How to make Teaching Science stress free

Science is a great subject to teach, but can be cumbersome to prep at times.  Here are some tips to keep you teaching Science, while keeping your sanity.
Tips for Stress Free Science

Science is everywhere

Remember, all Science lessons do not have to involve manipulatives and the “wow” factor. Observing the weather, collecting leaves, and growing a class plant are all excellent ways to teach science. In fact, these are the lessons that children tend to remember, and learn the most from.

Cross-curricular units are great

If you’re reading a story about dinosaurs, then study dinosaurs in Science. Taking a few weeks to learn more about a topic can be rewarding, especially if it’s a topic your students have an interest in.

Get a Science grade from each lesson or experiment

When you teach hands-on Science lessons, it’s easy to get so caught up in the fun that you forget to get a grade from them. If your school uses a hands-on kit, you may need to do the experiment in the kit one day, and then have students complete some sort of assessment the next. Ideas for Science assessments include:

               • A graph of the data collected
               • A write-up of what they observed
               • A picture of what they observed
               • A KWL chart
               • Have students write down 3 facts they learned from the lesson or experiment.
               • Have students write down 3 interesting things that occurred during the experiment.
               • Grading their Science journal entry.
               • Grading their notes from the lesson you taught.

Observational grades work for some lessons

There will be certain experiments or lessons that do not lend themselves to a formal assessment. Observational grades are perfect for these lessons. Take a clipboard with a class list, and walk around and give students a lab grade based on their effort during the lesson, and how well they worked with their partner or group.

Don’t be afraid to supplement your Lessons

If you have a Science curriculum, you may find that your students need more or less of part of the curriculum. This is also a great way to extend the curriculum if you don’t have a full year curriculum of Science. Here is a link for a balance and motion unit I created.

Use parent volunteers for prepping your lessons

If you are fortunate enough to have parents who wish to work in your room, prepping for the next science lesson is a great job to give them. A parent can prepare the materials and set them aside in a spot in your room, until you’re ready to give the lesson – even if it’s a few days away.

All Science is important

Make sure that your students understand that all Science lessons are important, whether they have the “wow” factor or not. Talk about famous Scientists and explain that the reason they are famous today is because they took the time to record their observations, and write about what they learned. Many people saw cells and micro-organisms underneath microscopes, but we credit those Scientists who published what they saw.

For more time saving teacher tips, check out this post on teacher time savers.

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