studies in my jam-packed plans was a struggle. The first thing I do to alleviate the stress is to integrate my reading, writing or math into a science lesson. By utilizing the other subjects during science lessons, it is a real time-saver.
If having students being engaged in your lessons is a problem, integrating science into a boring math lesson can help to produce 100% engagement with the students. For example, if you are teaching addition in math and matter in science. Why not have students collect types of matter, write about the properties of matter and then create addition problems with the matter they collected. Which brings me to the most important way to teach science. Kids need to have their hands actually on physical items in order to help retain information, especially after a long morning of learning. Encourage students to set up experiments or participate in science discussions to help boost their confidence and critical thinking skills.
Providing a Science Data Notebook helps student develop writing skills while exploring science concepts. Encourage them to collect information and drawings about their observations. Have students record steps they need to take to create a science experiment. Have them think of a burning question they want answered. Then, develop a safe plan to test something in order to answer the question. You can pick one out of all of them to actually do with the whole group. This will help them understand the scientific method.
I like to always refer to my students as scientists during science class. I want them to know that everyone can be a scientist. On Fridays, I would have Science Investigation Stations. Students could wear their father’s white button up shirt, and goggles to feel more like a scientist. Then, they get to explore at different stations. I incorporate reading and writing in the lessons to ensure I’m hitting all my academic targets. Each station has posters with vocabulary words that go with the unit we are focusing on that week. Learning science vocabulary is essential for helping students to think and communicate in future science lessons.
Make It FUN!
Most importantly, be excited for science. Students feed off of your energy. Making learning fun is simple when you use science lessons!
Here is a FREE Energy Sample for Kindergarten and 1st Grade, if you are looking for some ideas.
I love teaching in November! I know that I have so much to be thankful for this time of year! Young students should learn about Thanksgiving by focusing on being thankful, spending time with family, the First Thanksgiving, and the Mayflower Voyage. You can even teach about teamwork of how the pilgrims had to work together to build a common house. Every year I would perform a Thankful Festival for parents. The performance focuses on being thankful, family and the feast. I use music by Jack Hartmann. He is my favorite children’s musical artist! We invite the families in to see us sing songs, and eat together. Sometimes we do traditional food, but I’ve done breakfast instead, if the timing of the show was early in the morning.
I use this time of year as an opportunity to talk about family traditions, sharing, cooking together, and teaching where food comes from. Of course there is always the traditional turkey hand print that goes home every year and other turkey crafts. I like to invite guest readers during this time too. The holidays can make students a little excited, so a fresh new voice reading a book usually is just what the Dr. ordered to keep their attention.
Turkey in Disguise Family Project
By far my favorite home project all year is Operation Disguise Turkey! We send a letter home with a turkey printable for the family to help disguise the turkey so it is not on the table for Thanksgiving. Students also have to write a few sentences about the disguise. The families are always creative! My son made his into a dog. My daughter made hers into a vampire. Yes, a vampire. I guess she still had Halloween on her mind. The projects make a great conversational piece during the celebration with the family.
Great Turkey Stories
I have two favorite turkey stories I read during Thanksgiving. Turkey Trouble and A Plump and Perky Turkey. Students compare and contrast food, write about how to trick a turkey, summarize, practice comprehension, and learn new vocabulary words with these stories. If you have not read these adorable books, I suggest you buy the books or find it at your local library. They are my “Must Haves” for November.
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