Easy science experiments
Organizing for easy science experiments in your classroom can be difficult when you already have a busy schedule.
It is tempting to only give students worksheets about science, science videos and books rather than including actual investigations.
Having weekly teacher led experiments organized in advance ensures that the students will be enthusiastic about science.
Also provide science materials that the kids can explore and play with in the science center.
Structure science experiments into your schedule
- Planning your year ahead of time to include easy science experiments is helpful. Before I was organized in this area, I found myself guiltily thinking, "I should be doing more science experiments" or "I wonder what science experiments I can do for this theme".
- If you plan your year by themes, begin by planning two easy science experiments per theme. When you plan the following year, add another two experiments to your theme and you will soon have plenty of weekly experiments.
Create a science experiment routine
- Making an effort to plan the experiments and gather the materials necessary to perform them ahead of time, makes it easier to schedule a weekly experiment time.
- As the year progresses, the children begin to look forward to the weekly experiments.
- Every Monday, post that week's experiment on chart paper with a quick illustration and discuss it during Circle times. As always, use every sign in the room as an opportunity to teach letter recognition and phonemic awareness.
Make easy science experiment kits
Beginning a science experiment with your class and then having to run around the room looking for materials does not work well. Try this for quick results:
- Obtain large easy zip bags
- Use packing tape and attach a list to the outside of the bag stating -
- The theme
- The name of the experiment
- the materials you will need to conduct the experiment
- Put instructions for the experiment in the bag if you think you will need them
- Store all the bags in a science experiment box (a photocopy paper box).
- Keep the box where the students can't reach it.
I like see through bags, as I can easily see what is in each bag, what materials I need to replace, and also, the bags took less storage space than shoe boxes.
Generally, primary students are so curious, a science experiment will start them asking questions and wondering about related concepts.
Share the organizational work with fellow educators
- Sharing the organization of easy science experiments with one or two other primary teachers works well.
- Begin by having each teacher take two themes and research two science experiments for those themes.
- Have them print out a supply list and directions as mentioned above and purchase the materials.
- Keep a list of themes and experiments taped to the outside of the box and store the science experiment box in one of the teacher's classroom where students can't reach it.
- Sign out the bag when you need to and replenish the bag before returning it.
- Next year repeat the process of creating more bags and you will have more experiments to choose from.
- I have found that repeating the same experiment each year in kindergarten, then again in grade one and two is fine. Most students understand more complex concepts as they get older.