Junior High Science Lessons | Interactive Science Teacher

Junior High Science Lessons That Include Everyone

Science demonstration-before Mendeleev came along and straightened out the elements with the periodic table, they were as jumbled as a random assortment of pens, pencils and markers.  From science lesson 'Periodic Pencil Classification'.

Science demonstration-before Mendeleev came along and straightened out the elements with the periodic table, they were as jumbled as a random assortment of pens, pencils and markers. From science lesson ‘Periodic Pencil Classification’.

Is it really true that these junior high science lessons are for every student in your room? Let’s see- we know the “good” kids who normally pay attention will continue to do so. But what about the daydreamers, the troublemakers, and those who panic when things get “wordy” and technical? I designed each of my junior high science lessons to keep everyone interested:

  • The daydreamer will become intrigued with the demonstration
  • Troublemakers are usually kids who hate worksheets because they have trouble reading, so they’ll love getting their hands on science
  • And those with weak stomachs will be ok too, because they’ll get a boost of confidence from what they did themselves. And that which you have done with your own hands you are no longer afraid of.

This is an excerpt from the lesson- “Word Adaptation


“Letting Go” In Junior High Science Lessons

To your relief, none of my junior high science lessons will ask you to do every thing for every student. In fact, you’’ll notice a complete shift of who does what in my junior high science lessons. Students, not you, are the ones doing things. Your job is to stand back and make sure people do what they’re supposed to do, and the outcomes are what they’’re supposed to be. Then you can move in with dialogue when their minds are primed and ready. This method may be uncomfortable for you at first. But the rewards are worth it.

By handing over the best part of your junior high science lessons to students- the demonstration- you’re showing trust. Most students will respond to this by rewarding you (and themselves) with a higher level of maturity, and now everyone’’s winning. In my junior high science lessons your role is to give students enough clear instruction so they know what to do. But always leave some “play” room that they can use to discover things for themselves. Having come upon something amazing with their own hands, they will naturally go further and manipulate variables, enriching the discussion even more. Now that is real science.


Advantages Of These Junior High Science Lessons

Since each of my junior high science lessons has been used in a real classroom you know you’re getting more than a great sounding idea that might work. You’’re getting junior high science lessons without kinks and with a consistent flow from beginning to end. You’’re also getting a thorough background that reflects what actually happened when I did the lesson with my students, and not what might happen or we hope will.

We all know what it’’s like to try to use a teacher’s guide that’s vague or idealistic; those don’t work because they were dreamed up far from a real classroom! That won’’t happen with my junior high science lessons.


Keeping Control During Your Junior High Science Lessons

Is there anything more cool than noticing in the middle of your junior high science lessons that every single student is listening to you? Think of how amazing that is- what you have them engaged in is more important than anything else going on inside your students’ heads- lunch, boyfriends, clouds drifting by outside the window, the latest rumor. Getting everyone there is not easy. But how do you get there? And how is it that some teachers seem to always have everyone’s full attention, while others seldom have anyone’s?

There are many ways to effectively manage a classroom, even with very good junior high science lessons. And because your style and personality are different from everyone else’’s, so should your method of managing. It has to comfortably be you in charge and not another teacher and their style being emulated. And it has to result in your students realizing that you are the one and only person in charge. Your goal here is not tyranny, but to reach a point where students trust that you will do what’’s in their best interest. Good preparation is another key, so that you are not caught off guard and allow your emotions to make impulsive decisions. You can learn more about being prepared by reading about the Yellow Sheet.

If things are frequently out of control in your room, hold off on the junior high science lessons for a bit. Read some books and talk to another teacher with lots of experience and who manages their class well. In other words, do something about it! If you don’t know what to do, then you need to learn. As they say- if you keep doing what you’’ve been doing then you’re going to keep getting what you’’ve been getting. And listen to the advice of people who have their classrooms under control. You’’ll discover that a well-run classroom is one that pays close attention to the “little things”, and where the students’ best interest plays a major role in most decisions.


Illustrate All Junior High Science Lessons

It’s my firm belief that almost everything in science has a simple explanation, and the best ones include a demonstration with a reference to something students are already familiar with. It’s very important that those illustrations become a central part of each junior high science lessons.

Have you ever listened to a speaker who confused you? In your mind you may have thought, “Why don’t you showme what you’re talking about. Give me an illustration, please!” If they finally did give an illustration, then you remember your anxiety letting down. Remember to use word pictures often during your junior high science lessons, because that’s how our minds learn best, and also because there’s usually a student in your classroom looking at you starving for an illustration but saying nothing.


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