Heads Up!

Engagement is Key

I will always argue that one of the most important things in a classroom is engagement. If your students are not actively engaged in the lesson, are they ever really learning? Keeping students engaged seems like a daunting task, but with access to these resources, it can be fairly easy! Look below for 5 ways to engage your students at the beginning of the class or a new topic!!

Asking Questions

Watch the video above for tips on how to ask questions that will keep ALL students engaged! In the video, Wagner explains how important it is to frame questions that you ask your students to the whole class instead of just one student. You could use his tips and tricks on asking questions at the beginning of every class to help jog students memories about what they learned the previous day or in order to gain background knowledge when starting a new topic!


Balloon magic - a fun science activity where you inflate a balloon using baking soda and vinegar.

A great way to get students attention as soon as they get into class is by introducing a concept by way of a demonstration! This super easy and cheap-to-do demo with baking soda and vinegar can introduce your chemical reaction lesson!

This fun, quick, and easy demo can help your students visualize rotational energy, friction, and acceleration before they begin learning about it! It’s also easy enough that students can pair up and do it themselves!

In this last demo, we learn about a water absorbent polymer that is actually used in baby diapers! Before, or if, you explain where the water went, ask your students what they think happened to it! You never know how your students’ minds will be working!


One-Minute Mysteries and Brain Teasers: Good Clean Puzzles for Kids of All Ages | Main photo (Cover)


Nothing gets students asking questions and extremely curious like brain busters do! Follow the link above from Pinterest for some cheap riddles and teasers to engage your students in a fun way at the beginning of every class! Here are some benefits:

  • They get students asking questions
  • Students have fun
  • The whole class has to work together to figure out the answer!


Budget? Never Heard of Her.

These two links take you right to resources that can help keep your students engaged while continuing learning or practicing what you’ve helped them learn previously!

  1. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Periodic-Table-of-Elements-Scavenger-Hunt-Puzzles-Complete-Bundle-1776222
    1. This scavenger hunt bundle set is cheap and allows chemistry students to become acclimated to the periodic table! Whether it’s learning about the different groups of elements, individual elements characteristics, or teaching them how to read the periodic table, these scavenger hunts will keep students entertained!
  2. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Science-Bell-Ringer-Journal-for-the-Entire-School-Year-Middle-High-School-3072248
    1. This cheap resource gets your students engaged with the class as soon as they enter your classroom! This Bell Ringer Journal has 275 open-ended prompts that will keep your students focused and thinking about science!



  1. Claire,

    I really liked reading your post! I always try my best to frame questions in the “right” way but I think I often fail – that video is something that can really help going forward! When it comes to demos, should we ask students to critically analyze it and attempt to find out “why” things worked the way they did? For instance, I’ve seen that demo with the diaper powder before but had no idea what was actually going on since I’d never even heard of the before! Do you think that would be a good “Nature of Science” springboard?

    • Chris, I think it’s important to ask students to think critically when watching or performing demos. In my experience, I know it is way too easy for me to watch an experiment being performed in front of me, but not think about what is going on and instead wait for someone else to explain it to me. I think making students think critically while watching demos is a great way to dust the cobwebs out of their minds before the class really starts!

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