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Snickerz 02-10-2013 07:18 AM

New teacher sinking fast - HELP PLEASE!
Hello everyone - thank you for stopping to read my post.

I am a first year teacher, teaching 7th and 8th grade science. I am struggling because I have my 8th graders for 100 minutes EVERYDAY! <!--eyebrow--> I am struggling to keep them engaged and plan effective lessons. My principal wants me to do more experiments in a classroom that is NOT a lab with no running water and no bathroom on my floor. This is only the beginning of my troubles. I feel like I have been set up to fail. Right now I am teaching Earth Science for this marking period which ends March 14th. Then on to Physical science. I need help with filling this 100 minute block 5 days a week. Any suggestions would be helpful.

I've fallen and I can't get up :(

Linda/OH 02-10-2013 12:10 PM

science 100 min
Wow! So many of us wish we had more time. But I can see your point if you're lacking materials it could be tricky. But students learn best by doing so start by restructuring your day.

One example could be :
whole class intro
hands on experiences-activities, experiments whenever possible
interactive notebooks

Google the topics/objectives you are teaching and you can find some simple to do things even though you have no official lab.
In the old days when we had no sinks in our rooms, we'd improvise with jugs of water, plastic tubs when needed.

I still often have to bring in sand or soil when doing experiments so don't let that kind of thing deter you!

Set up rotations too if you can-students respond to the movement.

mrsb12247 02-10-2013 01:31 PM

I know how you feel!
I teach 110 minutes of Science to 7th graders, so I feel your pain. I usually structure my class as follows:

10-15 minutes review/preview (heavy on the review of last class, light on the preview of info for this class)
40 minutes- lesson (lecture/reading/notes/video, etc...)
40 minutes: immediate application (whatever we just learned, we do something with it: vocab posters, skits, mini-lab, writing response, review game, etc...)
10-15 minutes: review/preview again, (this time, heavy on the preview and how this lesson relates to what we will do next time) and homework explanation.

This pattern seems to work well for my kids. During the application there is always something where they need to talk to a neighbor/work with a partner/work in a small group/move around. The key to success with this much time is to treat it like 3 short classes instead of one long one...I find that kids this age can't sustain the attention of a lesson for more than about 40 minutes before they should have their hands in it.

supernova 02-12-2013 01:23 PM

hang in there
I agree with the post to set it up as three different blocks of time. You might try doing a brain break between each session. This site has some great ones.

I think it would be hard to come up with the hands-on every single day as well. You might try some interactive reading strategies and by using that will allow the students to work together and learn content. By this I mean, some CRISS strategies. I also saw a really good video on Reading Rockets that uses a jigsaw method for reading material. The video shows elementary students, but the same principal works with older kids too. I know a middle school in my district where the science teachers have used this and it has improved their test scores as well. Here is the link for it.

Hope this helps.

pkennedy1990 02-23-2013 11:56 AM

As we say in New York, sometimes it seems like the biggest obstacle to education is the Administration.

That's why even though I was a Bio major and am now a Biotech major, I got a Math teaching license. No dealing with labs in the classroom and no experimentation. The only time "toys" are used is in Geometry. I would dread teaching Physics because of all the "toys" you have to use and experiments you have to conduct with the requisite laboratory equipment and supplies.

Put in a supply order for the things you need - sometimes schools that have ####ty budgets will simply reject your purchase order and then you can tell the principal it's their fault there aren't the necessary supplies and not yours. I don't know what to tell you. I'm just glad Math doesn't need as many "supplies" as Bio or Physics.

lab112 04-08-2013 09:16 AM

Been there..........
My first three years as a Science teacher were in a classroom with no lab equipment or supplies with slanted top desks. I concentrated on vocabulary, used BrainPop videos and hands-on activities. Quite often the activities were very simple and used household items but it kept the kids interested. Chances are the Principal doesn't know enough to know what (if any) relation the activity has to the content so just let the kids explore. I have fewer discipline issues than other teachers because my classes get to work together, try new things, move around, etc.

StarAngel 05-10-2013 09:01 AM

Making you do science in your classroom without the required safety measures is against the law.... File a uniform complaint (if you dare... Lol) safety first!!!!!

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