When you look back at your academic career what do you remember most?
It’s not the lectures and worksheets; it’s the engaging activities and labs! Engaging activities and labs help student become active in their learning which helps them understand and remember the material. Plus, they are often fun! This is probably why you remember them so well!
Finding the perfect activities can be time consuming and sometimes they aren’t cheep. In this blog I will highlight 5 free resources that can be used in your science classroom to engage students in their learning.
Resource 1: Demo
Demos are a great way to engage students! They are a great way to show students a concept instead of telling them. The students can make observations and ask questions throughout the demonstration. Teachers can ask students questions throughout the demo to help them through their thinking. Demos are great for visual learners, but are helpful for all students. Below are two demos:
The bed of nails video is one that will shock your students! When they watch you do the demonstration they will be asking themselves “Why did the nails pierce the orange, but not Mr. Smith?” The teacher can ask the students to try and answer that question and get a class discussion going. Plus, who wouldn’t want to break a cinderblock on top of their teacher?
The gravity visitation demonstration is a great way to help students see a concept that can be hard to grasp. It is difficult to conceptualize the bending of space-time and why the planets move the way they do. In the video you can see that the students are asking questions as the teacher is explaining and demonstrating.
Resource 2: Simulations
Simulations are a free and easy way to engage students. The students can explore and play with different variables to see what will change. They are able to use their observations to understand how something works. The following are three websites that have an assortment of simulations on various topics.
— Altun (@altunkaya67) April 4, 2018
Ss defy Earth's gravity using @PhETsims My Solar System simulation to study how objects behave under the influence of their mutual gravity. S handout posted on PhET website: https://t.co/9Yd1rKkFBS #golgcats pic.twitter.com/PIEQKTtKKG
— Dan Burns (@kilroi22) March 29, 2018
Resource 3: Videos
Videos are a great way to help students engage in a topic. They can see and hear what the topic is all about. Good videos will help the students ask questions and activate prior knowledge. Here are some websites that have videos for the classroom.
Resource 4: Games
Games are a fun way to get your students engaged in their learning. They love them because they are having fun and can sometimes compete with their friends. There are so many games out their that you can do in your classroom.
Website with links to educational games: Classroom Aid
Self-checking task cards are the best! Students must find their answer on the top of another card in order to move through scavenger hunt. pic.twitter.com/Dzc8K3Pjrn
— Katie Flaws (@KatieFlaws) April 4, 2018
Resource 5: Apps
Students love to use their phones even when they are not supposed to. Lets give them a reason to that helps aid in their learning! You’ve heard the saying “there’s an app for that” and it’s true. You can find an app for almost anything. There are some great apps to help students learn in the classroom. It will engage students in the learning while using the thing that is always glued to them, their phone.
A list of more app that can be used in the classroom can be found at ScienceNetLinks
These are just a few ways to engage your students in the learning. They will have fun while learning and they will remember the content better. Students will be excited to learn about science. Keep your classroom fun and exciting. Give them a day to remember!