Yeah, this is a common and sad phenomenon that we’re seeing in elementary classrooms these days. But it’s a real struggle teachers face and I wanted to provide a list of things you can do during a 15 minute science block.
1. Split your mini-lab into 3 separate days. Begin with introducing new content and setting up notebooks on Day 1. Conduct the mini-lab on Day 2. Debrief and reflect on Day 3.
2. Integrate science with math and reading whenever possible. Working on informational text? Use science text. Doing a unit on graphing? Get your data from a force and motion activity.
3. Allow students to reflect on the previous day’s lesson for morning work!
4. If you have the opportunity to “trade” some of your time in a self-contained setting, do it! Maybe you can skip science on Monday, but devote 30 full minutes to it on Tuesday.
5. Use science centers that students can complete over the course of the week. Thousands of teachers have used Science Weekly Five centers in just 15 minutes each day. You can download your free Science Weekly Five Stations Start-Up Kit to learn more about the program.
6. If you plan to do an experiment that’s going to take some time, schedule a Science Friday and spend the afternoon working on your experiment. Integrate writing, reading, and math! I had some 5th grade students who went and helped in a Kinder class for their Science Fridays and it was a perfect combination. Each 5th grader had a group of 4-5 kindergarten students to do the activity with. So sweet!
7. Explore using a brief hands-on opportunity on Day 1. On Day 2, discuss and explain the science concept you explored the previous day.
I hope this post was helpful! It’s so awesome that you’re trying to take advantage of the little time worked into schedules for science. Keep being awesome. 🙂