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Elementary Science

Fun in the Classroom - Interactive/ Hands On

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Jennifer Shadow Jennifer Shadow 1635 Points

Hello! My goal for teaching science in the classroom is to be very interactive / hands on. I have my BS in Horticulture and worked in the plant industry for 27 years until a year or so ago when I decided to go back to school and get my Masters in Eduacation. Since I have never taught or had any elementary classes, I am learning as I go ( I have subbed and currently work at a K-12 school) . My question to you all is: since I want to have a hands on classroom what are some of the best ways to go about that ? I love seeing the kids excited and interested and want that to last throughout the year !! 

Rachel Webber Rachel Webber 255 Points

Hi Jennifer! I think what Heather mentioned about using your personal experience is SUCH a great idea. So many people (including young students) have never met a scientist or don't have any scientists in their families. This gives them a chance to meet someone who knows what it's all about! Have you ever done strawberry DNA extractions? That was a fun hands-on activity we have done in the past when we did outreach with with some of the university faculty and undergrad students in horticulture. It requires a little bit of budget, but it has a wow factor that can spark a lot of inquiry about plant biology, DNA and the scientific process. 

Heather Koelle Heather Koelle 925 Points

I believe that your past experience can truly come in handy for those hands-on projects! I think it would be great to incoporate your experience in the plant industry into the classes lessons. I would definitely incorporate science experiments into your daily lessons, if applicable. Most students fail to learn just by reading out of the textbook. For example, if you are teaching about plant growth, you could possibly show students how a plan grows from a seed by having the students plant a flower, fruit, or vegetable seed and watching it grow over time. I remember doing the bean that would sprout in a plastic baggy with a wet paper towel! We used to get so excited when our bean finally sprouted. 

Another great option for doing hands on learning would be creating science centers in your classroom. This way you could set up different experiments that the children could do and rotate the children so everyone has an opportunity to do multiple experiments while working in small groups. Kids love working with their hands, so any use of play dough, slime, sand, or water is great for them! 

Melissa Espinoza Melissa Espinoza 310 Points

You are a gem!! You have experience no other teacher has.  Just remember when working hands on, students do not like to clean up and move on.  They are always so fully engaged they lose time.  It will take daily practice to teach them how to clean up and to stay on task to move to the next subject.

David Ricker David Ricker 10 Points

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