Help me with science lessons...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ecteach, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Jan 5, 2014

    I teach a self-contained class where what I say pretty much goes. That's good in a way, but also can be draining. There's no curriculum support, no materials, etc.

    I have trouble the most with science. I used to do mostly experiments, but truth be told I stopped doing that because I truly do not have the money to buy the materials. Then I started having them watch videos of the material, and then doing a little mini-lesson on it. Recently, I've made "books" of all of the material that they should be learning, and have them read the books, and answer questions.

    I feel like I just really don't know how to teach science. They really don't do well with a whole group approach. Even when we did the experiments, I'm not sure how much they really retained/paid attention.

    We have iPads. Are there any cool inclusive apps that I could purchase? These are middle school students, but most function on a kindergarten or first grade level.

    Thanks.
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Jan 5, 2014

    As far as experiments go, do any of your colleagues have extra supplies, or could you try to set something up with a local high school for supplies? Where I am, the elementary schools get crap for supplies, but if we contact the department heads at the middle or high school, they usually have tons of extra supplies. I strongly suspect with your population that hands-on is the best way to go with them.

    If hands on really doesn't work, I would do a lot of integrating science and reading/writing. Don't necessarily explicitly teach a lot of science, but use a lot of science non-fiction materials.
     
  4. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jan 5, 2014

    Have you heard of Gizmo's? They are online interactive experiment type things. The free trial is 30 days, but once it expires you can register again.
     
  5. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    No I hadn't. Thanks.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jan 5, 2014

    The book A Framework for k-12 Science Education is a good resource for you. It will guide you to a better understanding of what you need the kids to grasp in science.
    http://www.amazon.com/Framework-K-1...=1388951966&sr=8-2&keywords=framework+science

    As for resources, state agencies (Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries, DEQ, DNR, etc) often have great resources. If you go to your state's website their science curriculum should give you some ideas. We (Louisiana) aren't going with NGSS, we are (supposedly) going to create a Louisiana version of it. So, we still have a regular science curriculum (http://www.louisianabelieves.com/resources/library/academic-standards) That may help. There are grants you can write for supplies, or try Donor's Choose.
    The big push now is to bring Literacy into science. I use a lot of article found online. Sciencespot.net is a great resource for lessons and activities.
    Also, I LOVE the Picture Perfect Science series. It's a group of lessons written to go with children's books. One fiction and one non-fiction with each lesson. You can buy the sets through NSTA, but they're pretty expensive. Your library will probably have many of the books needed, or you can find them used through Amazon or places like that.
     
  7. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Jan 5, 2014

    Good advice so far. When I had to do my own lessons, for a Sp. Ed. class, I tried to focus on some hands-on investigations and journals, etc.We had mealworms for lifecycles.(Cheap-they live in cornmeal with potato slices). Students charted how many, etc., every week. We did a lot with magnets, sink- float, etc. For scientific method, drops on a penny, friction, force, motion. We also did things that went along with monthly themes.(April-environment, etc.) It is nice you have iPads-can't help you with that. Good luck.
     

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