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Future Teachers

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Mia Leal Mia Leal 620 Points

What is the best way to incorporate science in the classroom for all students and encourage them to want to learn more about this subject? 

Paige Morrison Paige Morrison 385 Points

Hi Mia!

I am Paige Morrison and I am studying Elementary Education at Wartburg College in Iowa. I think that this question is so important to have answered and I think that there's a wide range of answers that can go along with this. The first thing I thought of is to make things hands-on, minds-on. We need to allow students to make connections while doing, instead of simply listening to lectures. Having hands-on experiences can help students form a love of science and develop a deeper understanding of scientific ideas. We also should encourage discussion in the classroom to allow students to hear others' ideas and develop their own perspectives. Allow students to take charge of their learning so that they are developing memorable experiences. I think that giving students choices and showing them the possibilities that are out there can help stimulate interest in the subject as a whole. Students also need to know the "why" behind the lessons you choose to give. If you guide the students and show them the real-world connections that are being made, they may see the point in learning science and be excited about furthering their connections on the numerous scientific concepts. I hope this helped! 

Kayla Lopez Kayla Lopez 355 Points

Hi, Mia! As a future educator this is a question I also have. I think that understanding what the students like is very important. This is key when it comes to encouraging them to be involoved in the science lesson. A great way to apporach this is by simply asking them. Students will always let you know what they like or favor with this subject. You can gather information based on their responses and approach the lessons in a way they will be interested. 

Laura Garcia Laura Garcia 520 Points

Hello Mia, 

As I read your question I could not help but think about what was incorporated in my school experience when I was learning science. I personally feel that everything really depends on the students and what they engae more with. For example we must understand there are thoes who can learn by seeing and others by doing. However, elementry students are natural curious and we must take this over everything. I belive that allowing students to do experiemnts and go outside to explore what you are teaching is the best way to engage there learning. For example, I had one teacher that would take us outside to look for diffrent leaves, types of rocks, and then we would go back to class and she would explain the lesson. Then, if we had questions she would refer back to what we were looking for and connect it toegther. These types of enviorment bloosom a growing mind. 

Sarah Russell Sarah Russell 185 Points

Hi Mia! As an aspiring future educator, I ask this question myself also! I am currently being encouraged by my professors to explore who I am as a science learner, and use those strengths to be able to grow who I am as a teacher! There are SO many topics that relate to science that will begin engaging children, such as weather and nature that's all around them! I think that this is a great starting point to go from!

 

Melissa Abert Melissa Abert 215 Points

Hi Mia! As I think back on my most memorable experiences in science, I realized they were all hands-on, promoted discovery, and left me wanting to know more. From my own experiences, I remember being most engaged in my science learning when I was interested in the topic. I think acting on student interests can encourage students to want to learn more about the topic. I also believe showing or explaining the relevence of certain topics can also motivate students to want to learn more about science because they see the direct relation they have with the topic. In addition, I remember one of my elementary school teachers used to do daily/weekly fun science experiemnts that did not necessarily go with what we learning, but rather got us excited for science and showed us how broad the topic of science is. Some days we were able to connect the fun experiment with what we were learning in science that day. I think it is important for teacher to think creatively about getting students excited about science in general. Science is all around us. It is hard to truly dislike science when science is everywhere! I believe showing students that science can be where they least expect it can also motivate them to want to learn more. 

Katelyn Sherman Katelyn Sherman 7475 Points

Hi Mia, my name is Katelyn Sherman, and I am a Senior at Henderson State University. Incorporating science into the classroom for all students is so important. There is little time for science in many elementary classrooms, so it is especially important to try our best to incorporate science into our classroom. Science is fun, and we need to try our best to make it fun and encourage our students to learn about science. I am so glad that you posted this question, and I will be following along on this discussion to learn any tips that other teachers may offer! Thank you! 

Abrianna Moore Abrianna Moore 635 Points

Hello Mia!

This is a tough quesiton considering students learn in a variety of ways. Some students may be more encouraged to learn science than others. This can be a struggle when finding the "best" or "most effective" way to teach science in your classroom. I would first start with a short survey or a conversation about how you can best help your students learn; quesitons like, "What kind of science activities have you done that you enjoyed?" One of the best strategies I have learned in my pre-service teacher journey is the inquiry approach. This means you allow students to ask questions while the teacher acts as a facilitator of the classroom. When you allow students to take charge in the classroom, they become more interested in their learning. The inquiry approach gives them the opportunity to investigate and figure out answers on their own. A mix of hands-on activities and the inquiry approach, I think you will find the most success in your classroom. Students will be able to discover the answers to problems in whichever way they decide. Less instruction from the teacher ultimately gives students more time to investigate. This investigation period is what really gets students excited about learning.

I hope this helps,

Abrianna

Amber Baker Amber Baker 530 Points

Hi Mia,

My name is Amber I am a senior at Wright State University in Ohio, studying Elementary Education. 

There are many different ways to incorporate science in the classroom. 

One of my favorites is an activity called "Radish Buddies." in this activity, you have plastic small jewelry bags, radish seed, cotton balls, water, and string. The students gently grab a few radish seeds and place them inside the jewelry bag. Then the students wet the cotton ball (not too wet, just damp) and place that inside of the bag next to the radish seeds. You can punch a hole in the bag and tie string through it, students can wear their radish as a necklace! 

This activity is great for younger kids, they love have a little seed buddy. Radish seeds are quick to germinate so the neat thing about this is in just a couple of days students can seed science come to life, actually seed the process of how a seed turns into a plant with their own eyes. 

Another idea in engaging students is to say they are going to be detectives investigating why something in nature happens. you could even give magnify glass and really play into the whole deceptive concept. 

Hope this helps,

Amber

Ambriel Jacobs Ambriel Jacobs 1530 Points

Hi Mia, 

As a senior at Wartburg College studying Elementary Education, I believe I can answer your question well. In my classes, I have learned that it is extremely important to relate science to students' interests and lives. The more a student can relate to the content they are the learning, the more interested they will become. For instance, if you have a class that really likes superheroes, then relate your science lessons to superpowers. For example, you could have students investigate whether superman would be able to fly in real life, and then explain why or why not using science vocabulary. Because there is science in everything, there are unlimited ways to connect the concepts to your students. 

The idea of superheroes immediately jumped to my head, but student interests are endless. What other games, characters, concepts, etc. are students that you know interested in? I would love to know. 

All the best, 

Ambriel Jacobs  

Melissa Garcia Melissa Garcia 650 Points

Hello Mia! I am also currently enrolled in a course at a university, so hopefully, I could help you since I want to say you are also becoming a teacher! I believe the best way to incorporate science in the classroom and to be able to encourage them to want to learn more about the subject is to find a topic that applies to real life. If students know that the topic they're learning because when they understand the subject they're learning can be used in real life, they are more engaged in doing their work. I hope that helps.

Caitlin Dreismeier Caitlin Dreismeier 360 Points

Hello! I am also currently enrolled in an elementary education program at a college and I definitely agree with Melissa. I believe students learn best when they can connect what they are learning to their lives. It piques their interest and allows them to make connections throughout their learning. Another way to incorporate science in your classroom is to connect it to different subjects you will already be teaching. For reading, you could read a book on a scientific topic. For math you could talk about the many different equations and math problems there are in science. For social studies you could talk about the environmental factors of different countries around the world. There are many different ways you could cover science topics within your other subject instruction. This way you can cover all your subjects and allow students to see the connections between them. I hope this is helpful information.

Luke Anderson Luke Anderson 310 Points

Mia,

Really 'selling' your product to students can help get them interested and engaged in science especially. I know that teaching is very similar to performing a show and if we give a good performance, usually the audience (in this case, the students) lets us know. Producing activities and material that makes connections on prior learning and creates links with other life experiences can be a game-changer in classrooms. Maybe trying a new activity or changing up lesson plans could help. If students feel as though they are only being fed information they will not be engaged in class and are less-likely to retain material when compared to their peers who are engaged in hands-on activities in their science classrooms. Best of luck in your classroom!

Luke Anderson

Sabrina Monzon Sabrina Monzon 385 Points

Hello! In todays school system science is extremely overlooked, so as teachers it can be really challenging sometimes to capture students interest in the subject. I think it is extremely important to make science a fun experience for the students. This could mean making activities hands on or doing a small experiment that would really capture their attention. Science doesn't have to be about learning textbook definitions and memorizing information. It could be a fun creative process to get students to think outside the box. We could also include science in other subject areas like math and reading. For example, while learning about plants and flowers a teacher could combine it with a lesson on poetry. The teacher could take the students outside and ask them to write a poem about any of the plants they observe. This would be a fun experience for the students since it will be a change of scenery. Simple things such as changing the setting of a lesson could impact the way a student participates. I hope my post has helped you find different ways to engage students in science!

Priscilla Diaz Priscilla Diaz 915 Points

One of the many experiences I have had of teaching children is that they need to have fun and interest in everything they do. This applies to academic learning too. The traditional way of teaching is had proven to not get students engage. Teaching and giving lectures about a topic, that will be follow by a worksheet does not work. Children do not get involve and engage in the act of learning. Over the course of my elementary education career I have learned a whole new way to teach science and all other topics. The key word is hands on and independent learning. This combination is the key to a successful science lesson and any other subject. Find ways students can do an experiment or carry out and investigation related to the topic you are about to introduce. Let students create meaning and connection between their prior knowledge and new things that will be learn as the go through their investigation. Another great advice is to make your classes more student-center. This means students should be doing most of the talking. Small group work is also a great way to help student engage and participate in the lesson. Always remember everything you learn on your own through experience is something you will never forget, and this applies to students doing independent learning.

I like that you said "for all students", because this can lead me directly to reminding you to make accommodations for ALL students, so that ESE and ELLs have the chance to also participate in hands-on lessons and get the same experience that all students should get. Check out Making Science Accessible: Strategies to Meet the Needs of a Diverse Student Population Marcia Fetters, Dawn M. Pickard, and Eric Pyle, Marcia Fetters, Dawn M. Pickard,and Eric Pyle edited by: National Science Teachers Association. It contains so many acommodations that one doesn't usually think about, and it can go so far in making science a learning experience for all students. Now, kids love hands-on and getting creative, i would definitely make the class an investigable and student-centered class, connecting their prior knowledge to a new topic you're teaching them. Make sure students interact with one another, and facilitate lots of discussion, but remind them that scientists should use vocabulary like "data" or "investigable question" in their discussion to make it more "professional" and you'll see how excited they get. Good luck!

Stephanie Rojas Stephanie Rojas 1495 Points

Hello! I think this question is very important to consider, especially in this evolving world of STEM that we are living in. Science is quickly becoming one of the most important school subjects and major focus areas, so it is important to think about how, as teachers, we could get all students engaged in science. I think the most effective way is to focus your science classroom or lessons on inquiry-based learning. This means having students work hands-on with science experiments and investigations, encourage them to ask questions, and allow them to take control of their learning experience. The teacher should act as a facilitator in the classroom, guiding the students, but not explicitly giving them the answers and allowing them to come to their own conclusions. Making science “fun” is the best way for students to become excited about learning science. You could also incorporate science into other subject areas. For example, for reading, you could have the students read a story or a poem that relates to science! This way, students will become more interested and involved in their science learning. Finally, I think it is important to think about how you are going to make science accessible to all types of learners such as ELL and ESE students. Be aware of the appropriate and necessary accommodations that need to be made for each student and have various ways of presenting a lesson, whether that includes using visuals, audio, or manipulatives. There are so many resources out there, even on NSTA, that can help you plan your science instruction. Stay positive and good luck!

Madeline Henderson Madeline Henderson 285 Points

Science can be incorporated in many ways. Teaching class outside or having assignments for students to complete outdoors is a fun, easy way to help teach science. This gets students involved and helps them have firsthand experiences in nature. 

Emily Cooper Emily Cooper 563 Points

Hi Mia! 

Pre-service teacher here. In today's education science is one of the overlooked topics in an elementary classroom. I believe incorporating science with reading literature is a great way to engage the students while covering all the curriculm. Have the students read a science related book! I know at my University we are big on combining topics to ensure max learning.  As Madeline mentioned, outdoors is a great way to have students be involved in science related activities involcing nature. 

Camryn Lochner Camryn Lochner 345 Points

Hi Mia! 

I am currently studying Elementary Education at Wright State University in Ohio. I think the best way to encourage students to engage in the science lesson is to make sure the students connect to the lesson. When introducing the topic make sure there is a way to tie it in to the students lifes or a memory they might have. Science is such a fun subject for students to be able to engage. Having hands-on actitives for the students to do will help them stay connected and also engage in the lesson. 

Ethan Beck Ethan Beck 630 Points

Hi Mia, I think if we can target what kinds of questions students are asking and taking interest in then we can cultivate more student interest. We all have qustions about how things are the way they are and walking students through what it is like to put yourself in the shoes of a scientist and ask those questions can be exciting. Answering questions like this provides students with a cognitive framework to begin to ask questions about more science related topics. The next step after this would to be to focus on generating a classroom community that cultivates curiosity and is excited to answer questions.

Rose Andrews Rose Andrews 3290 Points

Hello Ethan! I appreciate your phrasing of 'cultivating curiosity'.  Not all students think they have a scientific mind, or even think that science is interesting! (Shocking, I know!)  If we can tap into their innate sense of curiosity, we can develop the scientist that we know lies within each student.

Md. Hossian Md. Hossian 302 Points

Hi Mia. This question is more appropiate for all science teacher.I thinks so that practical class & equipment are more nessesary to learn scientific matter.

 

Nikita Hatley Nikita Hatley 4210 Points

Hello, my name is Nikita Hatley, and I'm a student at Henderson State University, where I am an elementary education major. I learned many new things and resources regarding Elementary Science/ Future Teachers. I enjoy learning science and I would like my students to love science because there are many ways to make science fun.

I have a question about what kind of techniques can be used to make science fun during lectures for elementary students.

Allison Corwin Allison Corwin 1210 Points

Hi Mia!

I find myself asking the same quesiton, especially at my current field placement in a third grade classroom. We do not have much time to devote to science, since most of our instructional time is devoted to language arts and math. One way that I have found to make my students interested in learning about and engaging with science is by making the science relevant to thier lives. If the students can interact with the science and see themselves as scientists, they will want to do more science learning! When I teach my students science I let them interact with the world around them and the results are fantastic!

Best of Luck! 

Allie Corwin

Joy Smith Joy Smith 605 Points

Hi Mia,

Students are naturally curious about the about the word around them. Discovering the world around them and finding the “Why” behind the way things work excites and interests them. Having hands-on activities in the classroom that explain daily phenomenon is a great way to get kids excited about science.

 

Alexandra Gann Alexandra Gann 240 Points

I think this is a great realization. I remember as a child science always being one of my favorite subjects. Doing labs and experiments that happen in reality every day was so interesting. Doing these things that students can relate to their every day lives makes them more excited to learn about science in education!

Jacqueline Rice Jacqueline Rice 510 Points

Hi, I am not an educator yet but will be in a year. As of now I am simply observing other teachers. I know everyone who responds is saying hands on experiences is the way to go and I could not agree more. The trick is to incorporate the hands on experiences to the objectives, goals and unit studies. Some things that I have seen in my observations as regards a 6th grade science class has to do with connecting the unit of Growth, Development and Reproduction. The hands on experiences have been - preparing a large fish tank to raise trout. The students learned all the ways that trout live and worked daily to prepare the tank. Trout eggs were ordered and the students are now tending to them. The eggs have now matured and there are at least 50 trout swimming around. I find myself excited to check on the trout when I observe and I see how engaged the students have been. Another experience was having all of the students take clippings from tomato plants growing in the school garden and attempt to cultivate them in water. Everyday the students had to tend to the plants and lig in any growth. Finally the students investigated pollinating plants and developed their own pollinator garden on paper. Eventually, the students are going to plant a garden. These are just a few simple ideas but I can see how involved the students are in the projects. Good luck! 

Brooke Rothman Brooke Rothman 630 Points

What is the best way to incorporate science in the classroom for all students and encourage them to want to learn more about this subject? 

Hi Mia,

The best way to incorporate science in the classroom for all students is to get them involved in the learning process and create projects/lessons that relate to  their interests. If students can see how this topic relates to the real world they will be able to better understand the concept and be able to apply to other subjects. Teachers can set up different learning activties to help students practice working on their strengths and weaknesses. By making small groups students will be able to help one another and practice these skills. Students will want to learn more about science when they are having fun and see how this topic affects them in their own life. Modifying lessons, activties or projects to allow students to make their own decision while still learning the concept will allow them freedom to come up with ideas to solve the question being asked.  

Kourtney Lauro Kourtney Lauro 470 Points

Hi Mia, 
My name is Kourtney Lauro, and I am a student at Monmouth University studying elementary education. You raise a very important question related to learning in the science classroom. One of the best ways that science can be incorporated into the classroom to reach a diverse population of learners and make students eager to learn is to consider their interests and take time to develop engaging lesson plans. Young learners easily become disengaged from lessons or activities that do not easily grab their attention or appeal to their interests; therefore, it is important that educators become familiar with their students' likes, dislikes, and learning needs in the beginning of the year, and use this information to present practices that will enhance student involvement. One way to immediately capture students' attention from the start of a lesson is to present a phenomena, which can be shown to the class through a picture, a short video, or a book. Such resources work to elicit curiosity and questions in students about a particular topic, and as the lesson continues, students work to discover answers to these questions. Another effective technique is to allow students to work hands-on with materials to find answers for themselves; this forces students to take an active role in their learning, rather than being expected to absorb information presented by the teacher. I feel that hands-on experiences in the classroom have a number of benefits; not only does this type of learning support student engagement, but it also helps young learners develop fine motor skills that are critical for the future. Every lesson and activity that students participate in should relate to the real-world in order for them to understand its purpose. If students cannot recognize a lesson's significance or gain useful information from it, the lesson would be considered unsuccessful, and would ultimately cause students to form a negative relationship with science. The final method I will suggest is to provide students with choice as much as possible. Choice is extremely important in the academic setting because it helps students recognize that their preferences are valued and respected. This will motivate students to engage in activities and take academic risks that will contribute to their growth as science learners. For example, you can offer options to work in different areas of the room as long as students are on task, allow students to work with different partners, provide a choice board for daily activities, or offer students to choose a topic that interest them for an end-of-unit project. For engineering assignments, give students opportunities to design and build their own structures. By giving students the appropriate amount of academic freedom, they receive the opportunity to exercise their imaginations and design their own unique structures. 

Megan Nielsen Megan Nielsen 350 Points

Hi Mia! 

I'm Megan, I am currently studying Elementary Education at Monmouth University and as I have been more immersed in field placements and opportunities in the classroom a lot of questions similar to yours have come about for me too. I try to ask the students and teachers I have been placed with as many questions so that I feel best prepared when I get to be in a classroom of my own one day. Unfortunately, science and history have been subjects that I have had very limited exposure to in my placements so I make sure to ask a lot of questions to my teachers and peers. From what they have told me, it is most important to get to know what interests your students and tie those interests into your lessons. I have had some teachers tell me that over the years science curriculums have been put on the back burner causing a lot of students to have limited exposure to the subject until they get to middle and high school. SO, what they have told me to do is to try to include little STEM projects during the week in order to get students thinking and get creative while also getting them exposed to general science skills and topics. These STEM projects can be tailored to many ages and grade levels so there is really something for everyone. Getting your students involved is really the best way to make them feel engaged and excited to learn. These little activities though may seem silly are great ways to get kids learning without them even realizing they are, and I think that those experiences are the ones they end up remembering the best!

Jacob Shaw Jacob Shaw 440 Points

Hi Mia!

As a college student who is preparing to graduate in the spring, I think that the best way to incorproate students in the classroom for your students is to find interactive ways that get them involved. It can be boring for students, particularly elementary students, to have to sit in the classroom and listen to the teacher talk. Finding hands-on ways that allow them to see the science work and be involved is crucial. In addition,  make sure that your students are thinking. Ask them questions. Allow them to have discussions with others. Find any way to continue this knowledge in a way that will help them connect with the content and remember it. It will make all the difference!

Taylor McGuire Taylor McGuire 2830 Points

Hi Mia!

I am also a pre-service teacher who is graduating in the spring. Science can be a particularly difficult subject to teach, especially with the limited amount of exposure to it in the classroom. I don't know about you, but in all of my placements the past few years, especially due to COVID, science instruction in the classroom has almost come to a complete halt. So getting that exposure to science and finding ways to integrate and really make the science lessons engaging has been difficult.

If I've learned anything, it's that students need that hands-on element! Even if it's nothing huge, students still need to manipulate and explore the topic through interactive elements. There are tons of resources out there that can help you with that including sites like NSTA or Mystery Science (I really like this one!). Similar to what Jacob said though, you have to make sure that your students are actually engaged in that higher-level thinking. Simply providing them with a hands-on activity and not supplementing instruction along with it will have no lasting effects. Make sure to press into that thinking and really have your students discuss, think, and engage in the material is what is going to provide the most lasting benefits. 

Brianna Otoski Brianna Otoski 1760 Points

Hey Mia!

I have been wondering the same thing. i am currently in a 2nd grade classroom and it is tough to even find the time to incorporate science into our everyday activities! When we do get to have science discussions, the students become extremely excited and very interested in the discussion. Our students love STEM activities and would jump at the chance to do them everyday. 

My advice is to try to incorporte some STEM conent in the everyday lessons, and go from there! In my experience, students have responded very well to these opportunities and always have a great time. They learn a lot, and seem to be eager for the next science lesson!

Hope this helps!

Brianna Otoski :) 

Jocelyn Bouchair Jocelyn Bouchair 470 Points

Hello Mia, 

I think this is such an improtant discussion! I am currently in a 3rd grade classroom. I recently implemented a 3D, 5E lesson plan with an NGSS standard. I found this really fun and engaging. My students learned a lot of new information and applied it very well. I like this model for science lessons a lot. I really do think this is the best way to reach all of our students. 

I love how science can be incorporated into almost anything. Every child has questions about how things work and I love that we can answer those questions in fun and engaging ways. 

Kylie Tilton Kylie Tilton 400 Points

Hi Mia! 

I have found that in the experience that I have had so far, and what I have learned in my schooling is to relate the science content and standards to real life phenomena! If you do this, start with the phenomena or activity first, then reinforce with content, vocab, etc. Doing it this way helps the students become engaged right away and want to put in effort when they can relate. Leave them wanting to know more! How you question them is extremely important as well. 

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