Can I tell you a secret? It’s not something I’m proud to share with you.
I’ve never taught science before. Never. Not ever.
Sure, when I was student teaching I “taught” it. I don’t remember teaching any part of it in fifth grade. When I student taught in first, it was inquiry based and so a lot of it I didn’t feel like I was actually teaching. I found books and lead students in discussions. But I didn’t have strong objectives.
Now that I’m teaching third, I realize that has to be different. I’m teaching science and my partner is teaching social studies. We are getting FOSS kits coming in, but they don’t necessarily align to our standards, and they just sort of show up and disappear and I haven’t wrapped my ahead around that yet. So before the year even started I set my mind to starting with the scientific method. That way, I wasn’t necessarily relying on the perfect kit coming in. So, I just needed to start there. Easier said than done.
I started searching for the perfect things to start. I knew Kristen from A Day in First Grade had fantastic resources and experiment ideas. And while I found fantastic experiments and ideas to use in the future, I also knew that my students needed a little more work on forming questions, hypotheses, and conclusions based on experiments than her firsties need. So, I started looking for resources that I could use in addition to hers.
Ashleigh has this fantastic resource for teaching the scientific method!
The first day we did science, we went through the scientific method and I made them take notes on each step. I think we don’t do enough guided note taking with our middle grades students. The next day, we went through the questions and experiment sequences from Ashleigh’s pack to delve deeper into each area. We then needed to run through an experiment to get the kids interested and engaged in what we were doing.
And, today, the kids were ready for a bit more independence! Enter this fabulous Milk Experiment! I got this from Kristen a while back and knew I wanted to do this one early on since the kids have a basic understanding of there being fat in milk and soap combating fat.
I don’t think ours resulted exactly the same way, and I think we put the food coloring too close together, but the kids could definitely see the intended reaction.
I knew I wanted my students recording more throughout this process. I wanted them to build a hypothesis before the experiment. I wanted them to write a supported conclusion. And I wanted them to use that conclusion and their new knowledge to transfer the information to a different experiment: What would happen if we mixed soap with skim milk? So, I created this recording sheet for them.