Monday, June 11, 2012

Another tip for next year....organizing!

Ah...the dredded prep work....

What makes a science lesson run smoothly or go over like a lead balloon? Whether or not the teacher has her/his materials prepped and ready for the lesson.

I know some teachers complain about the time it takes to get materials ready. I know we are all fried at the end of the day...But if you simply spend 15 minutes making sure you are good to go the next day, the lesson will run 100% smoother. And if the lesson runs smoothly, the kids will learn more.

So let me share a few of my tips and what works for me!

First, I make sure that I have a consistent materials spot. I have two desks pushed together and covered with a vinyl tablecloth (to hide the crap educational materials underneath.)

Second, you need each group to have materials easily accessible. As you see with this unit, I put each groups materials on a tray. Then when I ask the Getters to go get the materials, they simply get their trays and any additional materials.

Sometimes you need to put things in baggies. When I do that for my FOSS Magnetism and Electricity unit, I make sure to put them in a large ziploc and number them by group. So for this lesson each group needs 2 batteries, a switch, 4 wires, 2 light bulbs and a light bulb holder. I put those in the bag and stack the circuit boards next to them. So much easier for the getters to grab and go.

Third - where do you house the materials? In a nicely labeled tub of course! I actually have two tubs side by side right now because we need the bags, the circuit boards and occasionally the balance scales. This makes clean up for getter 2 a breeze. It also makes prep work that night so much easier because I can easily see what needs to be added or removed for the next lesson.

Hope these three tips helped you today!

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