My name is Bill Wilkinson (students just call me “Mr. W”) and I love teaching science! In the 21 years I’ve taught, I’ve observed one constant- ALL students learn better when their their hands and minds work together. After teaching middle school science for 14 years, I served for 3 years as Science Liaison for Vigo County Schools in Terre Haute, Indiana, where I taught daily across several different middle schools, and presented professional development opportunities for science teachers. Currently, I teach Gifted/Talented Science in grades 6, 7, and 8 in Vigo County, Indiana. I am proud to say that each lesson on this site is an original that I actually did in real classrooms with real students.
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Questions and Answers
Yes, free lessons are abundant (and best of all- free), but they don’t offer near as much quality. Here are some of the advantages of my lessons:
Solid Lessons– Each science lesson stays focused on, and builds around, standards that students are expected to understand. So my activities won’t just keep students busy without making any meaningful connections. The strength of my lessons also comes from the fact that I’ve been using most of them for years in a real classroom with real students.
Strong Teacher Support– I feel that since you’re the one presenting the lesson, it’s crucial that you understand it and be fully prepared. My videos will show you exactly what to do, including all those subtle things that can make or break a lesson. And since many of videos were recorded the same day I taught that lesson, many important moments and details were preserved. Then the teacher notes were revised until they were clear enough to be taught “right off the page”. If they look and read simplistic then we feel we’ve done our job.
PowerPoints- Most lessons include a custom-made PowerPoint that will guide you and your students through the lesson. They illustrate things that can be confusing to explain, visually reinforce key words and sentences, and set a pace that keeps everyone together. Without the worry and frustration of figuring out what to do, students can relax, listen, and learn.
Numbers- Well over 100 interactive science lessons, hundreds of clear and concise PowerPoint slides, 60+ hours of video instruction for you, and hundreds of pictures and drawings.Let me add one more number- 10x. I hope this represents the value of this site to you because you feel you’re getting 10 times more than what you’re paying.
Extra Goodies– Many lessons include “Accessories” that you can choose to customize your lessons with, additional homework assignments, answer keys, quizzes and tests, and other suggested resources. And they all include copies of every image used, should you need them for any reason.
Where exactly do good lessons come from?
Click here for more info. about my Yellow Sheet system.
All of the lessons were designed for and used with middle school students. But they can easily adapt upward or downward in grade level. I’ve done workshops that featured my activities with elementary, middle school, and high school teachers, and the activities had universal appeal. If your grade level is lower, then do more and talk less and allow your students’ curiosity and questions let you know how much more to talk. If your grade level is higher, then use the demonstrations as beginnings of longer discussions and more notes (see next question).
I admit, this is very different. But really, it was born out of my frustration at trying to read lesson plans. At some point something wouldn’t make sense and my mind would scream “if only you would show me what to do!”. Besides being much more clear in what you’re supposed to do (since you’re seeing it), I might also add that another benefit for you is that it’ll take you less time to watch it on video than to read about it.
Yes, you absolutely can! When you think of how many different science teachers and science books there are, you begin to realize that there are many ways to teach one topic. There’s no assumption here that these lessons cannot be changed. So if you come across a more suitable demonstration or would rather word something differently, then by all means make that change so you’re more comfortable. But for reasons of copyright protection it is expected that you will not share or re-sell any lessons or images, revised or not, with anyone else, without written permission from the author (visit my Contact page).
In several lessons students do a demonstration, sketch a drawing of it, and then take notes and discuss the event. Having students make a drawing calms them down at a very crucial point in the lesson. Without it, they would be going directly from the demonstration right into discussion, and they would not be as attentive. Drawing also help everyone focus, because during the minute or two of drawing they’re focusing on the discrepant event, wondering more and more about it as their hand draws the lines. And that leads to another benefit- their interest increases. By the time they’re done drawing their minds are “primed” and ready for the notes and discussion. Drawings also help students’ minds relax by adding more to the notes than just words, and is very appealing to your artistic students. Since all the lines are simple and mostly straight, no drawing ability is required, although every student should try their best. (And, believe it or not, I personally have very little artistic ability!). Make it clear the first few times you do this that you aren’t concerned with how well they draw, because you really aren’t. What you’re getting out of the drawing is a room full of attentive students.
Yes- you’ll find that most/all of my lessons emphasize the kind of higher level thinking (like determining central ideas and converting text into something visual) that is also promoted in the Common Core State Standards.Here's a chart that shows which Common Core Standards are covered in each Interactive Science lesson.
The purpose of my Interactive Science Lessons is to show how science can be both fun and meaningful. Every lesson is hands-on and visual in some way, and meant to illustrate the topic being studied. So you can think of my lessons as supplements that take what you’re already doing and make it better (more fun and meaningful), but not the absolute base of what you do with science. If you have a good base curriculum and are looking for something to liven it up, then Interactive Science Lessons would be a great choice for Homeschoolers, especially considering that most of my lessons use things commonly found around the home. You’ll find more info. on my Homeschool page, located here.