New Year’s Resolution: How to Have the Coolest Science Classroom in Your School
3 Ways to Get Your Students Excited About Science
In our last piece for our New Year’s Resolution Science Series (see incorporating EdTech into your science classroom and promoting inquiry based learning), we wanted to think outside of the box, and brainstorm some fun, creative ways to make your science classroom a place where students really feel free to explore and discover. When we heard that four new elements had officially been added to the periodic table, we were so inspired by the connection between the greatest scientists and even the youngest students: like scientists, kids are constantly exploring the world around them, challenging previous understandings, and presenting a fresh perspective. So, we decided to start 2017 by focusing on science classrooms. To join us in thinking about how to get students excited about science, check out our awesome animation detailing one of those new elements, Moscovium, below, then keep reading to find creative ways to refresh your classroom →
If ever there was a space in a school that promoted discovery, adventure, growth, and excitement, it’s the science classroom. With so many opportunities for hands-on, interactive, and visual learning experiences, each science classroom has the potential to stand apart from every other room a student enters that day. This year, make it your resolution to revamp your science classroom. Use decorations, classroom management systems, student artwork, and technology to make your space the ultimate learning environment. All of your hard work will pay off — kids will be eager to come to your class, they will get excited about science, and, of course, you will have a pretty cool workspace yourself. Here are some of our favorite ideas to maximize the educational potential of your science classroom:
Make your classroom a museum
Science is all about visual learning, so embrace the opportunities that arise from your curriculum content: create (or have your students create) curriculum-related displays for around the classroom, like this teacher’s giant DNA strand constructed from pool noodles, or take up an entire wall with this Periodic Table of Elements made up entirely of student art.
Create a platform for students to continually ask questions without traditional hand-raising
Your classroom’s learning environment isn’t just about decorations. It’s also dependent on the tone you set for learning through classroom management strategies. Since science is all about discovery, start with your system for student questions. Set aside time to answer the questions fully, when you have time — and an full answer — instead of trying to rush through it in the middle of class. Come up with a specific procedure and have fun with it. You could even give the method a scientific theme, like this chemistry teacher’s bulletin board for ‘burning questions’. When you are done, you will have a memorable and creative way to fully support an inquiry-based learning environment.
Make learning content accessible via EdTech in the classroom
One of the struggles that many students face — at school and at home — is that they simply don’t have access to innovative educational resources. You can support these students by having a sort of “open door” policy in your classroom, where studying materials are readily available. This is especially important for high school students, who often need help making the most of study hall time. The most efficient (and most likely to tempt the students into actually using the resources) method of doing this is to use technology. Science videos, games, and adaptive learning programs, like LearnSmart + SmartBook will make your classroom a welcoming and productive place to for kids to develop intrinsic motivation and self-guidance. This video about oil and water is a perfect example of how students can use resources to learn on their own time and in their own way:
Learn more about LearnSmart+SmartBook here.
You can also check out our K-5 science program, Inspire Science, an educational experience that focuses on problem-based learning, hands-on activities, and group collaboration: all through the guidance of our STEM Career Kids characters.
To discover how the science of learning (when combined with the art of teaching and interwoven with purposeful technology) can transform your science classroom, check out more science curriculum options at McGraw-Hill Education: