Stop running with scalpels!

And you thought kids running with scissors was bad…

Surgeons use these tools to cut people open and we expect high school students to be able to safely use one to open a frog?

With having a solid set of rules and lab procedures, we can let our students use these tools all while doing it safely.

Classroom rules

  • The most important thing in every classroom is making sure every student feels safe. This can be done by enacting the following rules
    • Respect everyone in the room– students will know that if bullying occurs in your classroom, it will be stopped. This also helps them know they have to respect you as well
    • Do not eat or drink in the science classroom–this is important because many chemicals and bacteria can be present in a science classroom that are not present in other rooms
    • Treat all classroom animals with respect and only interact with them with permission from the teacher– this is needed if there are animals in the room. Many animals a very sensitive to human oils and holding them can cause a lot of internal issues
    • Take ownership– be responsible for your own work. If you need help, ask!
    • Have your students help you create rules and expectations so they take ownership in how they are supposed to act

Classroom Procedures


  • Having a routine for students will help them know what to expect every day
    • Write what you are going to do today on the board–this will help students know what to expect for the day and prepare for it
    • Have papers that they need for the day on a front table–students will be able to pick up materials as they walk in
    • Turn in procedures–this is really up to you as a teacher with how you do it. I hope to have a turn in bin in my classroom where students can put their work as they enter or leave the room
    • Every classroom will need its own set of procedures depending on the students and how it is set up, but this is something each teacher can determine on their own

Lab Procedures

  • These are extremely important for every science classroom, no matter the concentration or age
    • You can use a safety contract to quickly spread the safety information to students and have them sign an agreement that they read and understand all the hazards
    • Lab procedures should be clear and easy for all students to understand. This will minimize confusion and help students know what materials to be using when
    • It is also important that every student knows where the safety items are and how to use them
    • Each lab will have its own set of safety procedures that will need to be discussed with the students as they occur

This blog has a lot of good tips for safety in a science classroom.

One of the most important things to make sure your science classroom is well run is to make sure your students are having fun and that they are engaged in your material. By keeping them engaged, the students will want to pay attention and cooperate for you.

Lesson Plan

  • On the first day of school, walk around the room and show students how they should enter the room and pick things up. You should also have the students help you create rules and guidelines that they think will work in your classroom.
  • On one of the first days of school, walk around the room and show everyone each piece of safety materials around the room


  1. Hayley,
    Thank you for all the feedback! I really think my simple lesson plan is enough to get what I need across. It’s something that can be engaging, but is super important to make sure all the students understand since it has to do with their safety.

  2. Shay,
    Great blog here. I like that you give a visual example of how to go about lab safety. Your discussion on the procedures was well done. Great link provided to an outside blog, very useful. I will refer back to this in my teaching!

  3. Shay-
    This blog actually does a great job of showing your personality in the form of organization, care, and “motherly” tendencies. I think these are awesome ideas that I can totally see for your future classroom and can be helpful for many other people too! The quick but vitally important lesson plan in the beginning is great for introducing students to the classroom and your expectations. Good job!

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