Priorities Of Our Space Lessons
I want you to know that every set of teacher notes that accompany my space lessons is based on how the lesson actually went in my classroom, and many videos were recorded the same day it was taught so the details would be preserved. Thats why the voice in my space lessons seems real, like I actually did what it’s describing. It wasn’t always convenient to do it this way, but my standard is excellence and I feel I couldn’t give you an excellent product any other way.
I hope you don’t mind, but to keep your teacher notes from becoming overly-complicated, I chose not to pass them through an English department for a grammar check. Nor were they sent to the local university to be corrected. While I hope there aren’t many mistakes, that’s still not my main concern. All I care is that my space lessons actually work in the classroom. Some teacher guides are so sophisticated and overdone that you have trouble making sense of them, and a perfectly good lesson can be lost when it’s “over-decorated”. I just wanted mine to be clear.
This is an excerpt from the lesson- “Interactive Notes-Electricity“
Illustrate All Space 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 space 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 space 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.
Space Lessons That Include Everyone
Is it really true that these space 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 space 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.
Space Lessons- All Fun?
With space lessons, being interactive is important, but I want to do more than just entertain your students. The neat thing is that after experiencing a good demonstration, students actually crave a good explanation. That’s why my teacher videos strongly emphasize you being mentally prepared. You should never walk into your classroom not having a clue what you’re doing that day. If that’s your habit, you might occasionally have a good day of learning, but you and your students are missing out on many more.
Step 1, then, is going in with knowing what you’re doing. And step 2 then would be deciding what kinds of things you’ll say during the space lessons. If you seldom give thought to your words before a lesson, try it and see what happens during your next space lessons. Everyone wants to be part of a great lesson, but it’s usually the unseen work and mental preparation that make it successful.
Space Lessons Your Students Will Buy Into
What’s the hardest part of any space lessons? For most of us it’s capturing our students attention. Since worksheets usually aren’t that breathtaking, I’ve found that a different approach works better. My space lessons were designed to be interactive with your students- to provide a reason for them to listen as well as give you a centerpiece you can build on. An involved student will pay attention and take ownership in the activity, which fuels their interest even more. And that’s what causes them to “buy into it”.
Space Lessons That Use The Gift Of Curiosity
Do you know how lucky you are to be a science teacher? Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you suddenly had become an English teacher and had to come up with something for your students to do. Your mind is probably not exploding with exciting things to do. Ok, calm down, youre a science teacher again. Do you remember what you dreamed of doing when you first decided to become a science teacher? Was it hand out worksheets? Give long lectures? That doesn’t even deserve an answer.
You can use human curiosity to your advantage in your space lessons, and it can take you anywhere you want to go. Here’s a fun demonstration idea: gift-wrap a box as beautifully as you can with ribbons and bows. Then start class one day by putting the package in front of your classroom and try to teach a normal lesson while attempting to ignore the gift box. Your students will go nuts wondering who it’s for and what’s in it. Mean? Yes. Fun? Absolutely!
Keep this gift box handy for when your space lessons take a turn and you get questions like ”why are we spending so much money on space exploration”? Answer- basic human curiosity. It drives everything we do, and it gets to the root of what science really is- looking around, noticing, and wondering why things are.
Be Intentional In Your Space Lessons
As you mentally prepare for each of your space lessons, be intentional about everything. Nothing should happen by accident or by chance (at least not many things; science class should occasionally reflect real science and encounter surprises).
That’s the beauty of the Yellow Sheet– almost nothing can sneak up on you. Using this method of planning for your space lessons, you’ll overlook no detail. It may sound like a lot of work and different from anything else you’ve ever done, but if you often feel frustrated with what goes on in your room, try it for a week and see how it goes. You’ll find that when you’re intentional and not accidental, more will get done and the tone will be more positive.