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Elementary Science

My science lesson for second grade

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Rachael Kelly Rachael Kelly 2300 Points

Over this past week I taught my first science lesson to my second graders in my internship. The lesson was based around soil and the children needed to model a landfill. The way I designed the lesson was I collected lunch items which would be used in the soil, as well as paper clips, and plastic bottles. This was designed to show the students what would decompose in the soil and what would still be left in the soil after several weeks ( the plastic bottles, and paper clips). I think what I enjoyed about the lesson was the children's excitement over making the landfill. I think if I get a chance to teach the lesson again, I may decide to have the children work in groups and create their own landfill. I think by me modeling it did not give the children a chance to practice this activity. I'm just not sure they got everything out of the lesson I wanted to by me modeling the landfill. I find that because science is at the end of the day, most of the time we end up modeling some of the activities to save time. I'm wondering if other elementary school teachers have this problem as well? How do you maximize the time so the children can get as much out of the science lesson as possible?

Alayna Maldonado Alayna Maldonado 1750 Points

I often find myself in the same situation with my 3rd graders. Science is often at the end of our day and there is not always time for the students to go through the experiments on their own. I often find myself modeling the experiment for my students and then we run out of time for them to do it themselves. I have been trying to look for shorter, simpler experiments with fewer materials and less steps so that it is possible for them to be completed in the allotted time, usually an hour. I have also tried to make more time for science in my classroom. Instead of doing social studies and science every week, I try to focus on just one of those subjects per month so that I can devote more time and accomplish more, instead of switching back and forth between the subjects at the end of the day. I have found that I am able to set aside about an hour and a half for science, which leaves me with plenty of time to introduce topics with short videos and note-taking, demonstrate an experiment, then let my students do the experiment. I also like Discovery Education’s website for their virtual labs. If I am pressed for time, I can go through the lab with the class on the projector or have them work in pairs to complete it. The labs usually take less than an hour and the best part is that there is no clean up. ?

Trisha Okamura Trisha Okamura 2000 Points

Hi Rachael, What I do is I'll break up the lesson into several smaller lessons. I would do the intro and modeling one day and then have them do the experiment on their own on another. That way you would have enough time to introduce key terms and model thoroughly without feeling rushed and then the next day/lesson would be devoted entirely to the experiment with just a short review before they begin. Hope this helps! Trisha

Victoria Chanda Victoria Chanda 2280 Points

I agree with the posts above. It is important to remember that you can always tie a content lesson with a subject lesson and vice-versa. I would introduce the lesson in Science the first day. The second day I would re-touch on it in Reading/Writing. Have the students look through books, or find an interactive website on the idea being discussed. As a class, come up with vocabulary that you can use for the week, and important information that must be kept in mind. Then when it is time for science class, perform the actual experiment. You can always split big lessons down into smaller parts. It is so hard when Science and Social Studies is over-looked in many schools compared to Reading/Writing/Math.

Erica Kawamura Erica Kawamura 1500 Points

Hi Rachael, I would also break this lesson into several short science lessons. I would start by explaining to students what a landfill is and explain to students on what we use landfills for. Having the students keep a journal during this unit would be a great recording tool to involve all students. I believe that having the students "do" helps them to understand what they are learning about. In their journal, students can write down observations of the class landfill.

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