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Tips/Suggestions on How to Be An Effective Elementary Science Teacher

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Mariely Munoz Mariely Munoz 1175 Points

Hello Everyone,

I am currently a finishing up my last year of college which means I will be a new teacher in the fall. From my field experience hours, I have noticed that science and social studies usually get less time in a class, especially now with remote learning. The children I tutor have a 30 min science and social studies block which is a bit disappointing. I am interested to learn more about time management in the classroom and how to make science lessons meaningful through the use of hands-on activities. The children I tutor only complete science worksheets on SeeSaw, and I want to know if anybody has any suggestions on how to make science engaging through remote learning. Are there any online sites that allow students to do experiments? What is working for you? Do you have any other tips or piece of advice that could help me as a future teacher?

Maria Blancas Maria Blancas 1060 Points

Hi Mariely, 

I would suggest working with Kahoot when engaging the student, it could be used as a post assessment or even a preassessment as well to see what students have learned with science concepts. There is a lot of virtual fieldtrips students can take, for example I found a volcano virtual fieldrip and it was fun and very interesting. You could simply type in virtual fieldtrips for the science classroom and also Discovery Education has a lot of these. I would also suggest having a 'follow along' worksheet so students know how to take in the information presented to them virtually. 

Justen Hug Justen Hug 505 Points

Kahoot is a great way to teach content in a fun way and it allows you to use it as a summative assessment for your lesson.

Adriana Solis Adriana Solis 780 Points

Hi, I also agree on incorpoarting Kahoot in the classroom! Technology is only advancing so to have students do something silly while they are still learning is always nice. 

Rachel Becker Rachel Becker 1056 Points

Hi Mariely,

 

I am currently observing in a 1st grade clinical that has no time slot for science/social studies. It’s unfortunate that these students have no exposure to these subjects during these times. I love your question because engaging students in science hands-on activities is very important. Worksheets aren’t hands-on, engaging but I can understand how it’s hard to find alternatives for remote learning. However, there are more effective, engaging resources that students can use during science time. An engaging website I found for science is on Kids Scholastic and it’s all from the Magic School Bus. This website has books, experiments, and printables (for students to color in). The experiments have simple but engaging experiments that students could do with everyday materials. Everyone loves the Magic School Bus and I think this website is a great way to incorporate science during remote learning. Another engaging aspect of in-person learning that students aren’t doing are field trips. However, students can still go on virtual science field trips during remote learning. There are many different virtual field trips available but I attached the link to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History below. I found another website that explain 10 fun science lessons children can do at home.

Other simple, but fun ways to engage students instead of having them do worksheets is by using Kahoot.com or Flipgrid.com. Kahoot is an interactive way to quickly assess students. The teacher can find out misconceptions from their students or simply assess students after a lesson. Then, Flipgrid is where the teacher can ask students a question and the students can respond orally by making a video.

 

https://kids.scholastic.com/kids/books/the-magic-school-bus/ - Magic School Bus experiments

https://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/virtual-tour - Smithsonian National Museum

https://aroundthekampfire.com/2020/03/10-fun-science-lessons-kids-can-do-at-home-distance-learning-activities.html - 10 Fun Science Lessons

 

 

Mariana Celis Mariana Celis 1086 Points

Hi Mariely, 

I too am in my last year before becoming a new teacher. While it's so exciting, it also makes me a little nervous because I want to be an effective and fun teacher and due to our current circumstances, we unfortunately are seeing even less of science and social studies. I am currently in a 1st-grade classroom and have not seen any "live" science or social studies instruction. When students do science or social studies, it's independently and usually revolves around watching a video or reading a scholastic magazine. I wish I was able to see some of the strategies teachers are using to teach science that does not only involve videos and online magazines. I wonder if there are some teachers actually having students do experiments at home or at least demonstrating some cool experiments and investigations. 

Engaging students in the classroom is important enough and I think that during this e-learning situation, it is even more important. Students are at home or daycare and it might be even harder to focus with all the distractions around them as well as just in general getting used to this new format for learning. Something that I have learned during this remote learning is the crazy number of applications and websites available for teachers to use to make the learning more meaningful and fun for the students. Some of the new apps I have learned about are pear deck, flipgrid, nearpod, wizer.me, and phenomena for NGSS. I think by exploring through the different websites and apps available to make learning fun, we will be able to feel more comfortable in using different formats to present information and make students engaged in learning. Hope these are helpful!

 

I also found some websites and articles that I think would be great to give with ideas and ways to engage students in science learning. 

This is an article with some ideas- 

https://www.edutopia.org/article/adapting-science-lessons-distance-learning

This is a link to a 30 free day trial for a website that offers interactive science lessons and activities for grades K-2. It mentions it has activities that can be done online and and includes poems, songs, videos and interaction-  

https://www.science4us.com/trial/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Gizmos-US-Science&utm_term=science%20experiments%20online%20interactive&utm_content=427633611307&type=GEN&gclid=CjwKCAjwrKr8BRB_EiwA7eFapvBRNz-kRUpex9RCyLDaM6jBRiAzTTKFbxrou066SlYxh2qWILn4UxoCaNoQAvD_BwE

Offers a bunch of ideas for activities students can do at home with few or easily accessible materials-  https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/g32176446/science-experiments-for-kids/

https://mommypoppins.com/kids/50-easy-science-experiments-for-kids-fun-educational-activities-using-household-stuff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MHn9Q5NtdY

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