are welcome to use these ideas in your classroom, within your science
department, within your school district, or to distribute to any
teacher who may find these lessons useful. I only ask that:
1. You cannot sell these lessons or make a profit on them in any way.
2. You cite the lessons original source, and do not white-out the copyright footer on the pdf files
3. Do not copy and paste lessons onto your website. A link to the original is to be used.
4. Do not claim these lessons as your own work. NOTE: This disclaimer is modeled after a couple of my favorite websites: The Science Spot and Middle School Science. Thanks, teachers!
Check out my Pinterest Board called Classroom Management! A great collection of ideas from teachers across the country!
If you feel as
if you are doing
the work, not your students, try activelearning!
teaching philosophy gets your students moving. It has your students use
flash cards to learn the different models of the solar system, cut and
paste vocabulary, or perform skits to show the features of the three
main volcano types.
off to Louis
for all his
training and wonderful
yourself to your
students in a creative and interesting way!
A great way to
to new classes! Read the poem, "What's
Sack?" by Shel
Silverstein to your students. Have a big sack in
you while you
read it. The kids are already wondering what's in your sack! Then have
a student come up and with eyes closed, pick one item out of the sack.
They sit down again and you tell your students what this item tells
them about you. Have different students bring out 4 or 5 more items in
the sack that tell them what's important to you. Make sure you include
something that indicates how important to you your students
are, such as last year's yearbook or snapshots of last years kids or a
video of a good lab that you can quickly pop in the VCR and show them
what fun you had last year. Then on the back of your Student Inventory
Worksheet, have them draw inside a sketch of a sack 4 - 6 things that
tell you about them. For younger students, you could have them bring in
the actual objects and share a few each week. Thanks to Janet
for this great idea!
Tile Seating Chart
"photo tiles" for a
seating chart--a great way to connect new student names with faces!
First print out students' names in a small font, last name below first,
with enough space for photos above the names. Then photocopy yearbook
pictures of each student and glue them above the names. Cover the
entire page with wide clear tape, front and back and cut them out. Put
a blank copy of your seating chart inside a peel-back photo page. Using
sticky-tack or double-sided tape, affix each photo on top of assigned
seat. Students can
seat themselves the first day of school by finding their picture on the
seating chart. This makes taking attendance a snap and is a big hit
with subs and counselors. Since the tiles are removable, new seating
charts are easy!
owners of organized
Science Notebooks to be EXPERTS. When someone needs a notebook
revamping, put one of the experts and the "needy" student together with
both notebooks and watch the messy notebook become "expert!"
Six or seven teams work
great. Run a
competition for about two weeks, then give prizes to the winning team
and start over with new teams. These teams can compete in such games as
me the Mineral" or
Board Review Competitions. Merge
teams into two bigger teams for Overhead
Races where only two teams work.
Give both teams a problem to solve
or a definition to write. Each team writes on one half of a
transparency. (It's okay to "peek" at the other team's answers, but it
slows them down. Each team member writes only one word or number, then
hands off the marker to the next in line. Teams line up on either side
of the overhead. Great fun! Gets students up and moving!
This is a basic Active
have white boards,
cut out of one larger one bought at a local hardware store. I train my
students early on to move into four teams, send one team member to pick
up the white board, marker, and eraser, and assemble in one area,
placing the white board so they can work on it without other teams
seeing their answers. They are careful to wait for me to count down and
say, "Show me your answer!" so as to not tip off another team to their
answer. I run White Board Games frequently, at least twice a week.
Works great for the 13-15 year old bunch! I love to see their heads
together, working out good answers.
Time for the
A coworker of
mine, Janet Enloe,
discovered this motivator quite by accident. Her last students for the
day were clearly tired. One of them whined to her about giving them all
a nap-break like when they were kids, clearly half-joking. Janet
offered the whole class the opportunity to take a 5 minute break with
lights off and quiet music on, if everyone would stay quiet, heads
down, and go back to work when the nap was done. They took her up on
the offer and it worked like a charm! No one said a word, they all
enjoyed the quiet break, and all the students went back to work with
renewed vigor. Try it! Thanks to Janet
Enloe for the great idea!
the first day. Hand it out at the door while the students enter the
room, find their seat, and sit down. Put up a transparency with 3 or 4
questions about the newsletter. They should all be working on this when
the bell rings. Take roll using your seating chart, then put up an
answer transparency. Refer to the newsletter as you proceed to
introduce yourself and the course. I also hand out this newsletter to
parents who attend the open house which our building holds before the
first day of school. Click
for a past version of mine.
colored chalk to make a
point. The best
to use is chunky sidewalk chalk. I've grown so attached to BIG
CHALK, I rarely use the puny
UPDATE: Of course, if you have a SmartBoard, I hope you're using the colored pens, notjust the black one!
Click here for
my BELLWORK Page. Teachers call this
starters, bells, bellringers, etc. Good way to focus student attention
give you time to take roll. I usually put up a couple of questions from
our current unit. Another great source is
the back of a chapter, where good thinking questions reside. Sometimes
I put up a graph, chart, table, from Julia Cothron's
the textbook, and ask
students to list as many observations and/or conclusions as they can.
to get a bonus point! Ask a question that reviews yesterday's topic.
Many of your students will love to scramble in early for that extra
point! I have a small white board on my chalk ledge for this purpose.
Don't use this technique more than once a week. Challenges your
students to pay attention!
pairs a blank "Bingo"
Have them write the names
of various scientific equipment you've reviewed/taught. Then hold up
actual samples of scientific equipment or transparency images of the
equipment. They sketch the item in the correct box to match name to
item. "Bingo" for column, row, or diagonal. This can be any type of
Bingo, actually. I've used Mineral
Rock Cycle Bingo, etc. Of course, can be used anytime during the class
Use two teams.
transparency with a long line down the middle. Put the same question,
puzzle, problem, on each side. Teams line up on each side of the
overhead. Give each team one transparency pen of a different color. The
pen is passed down the line like a relay race baton. First person in
each line starts at the signal and gets to write down one thing only.
If you have sentences that need correcting, for example, they only make
one correction each. Then the pass the pen to the next person in the
line and go to the end of the line. It's totally "legal" for team
members to look at the other team's work. This often gets a team's
weakest member past their turn with some dignity. Good game for
requiring team member in the long line to pay attention to what is
happening so they know what to do next.
"Noise-Noise" and "Busy-Noise." You want Busy-Noise in your classroom.
Busy-Noise means you are NOT doing all the talking; rather, your
students are busy interacting and learning on their own! Busy-Noise
means you are facilitating learning,NO just attempting to pour facts
into brains. It means you've introduced the important concepts into
their brains, BUT you've taken it to that all important next step: You
are asking your students to DO SOMETHING with the facts! Noise-Noise
means they don't know what to do, so they are gossiping, planning what
to do during lunch or this weekend, wasting time, and NOT learning! Go
for Busy-Noise! Learning is taking place!
Put a table near
door. Arrange papers for the day in neat piles on the table. Train your
students from Day One to pick these papers, sit
down, label the
and insert into their Science Notebooks! Saves time and puts the
responsibility on their shoulders.
passing papers to
front, train students to pass to the left or right. It's even slicker
to have papers put on the top corner of the next desk or table, rather
than passed to the next person' hands. I train my students to wait till
all papers have them passed to their table before they pass them on.
They put their paper on the top.
All the papers end up
on one desk near the side when you can
easily collect them. Works
great--especially when the student on the end of the row has their
paper on the top. Very easy to pass papers back. Just hand the stack to
the person on the end of the row!