In an effort to bring curiosity and joy back into the elementary school classroom, I decided to start a series called 50 Ways to Bring Wonder into the Classroom. I hope to keep these ideas simple and easy to implement for the time-crunched teacher. Most of these ideas come from other teachers, blogs, and books - so I don't claim credit for them! Click here to see previous posts in the series. And without further ado, here is the next idea!
2. Use science journals
Science journals are a cheap and easy way to give your students somewhere to write down all their questions, observations, and thoughts about the world, without you having to manage lots of papers or activities. I just bought cheap notebooks and used rubber cement to glue these covers on the front. They have lasted all year. You can have students use science journals for all kinds of science-related activities, including:
- making KWL charts at the beginning of a unit
- recording observations about animals or plants
- drawing what they see on a nature walk
- writing down questions they have
- recording results from science experiments
- writing new facts from non-fiction books
- reflecting on what they learned at the end of a unit
I keep my students' science journals where they can easily access them , and encourage them to use them however they see fit! Some teachers do very involved science journaling, which I admire and wish I had time for! I keep it simple, though, and basically use them for my students to record what they observe about the world.
Here are some places to find more info on science journaling (also called science notebooks).