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[personal profile] melwil
As a primary teacher I teach everything - reading, writing, maths, social studies, arts, health, technology and science. Over the last four years, I've been reflecting on my teaching and improving wherever I can. And now I'm attacking science.

The thing is - at one point in time I loved science. As in, I got the best marks in my grade in science. But then came Year 11 subject choice time, and I couldn't do my preferred Physics, (I did Chemistry instead) and somewhere along the line, I stopped being enthralled by it.

Which makes it hard to teach it with the kind of passion it deserves.

I'm also let down by a lackluster syllabus and a severe lack of equipment/materials.

But I'm determined. I am, with whatever is accessible to me, going to put together science workshops for the students in which they can explore and investigate with as much hands on stuff as possible. If I could only work out where to begin.

Where would you begin? With the syllabus? With a list of questions? With experiments? And how can I get past my learned ambivalence about science to love it again. I know there are science-y people on here - please help me!!

on 2010-01-30 01:29 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] kiirotsubasa.livejournal.com
Hi there,

I'm a primary teacher too, but I work as an MFL specialist teacher so I only teach science when I'm on supply.

I would certainly start by looking at the units of work for my year group and then extracting whatever experiments I could from it. We know that the experiments are what capture the children's interest and can open the way for a better understanding of the theoretical concepts - especially for the kinaesthetic learners.

Under resourcing is a definite problem for science, but there are lots of schemes that offer ideas with resources that can be found around school generally, or you could consider trying interactive experiments from the net (always a good way to get in some ICT!)

That's all I can think of for now, but I want to commend you for wanting to get your enjoyment of science back. I think that shows a real respect for your children and makes me believe you're a great teacher.

Good luck!

on 2010-01-30 04:23 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] veritykindle.livejournal.com
I'm not a teacher, but as [livejournal.com profile] kiirotsubasa says, I also believe that science games and experiments are key to teaching kids to enjoy science.

You inspired me to go looking online for science websites for kids, and I just found this awesome website that has really nice science activity suggestions for kids. I just spent an hour looking at it myself, and I feel like I want to do all these experiments myself, now. :D

Googling "science experiments for kids" and "science activities for kids" got me a lot more sites. (Although that first one is still my favorite. *g*)

Good luck! I think it's really great that you are taking the time to do this! ♥

on 2010-01-31 12:04 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] saragoose.livejournal.com
I used to work at a science centre here in Canada, where I taught school workshops and did live science shows for all ages. Although science centre has lots of connotations, the one I worked at was kooky and fun and definitely got students as well as their teachers excited about (and thinking about!) science. If there's a science centre near you, that might be an option; they might do field trips, teacher training, classroom visits or even just have some free resources on their website. Or try a planetarium or other science related facility, too.

For me, the easiest way to get kids (or anyone) excited about science is to let them do it. Science as a thing in books is a fine and necessary thing, but science as a hands-on thing is really the only way, imho, for people to really get excited.

Another key is to let yourself and your students stray (a bit, safely) away from the "experiments" they have for students where it's basically a recipe. Get them making and testing their own predictions based on observations - that's Science!

I don't have any specific ideas handy, as it's been a few years and I mostly worked with 5-7 year olds, but good luck! And have fun!

Oh, and try getting yourself back into science by also reading about all the amazing things being done by scientists. ScienceDaily.com is a good place to start, as is Nature.com, but there are tonnes more. If I recall from being in Australia, there's a good radio program (and probably a podcast) done by ABC. There's also a lovely Canadian one called Quirks and Quarks.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and I'll try my best! And good luck - it's awesome that you're making such an effort!

on 2010-01-31 11:35 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] baggers.livejournal.com
I'd have no idea where to start with designing a program, but I'm always around to help with the details. Apparently I'm a qualified scientist these days.

The thing I always enjoyed in school, and the lack is what bored me to tears at uni, was the actual process of designing an experiment. Even things as simple as "proving which material floats best", which is one I remember from grade 3. Experiments are awesome, but just following instructions isn't always that engaging.

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