If there was one sure way to engage my little learners, it was to do science experiments! Their eyes just lit up when I told them we are going to implement a science experiment. It’s definitely a moment that made my teacher heart so happy–and forget all the craziness of our day!
1. Ask open ended questions.
Open ended questions prompt your students into critical thinking. They challenge them to be little thinkers as you ask them questions that are beyond “yes” and “no” answers. They also challenge them to continue to explore and investigate! Below is a list that can help you get started as you plan for questioning during science experiments.
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2. Let them make a mess!
Just as much as you, I hate a messy classroom, but you know what? My students LOVE it when we get dirty and make a mess. They learn so much when I let go of fear of getting glitter on the carpet or spilling water on the table. Don’t be afraid to let them make a mess! The mess can be cleaned up, but rich, hands-on experiments cannot be replaced!
3. Remember that little learners learn best through play!
Sometimes, you have to let them be little. Sometimes, they will take what you have planned for the experiment to teach them and while they have played a little, they have discovered something else totally new and exciting to them! Remember that they learn best through play and experiments are to be a joyful, playful learning experience!
4. Remind them that they ARE scientists!
So often since science is a new concept for little learners, they forget that they ARE scientists already. They don’t realize that they are scientists each and every day as they learn, test, explore, and investigate! Remind them of this and encourage them to continue to dig deeper and question!
Things that made experiments successful in my classroom were that they were:
- Easy to implement
- Could be independently completed in a station
- Followed the same routine each time
- Aligned to the science content
I created all of that in my Science Experiments Bundle.
No more excuses for not getting to them. No more excuses about prep being difficult because all of the materials are things I have had at my house or were in my classroom. All set for a year with this growing bundle!
Do you do science experiments in your elementary classroom? I’d love to hear any tips you have!