Any teachers out there have some good ideas for teaching science to middle schoolers?
I am starting a new job teaching science, along with all other subjects, to a grade six class. I am comfortable with everything but science. Does anyone have any good lesson plans or ideas for middle school science they wouldn't mind sharing?
Thanks in advance!
I also teach science, hope you enjoy your experience. If you have some time you may read these two hubs:
http://sriparna.hubpages.com/hub/Writin … -classroom
http://sriparna.hubpages.com/hub/Lesson … -Classroom
To begin with, if you need to fathom what they already know, you can begin your lessons using a lot of visuals. Like you carry a picture for the kids and ask them to write or discuss all what they see happening, reason why they think is happening, then decipher how much they know and where you will start from. Then slowly build your lesson plans. Plan a lot of interesting lab activities, I am naming a very interesting one for the sixth graders "Elephant Toothpaste", search youtube video and show them in the lab, your students will enjoy. Hope it helps!
Science is always more fun when it is hands on! Popping popcorn and growing crystals, a carnivorous plant. Look into science museums for kids - I used them as resources when teaching science. You can make it the FUN class in school!
I am sure that your school probably has a science fair to encourage problem solving. It's always a great way to draw parent interest in the classroom. With the interest in eco-friendly products and environments, doing something along this line for the entire school benefit would be really interesting.
Science can be intimidating to teach, but great fun when it all clicks! Anything hands on will not only make it fun, but will help to ingrain the concept you are teaching into their brains! Middle school kids are great fun to teach when they are kept busy, so make sure they have lots to do! Most schools have their curriculum outlined for you already. Look for ways to connect the science to their lives, such as chemical reactions with everyday food items! Give them ways to test concepts such as how to bleach out a spot using lemons and sunshine or what works better to use to scrub a stain out of the sink, salt or baking soda? Sounds like fun! Good luck!
Why reinvent the wheel?
A lot of the topics that I write on are stacked with information that is coming from a scientifically based perspective. I have found some fabulous videos which are produced and edited in a manner where they can quickly explain major concepts - that it would take years of lectures to achieve the same result.
"Show and tell" is one of the best ways to teach. Why reinvent the wheel. There are unbelievably great videos/movies/documentaries which can quickly explain very complex scientific topics. Go to youtube and plug in one of your topics that you plan to teach. Find the best video quality and videos that have the highest level of creativity-- and your students will gobble up the information!
For instance, you can teach Newton's laws of motions by standing at the chalk board explaining that the second law is....
Second law: The acceleration a of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force F acting on the body, is in the direction of the net force, and is inversely proportional to the mass m of the body, i.e., F = ma.
Or you can bring in something cool like the music group Muse, which has named one of their albums "The 2nd Law"... you could play the music as the kids enter your class and then ask them what does this music have to do with the lesson today? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJxs1szHJFM
You could show them the cute quick video of Newton's Laws of Motions... something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVdqxYyFRKY
And then you could bring in an application of the 2nd Law of Motion - such as the debate on Building #7 of 9/11, such as what Richard Gage AIA is talking about in this upcoming video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ArcMOkuoK0
I have a background in advertising, and advertising - at a core level is "teaching". One of the standard rules in great advertising - is to show and tell. If the saying is true that a picture is worth 1000 words, then you can speak 1000 words in one photo... imagine what one video can do. Or to create an entire lesson plan that activates the student's entire senses by giving them an entire lesson based on applications of what you are going to be teaching them that day.
Repetition is the mother of skill and learning. Tell them what you are going to tell them, show them, then tell them again. This is a fabulous way of teaching. Your students will have a much higher recall of the information if you can teach this to them in a way that is fun and engages the senses!
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