It’s hard to believe at this time last year we were all figuring out how to teach online and now that most of us are making the transition back to in-person learning. While I will be back in the classroom soon, I will use a lot of the digital resources that I created when we are back in the building. One subject area I always wanted to prefect teaching was science and I feel like I have a good structure (thanks to creating digital resources) and starting point for developing content area activities. Here are five ideas that help me to create my science lessons:
1. Establish a Structure
I follow the general education schedule and do science twice a week. Since I am still teaching remotely, I am using slide decks for the lesson. I think even after I return to in-person learning, I will use slide decks to be more organized and to better prep for substitutes. I use a similar structure to my other lessons that include Mantra, Warm-Up, Activity and Share. It works out really well, because students know what to expect and the lesson has a clear start and end point.
2. Use Leveled Daily Science Curriculum
Of course it’s a great idea to use The Autism Helper’s Daily Leveled Science Curriculum! In order to choose what we study in science, I let students vote on topics they want to study . I have students choose using the Leveled Daily Science Curriculum topics as choices. It is great because the topics are similar across levels. My students picked animals, and now I can have a whole group lesson and use the Leveled Daily Science Curriculum to differentiate assignments and activities. Also, using the Autism Helper science boom cards is also great for whole group or small group instruction.
3. Sneak in Extra Skills
Science and social studies classes are just reading classes in disguise. I like to incorporate Reading A-to-Z books as part of the activity. Since the main science lesson is taught in a whole group setting, I try to choose books on a variety of levels so each student gets a chance to participate. By using non-fiction books, students practice reading fluency, comprehension skills, while “reading to learn”. Another skill I like to sneak into science is collecting and analyzing data. We usually create pictographs as part of science surveys and then I ask students questions about the graphs.
4. Don’t Forget Health
I am required to teach health to my students and I started to have it as part of my science class. Incorporating health in science is a great way to teach functional and life skills. We studied the human body as part of health and were able to incorporate exercise, healthy eating and emotional/mental health.
5. Get Moving!
Go Noodle is something I like to incorporate everything we do to provide a movement break and sneak in a little instruction. Go Noodle has some great science videos for a warm-up or to reinforce science concepts. As I mentioned before, using exercise and health to teach students about collecting and analyzing data is a fun way to learn goals, Essential Elements Standards and to practice for the DLM-AA (spring standardized alternative assessment).
I hope you were inspired to think about your science lessons. For more information on The Autism Helper’s Science Leveled Daily Curriculum, check out these previous blog posts. Stay safe and healthy!