Tag Archives: science

7 Science Lesson Tips

Sometimes people ask how I deal with teaching so many different ages and grades when tutoring or homeschooling. They have a point. There are a lot of ways to make teaching easier, though. Lets talk about how to plan for science lessons and NOT give yourself a headache.

1. Plan ahead.

Planning lessons in advance and having the correct tools on hand makes life so much easier. But with busy lives and multiple children, I know this is a challenge. It may help to take a day or two off and plan a week or month in advance, create lists of materials needed, and even set up folders or shelves with the items for each experiment on them assuming nothing dangerous is in the reach of kids.

 

 

2. Safety first!

Post and review safety rules often. Include pictures of items like safety goggles so your kids are more likely to remember the rules. Remember to set the example.

If they need goggles, you need goggles.

If they need to walk while holding a beaker, so do you.

If someone breaks a rule, refer back to the rule and it’s matching image. Make your own or buy one like this.

 

 

3. Practice using tools.

I don’t know about you, but when I get a new thing, I want to check it out. This holds true for science tools like beakers, bunsen burners, pipettes, etc. Kids ALWAYS want to play with new items.

ALWAYS.

The question is, have they had enough time to play safely, then practice using the materials responsibly? If so, then you are ready for lessons. If not, well, let’s just say broken glass isn’t fun so let the kids practice A LOT under your supervision before beginning lessons.

 

 

4. Stop for safety.

If your students are not focused or are being unsafe, stop. You can always start again later or on another day. Sometimes it takes a brain break or time outside to get those wiggles out and refocus on the lesson.

 

 

5. Ask your kids.

Ask your kids what they want to learn. Ask them how they think a scientific inquiry should proceed. When you use open-ended questions and student-chosen lessons, when possible, it helps your children to internalize the information because it will likely be more important and interesting to them.

 

6. Try it again.

Try experiments more than once. Scientists do this, so why can’t you? Consider changing one thing in the experiment such as the independent variable and see how that changes the findings. Ask the kids to decide what to change and how. Record the results each time and compare them in a log book like this one.

 

 

7. Have fun!

It’s also okay to have fun! There is no reason that science should be boring. Science is always open to change and to new questions. If an experiment sounds bor-ring, consider doing a different one. The goal is to learn how to make a scientific inquiry and go through the scientific process to ensure results are unbiased, reliable, and valid. It’s okay to have fun while you do it!

If you want some ideas to help you get started, check out the options below!

Keep in mind that I reserve the right to use affiliate links throughout my website.

About Melissa, The Reading Coach

Melissa Packwood, M.S. Ed. Photograph by Alexandra Islas

Melissa Packwood, M.S. Ed.
Photograph by Alexandra Islas

Several years ago, I left my teaching job to spend more time with my children. I was sad to go, but am thankful for the experiences that classroom teaching provided. My educational experiences paired with real world experiences give me a unique perspective when working with families to achieve their behavioral and educational goals.

I earned my master’s degree in reading and literacy as well as an ESE graduate certificate. I hold a current teaching certificate and am working on my PHD in general psychology. As a consultant and reading coach, I focus on early childhood education, elementary education, reading and literacy, study skills, thematic units, and social skills. I look forward to putting my teaching experience and degrees to work for you. Please contact me with questions or to request services.

You can also contact Melissa, The Reading Coach at

407-712-4368

 lissa_kaye54@yahoo.com

Helpful Science Websites for Homeschool Families

Every year, homeschool families spend money on curriculum and materials. Here are 5 helpful science websites to help lower those costs just a bit.

  1. Have you ever wondered which bird is making the noise outside your home? Find out using the Macaulay Library from Cornell. Then, consider checking out books from your local library or doing a web search to find out more about the birds local to your neighborhood or state.

2. If your child prefers other types of animals, check out the Sea World collection of sounds               from a variety of animals.

3. Are you working on an astronomy unit? Check out Astronomy for Kids for loads of info about     our universe.

4. The National Math and Science Initiative provides free lesson plans. This site is especially              helpful if your children are heading to middle or high school grade levels.

5. You can find a variety of links and lesson plan information on the Middle School Science blog.     This site is great if you need to see a variety of different ideas before choosing a unit or                 activity.

While these sites can help you get started without breaking the bank, make sure you check out my resource list  for more ideas. Some sites charge money while others are free. Be sure to read all details before you use the sites.

 

If you would like a consultation to discuss mapping out your homeschool year or curriculum writing services, please contact me here or at 407-712-4368.

Melissa Packwood, M.S. Ed.
Photograph by Alexandra Islas

Get Excited About Volcanoes!

        My son, who is 5, LOVES to read about Earth’s constant changes. One of his favorite books discusses ways the Earth is changing every day. Hands on activities help him understand even more about the Earth’s many parts. He has been particularly focused on volcanic action and tectonic plates lately. I wanted to take a moment to share some information, which I found helpful, with you about volcanoes. This post does contain sponsored links from Educents, but definitely has important educational information, too. Enjoy!

Creater Of Bromo Volcano, East Java, Indonesia by lkunl

Creater Of Bromo Volcano, East Java, Indonesia by lkunl

Volcano Facts for Kids

Before you jump into the volcano science experiment, share these interesting facts about volcanoes with your little learners:

  • There are about 1,900 active volcanoes on the earth. This means they have
    erupted recently or they might erupt. Some volcanoes are extinct. Over 80 volcanoes have been found in the ocean.
  • Most volcanoes happen on fault lines, or cracks in the Earth’s surface.
  • Most of the earth’s volcanoes are in the Pacific Ocean, in an area called the Ring of Fire.
  • The word “volcano” comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
  • Lava from volcanoes can reach temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Volcanoes spew out ash and toxic gases, as well as lava and lava boulders.

Volcano Science Experiment for Kids

Check out these kids use household chemicals to recreate a volcanic eruption!

 

Using the Volcano Kit from the video, little scientists are asked to mix chemicals to make the volcano erupt! This will be an experiment that Young Scientists will want to repeat again and again!


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