6 Great Back to School Tips for Science Teachers

  • Aug 21, 2018

6 Great Back to School Tips for Science Teachers

It’s time for back to school tips already? Say it ain’t so! Alas, the beginning of the school year is upon us again.

We’re here to make your job easier with these great back to school tips for science teachers. No matter if you teach fifth grade geology or high school chemistry, this checklist should get you started on your back to school basics. Keep reading to get a jump on your back to school activities so your classroom is ready.

1. Have Your First Week of Lesson Plans Ready to Go

During the first week of school there is a lot to do. Make sure you’re on top of your game by having your first week’s lesson plans ready to go before you walk into the classroom on day one. If your first week is a shortened week, we also recommend having lesson plans ready for week two as well. That way you have one less thing to worry about if your class gets bogged down with administrative issues or first week of school duties.

2. Get To Know The Faculty

This is especially important if you are a first-timer teacher, new to a district, or have a lot of new teachers in your district. Science is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary. Therefore, it’s becoming increasingly important to interact with teachers beyond your department.  When you’re setting your classrooms up for back to school, learn more about your fellow teachers. Who knows? Maybe you’ll need to borrow a musical instrument from the music department or coordinate a joint lesson or school excursion with the history department.

3. Review the Next Generation Science Standards

You definitely know this already, but the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are the K-12 science content standards that set the expectations for what students should know and be able to do. These standards were developed by a consortium of 26 states and by the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Research Council, and Achieve, a nonprofit organization that was also involved in developing math and English standards.

It’s important that your science lessons align to the three-pillars of NGSS, which are crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas. Take a minute to review your lesson plans and ensure they fit in with the three-dimensional approach so you can easily implement this instruction style when you head back to school.

4. Don’t Pretend You Know-It-All

It’s hard to admit, but it’s hard to be an expert in all things science. If you don’t know a science concept during a class, don’t pretend you do. Instead, you can ask other instructors in your department about the concept or explore the concept with your class together. This second way will help you gain your students’ respect and trust because you won’t come off like a know-it-all.

5. Look For Innovative Learning Tools

Each year it seems to get harder to hold students’ attention. This is especially true when it comes to science as many students have difficulty making connections between what they learn in the classroom and the real world. Luckily, there are affordable tools out there that can really engage students and help with that connection.

WeatherSTEM is one innovative tool that helps science teachers around the country connect STEM concepts and the real world. Why? Regardless of age, all students care about the weather. Whether they are trying to figure out what to wear to school or if they’ll have a snow day, students are always engaged in the weather. While the weather might seem boring, major weather events like hurricanes and floods seem to jog students’ interests.

WeatherSTEM helps students understand the science behind weather phenomenon and how the weather affects other parts of life. This is a perfect interdisciplinary tool for teachers K-12 that comes with lesson plans, data mining tools, and other great ways to innovate in the classroom. You can learn more about WeatherSTEM this back to school season with a free 30-day free trial. Click the image below to get started.

Get A Free 30-day WeatherSTEM Trial!

6. Students Get the Back to School Blues, Too!

Remember, teachers aren’t the only ones that miss their summer free time! Some students have a rough time transitioning back to school. While a lot of teachers set classroom expectations on the first day of school, you could add some time for students to talk about their summer vacations or plan some lessons around summer themes and concepts. For example, you could do a meteorology lesson on the sun or you could issue a writing prompt to get students writing about their summer experiences.

What Did We Miss?

What do you think about our back to school summer tips for science teachers? Let us know in the comments below. And remember, if you’d like a free trial of WeatherSTEM, all you have to do is click this link.