We’d like to introduce you to Caitlin. She’s offered to share some of her hands-on activities for secondary science with you all for FREE. Read on to find out more…
I have been teaching middle school science since 2013. I spent several years working primarily in urban middle schools, teaching physical, life, and earth sciences. During a year-long teacher residency program, I was able to work within two different urban high schools. This experience helped me grow my skills in creating a culturally responsive science classroom that utilizes the PBIS framework, technology incorporation, and inquiry-based learning approaches to meet the learning needs of my students.
I came to understand there is a key factor to reaching a student’s motivation to learn- to provide the students with the opportunity to study a subject that is both meaningful and relevant to their interests. The curriculum should be differentiated and strive to equitably meet the needs of all learners. By providing my students with the opportunity to study a meaningful and relevant subject, I am able to bridge the gap between my science curriculum and their lives outside the classroom. The results are not just in the grade book. I see my students have much-improved motivation, too!
For example, in my Water Chemistry Lab, I created a lab report that has students test and observe the properties of a natural water source. My middle schoolers performed their lab tests on the Mississippi River, however, it can be used for any water source such as a river, pond, or lake. Students then compare their findings to tap water. After performing the lab, students are asked to analyze their results and determine what can be concluded about the health of their water source based on these test results.
Students who feel connected to the school and the teacher will produce high-quality work they take pride in. Ownership in creating will naturally increase their motivation to learn more.
I am a teacher who is very much in support of bringing real-world applications into my classroom. I want my students to take what they learn in class and apply it to situations and experiences they will face after school. I model all of my labs and projects off of my own experiences at the University of Minnesota Morris so my students will be prepared for their education in the post-secondary world.
All worksheets and labs in my store have been tried and tested in my own classroom. I always strive to make my resources fun, educational, and also affordable for my fellow teachers. Here are several free resources to use in your classroom:
In addition to Caitlin’s excellent resources, you can find plenty of free science stuff for all learning levels in our Lesson Plan Library.
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