I work with students who are English language learners and have learning disabilities. They also come from families that struggle with paying bills and affording school supplies and books. Despite these challenges, my students bring many strengths to the classroom, including a passion for learning and a willingness to take risks as they acquire the building blocks of reading.
My students love math, science, computers, and art, and they love learning how things work.
They are curious about the world and are eager to improve their literacy skills.
My students love science, but many have shared that they no longer enjoy going to science class because most of the class is focused on reading a textbook rather than doing experiments. My students say that they learn best with hands-on labs and projects.
The Resource Area for Teaching asserts, "By using hands-on instruction, educators are fostering the 21st century skills that students need to be successful: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
Hands-on STEM activities encourage a lifelong love of learning and motivate students to discover new things (Bass, et al.).
Since most of my students struggle with reading and writing, hands-on activities will help them make connections and better understand concepts from science class.
We need owl pellet kits, magnets, mirrors, magnifiers, prisms, and binders to organize their research findings. Instead of just reading about magnetism, my students will explore how magnets attract various objects. They will explore light with prisms and mirrors. They will be active learners as they dissect an owl pellet and graph the foods that owls eat in the wild.
Students who explore their natural world, ask questions, and work with peers in the inquiry process will view science as a viable career goal. Their interest in applied science, engineering, math, technology, and the environment will be enhanced with these hands-on learning opportunities.
Students who have fun while learning will not only earn higher grades, but will also show an improved attitude about school and view learning as something they can continue outside of the school setting. Students who are given the opportunity to explore the natural world, create a portfolio of their experiments, and share their discoveries with the community will become more active in their learning. When learning is made fun and accessible, science becomes one of their favorite
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