It can be tough as a teacher when you need to get your kids engaged and ready for learning, but you don’t want to break the bank on expensive equipment or materials. To help solve that problem, here are some great resources for free or very cheap.
1. YouTube Channels
Channels on YouTube like SciShow or one of my favorites Cody’s Lab can be excellent resources to get kids excited about a new topic or to introduce new ideas. The success of YouTube has meant that many educational content creators have a place to share their videos. The best part is it’s all free and easy to use in your class
2. Online organizations
Organizations like NSTA post tons of resources for new teachers to use
Additionally, many teachers will share their resources and activities online on sites like Pinterest for others to use.
3. Brainteasers and Riddles
Brainteasers and riddles are excellent ways to get your kid’s brains going and thinking critically
You could use math-based problems like this
“A local hotel has 158 rooms. Due to a scouting event, the entire hotel booked except for two rooms. If the girl scouts are using twice as many rooms as the boy scouts, how many rooms are the boy scouts using?”
Or logic puzzles like this
“An Arab sheik tells his two sons to race their camels to a distant city to see who will inherit his fortune. The one whose camel is slower will win. The brothers, after wandering aimlessly for days, ask a wise man for advice. After hearing the advice they jump on the camels and race as fast as they can to the city. What does the wise man say?”
Getting those kids thinking critically will help get them engaged and the start of class and give them something that challenges them to think
4. Simple Demonstrations
There are a TON of great demos out there that don’t require much at all in the way of materials
This one only requires a film canister, an Alka-seltzer and some water!
Or you can perform this boat demo using dish soap and some foam
Websites like Phet Simulations from University of Colorado Boulder have online simulations and animations to help students get a visual representation of concepts as well as demonstrating the various factors influencing the system. For example, this is a simulation by Phet that displays the mechanics of Coulomb’s Law
Here’s the real lesson,