It put a smile to my face and confirmed to me, even after feeling exhausted and constantly wondering how I can improve my lessons to engage the students, that my students ARE engaged. It is a very fulfilling feeling for a teacher, especially after those days where one feels could have gone a lot more smoothly!
I job share teaching in both a Kindergarten classroom, and a Grade 5 classroom this year. I am responsible for teaching the science in both and it is very interesting for me to see the differences between the two age groups.
In Kindergarten we have been exploring materials – what they are made up of, and the different attributes they possess. Children learn best in science by DOING. When I started to fill various containers with water for a kindergarten science experiment my EA looked a bit worried. “Things are going to get messy”, he smiled and said. Yes, yes they are! 🙂
After discussing at the carpet why some things float and others don’t (weight & shape) each group received various items to test whether they could float. They took turns experimenting with each object (and getting a little wet in the process) and then circled their responses on a sheet I created.
The following week we focused on texture of various materials. The kindergarteners had an opportunity to move around finding different items in the room that felt smooth and rough. Back at their table groups, they received various samples of materials and began to sort them. It was interesting, because for the sample of carpet some students compared the two sides where the underside was actually much rougher than the soft side! Good observation Ks! 🙂
For the Grade 5 group, we have been working on Forces & Simple Machines. In the experiment pictured below the students got into groups and were testing what affected the movement of an object (slope, weight, friction). Thankfully no soup cans exploded, but some sure went rolling far!! It was interesting listening to them explain to me what was happening as I circulated the room, and to read their written responses afterwards.
I feel very fortunate to be able to see the learning happening in two completely different age groups each week. I am kept very busy, that’s for sure, but the reward of coming across the doodle in front of a student’s duotang (see above) makes it all worth it! 🙂