Exemplary Science Teaching and You

What does Exemplary Science Teaching mean to you? Does it just mean being a really good teacher that all the students like? Or is it more along the lines of being that Super Teacher, the one who has all the answers to every question ever pondered? Both ideas are on the right track, but they’re missing one very serious detail: Student Curiosity.

Keeping Student Curiosity & Involvement

To truly be an exemplary teacher, you need to be able to keep the students involved and keep their curiosity even higher. If a student isn’t curious about what they’re getting involved in, then there is very little chance that the student will remember any of what they learned as soon as they leave your class.

Think back to your favorite science experiment. What was it that had you so mesmerized, so intrigued that you can recall it with vivid accuracy? My guess is that it had you involved, hands on, and curious all the way through the experiment.

Image result for inquiry learning

This type of learning is called Inquiry-Based Learning. Here is a video that shows a little more about how this type of learning is done.

Lesson Plans & Activities

Lesson plans for open-ended learning like Inquiry require the students to be up close with their learning. Some great ideas for lessons plans are:

  • Take your students outside to observe how light can be refracted and polarized
  • Give your students a solid and tell them that in needs to become a liquid. Allow them to figure out their path between the two
  • Give students a pile of minerals and tell them to sort them. How they’re sorted is up to them. This allows for the students to make connections between the colors of the minerals and their make-up

No matter what kind of lesson you are trying to teach, as long as the students are curious and involved, they’re thinking like a scientist.

 

3 Comments

  1. I really like how you talk about keeping students curious. We all like to talk about keeping students engaged and doing more hands-on sort of activities, but if the students aren’t curious about what’s going to happen or what the end product will be, they aren’t going to stay interested and won’t remember. I think curiosity is such a huge part of teaching science. I also liked the quote at the end saying science is more of a way of thinking than a body of knowledge. What do you think might be some challenges in keeping your students curious?

  2. I really liked how you focused on the hands-on aspect because in a science class, practical activities are expected! I think that inquiry based learning is quite crucial in the science classroom to really solidify difficult concepts. If I remember correctly, you are focusing in Chemistry and Life Science? I think that surrounding the more difficult lessons around experiments and activities will really help the students make connections between topics. Your lesson plan/activities were also similar to somethings I would like to do in my classroom! I like how they were student oriented and allowed for free exploration of whatever they were doing. For the first one, instead of just showing them how light can be refracted/polarized, maybe let them figure it out, just to follow the inquiry-based pattern that the other activities seem to have. Overall, great post, I think I might take some of your activities into my own classroom!

    • Thanks Kacey! I am indeed Chemistry and Life Science, and I agree with surrounding the more difficult lessons and topics with activities. It not only helps make the connections between the theoretical and the applicable, but it also gets the kids up and moving and having fun! Thanks for the suggestion to make the first activity more student-lead. An idea for that could possibly be just to leave some prisms on their desks and see what happens!

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