A lot of teachers are getting their first jobs or new assignments for next year. If you’re new to teaching science in grades 3, 4, and 5, this post is just for you! I’m just finishing my sixth year, but I’m thinking back to when it was my first year teaching and what would have been tremendously helpful at the time.
1. Find your standards.
If you’re new to teaching science in 3-5, you’ll need to take a look at your state’s standards. Right now, 11 states have adopted the Next Generations Science Standards. Otherwise, you’ll need to look at the standards for your state. There are many states that heavily integrate science and literacy using the Common Core Literacy standards, so that is another factor to consider.
2. Think about your instructional preferences.
Do you like using a textbook? Pre-prepared kits? Stations? Interactive notebooks? Inquiry? A combination of all of that?
3. Look at what other teachers are doing.
Visit blogs and Pinterest to see what other teachers are doing. Talk to teachers you know. Google!
“Must Follow” Pinterest Boards:
Science Penguin Teacher Stuff
Interactive Science Notebooks
It’s my Life Science
Let’s Get Physical, Physical (Science)
Science! (Teaching With a Mountain View)
Science Teaching Resources (Laura Candler)
Science (Teaching in Room 6)
Science (Official Pinterest Board)
4. Prepare starter materials.
Here are some things I recommend for getting started:
All in One Science Notebook This resource has been an invaluable resource to me and other teachers. You can use it all year long. It has examples and 175 interactive science notebook activities.
Upper Elementary Warm-ups Bundle This resource is phenomenal because it includes 28 whole weeks of daily warm-ups on a new topic each week.
iLearn Science This resource was just what I needed to start the year off right with my students! Fun for the kids, fun for me!
Interest Inventories (free!) Get to know your students as scientists!
“You May” Board for Science Classrooms (free!) This board makes things easy for you when you have early finishers.
Lab Team Roles (free!) This resource is absolutely vital. Students need to have roles when working in lab groups to increase time on task and productivity.
Science Vocabulary Folder (free!) This resource is editable and will help your students keep track of key vocabulary all year long.
Science Vocabulary Posters and Quizzes These posters and quizzes are separated by topic and are perfect for vocabulary instruction.
Big Money Words This resource includes 28 posters with key science terms that students need to be comfortable using. It’s a must to get your students talking like scientists!
5. Research, research, research!
Look for great ideas and resources on Pinterest, TpT, Facebook, and blogs.
6. Get your room ready!
Your classroom doesn’t have to look like Pinterest threw up, but I’ve found it helpful to have supplies organized in a meaningful way and word walls and bulletin boards ready. I have a lot of trouble with organization, so I’m thrilled to have cabinets and lots of opaque bins to hide my mess! Find what works for you, and if you struggle, try again next year! 😉
7. Find supplies!
You may be surprised that crap can become gold in a classroom. See what your school has and see what you and your friends have lying around in your homes. This is not a comprehensive list because it depends on what hands-on activities you plan to have students do, but it is a basic list of supplies for grades 3-5.
8. Take it easy!
With how connected teachers are to each other now, we can share amazing ideas with the click of a mouse.