This is part of my Science Solutions Series, blog posts that address the questions I most often get from teachers.
The second semester of school in 5th grade can be…intense. There’s the test prep and the data analysis and the after school tutoring and the hormones and “The Test”. I’m trying something new this semester to keep motivation high and work quality high while also giving me time to work with students who need extra help.
Every Friday, students take a quiz over the week’s material. I quickly grade the quizzes as they turn them in (once I’m done reading aloud to some students). Then, students graph their quiz scores.
After that it’s…
SCIENCE ACTIVITY TIME!
I introduced Science Activity Time on Monday and we had our first go at it today. The kids LOVED it! Some made a hand crank powered radio with Snap Circuits. Some made art of cycles in space with chalk and construction paper. Some played computer games. Some read with a buddy.
Science Activity Time happens on Fridays after we do a unit test or weekly quiz. The reward is academic! It lasts about 30 minutes and is for students who meet certain criteria:
1. You must make an 80 on the weekly quiz.
2. All work for the week must be complete and high quality.
3. You must not have received a Classroom Referral all week.
Students who do not make an 80 on the weekly quiz work in a small group with me for at least part of the time reviewing the quiz questions and doing some intervention work with the material that was not mastered.
Students who did not do quality work or have incomplete assignments work on that for 30 minutes.
If a student received a Classroom Referral, passed their quiz, and has no missing work, they “get to” reflect on their choices and make a plan for improvement.
There are plenty of easy ideas to use for Science Activity Time. This is not something where I’m going to rotate all of the activities each week. I will add activities over time, but we started with just a few options.
I started with Science Art, Buddy Reading, Snap Circuits, and Computer Games. These are all things the students are familiar with and ENJOY!
I made a list of links on my webpage. Here are some great sites for the games:
Here’s some things I have in my Science Activity Time stations or will be adding later: