Don’t look outside if you are in New York because then it makes it hard to believe that spring has already begun! Snow or not, we are springing into our latest unit and have so much fun! This year my colleagues and I are test-driving our newest Science/Social Studies unit and the students are loving it! Here are some tips to have a successful science unit as well!
Have a clear focus and be on the same page with your team!
This is the third season unit and it has been wonderful to see the student connections and continuity. Prior to this year, I often felt like we were reading Scholastic News, doing a Pinterest craft, and reading a couple books. This unit has structure, starting with our compelling question:
Each lesson connects to a supporting question that eventually builds up to all students answering this main compelling question! Here in NY we have Social Studies Curriculum and we are starting to use the (still in production) Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The unit we created helps keep us all on the same page and prepares all students for first grade!
Allow for hands-on, open-ended exploration!
We used prisms, bubbles, CDs and water/flashlights to explore bending light! Just plain old exploratory learning. The learning was happening through their conversations and observations all afternoon!
Incorporate fun and laughter with basic science skills!
We learned about where rain comes from using the shaving cream and food coloring experiment. Then we got to be real scientists and make our own hypotheses, observe, and draw conclusions. We decided what would or would not protect us from the rain and then I got to make it rain! It is always a great lesson when we spend most of the time laughing! Important conclusion: Crates with holes do NOT protect well!
Also, thankful for one spring day before winter returned…
Integrate with other subjects and connect to prior learning!
We made a graph of our favorite spring activities (consensus on rollerskating being painful) and compared our data! We talked about more, less, and equal just like in math! Afterwards we played seasonal activity charades to review past units and compare to spring!
These are just a portion of 10 complete lessons, all printables, and PowerPoint slideshows included in:
Grab a FREEBIE to go with the shaving cream experiment in my spring freebie!
Now, fingers crossed for melting snow…