It’s been widely reported over the last decade that students start their education with a great deal of enthusiasm and then, as the years go by, much of the enthusiasm and curiosity seems to dwindle. However, the best education does not show this trend.
One of the superior systems for teaching students science in the primary grades (PreK to 2nd grade) is the 5E Instructional Model. The goal is to get them to construct their new thinking, ideas, and knowledge on top of existing edifices of education and knowledge in their brain. The idea is to:
In this context each of these words or steps meaning something very specific. for instance (and I quote the Science4Us explanation of the system): During the Explain phase, elementary students are provided a clear, concise description of the new concept which will include formal labels and essential vocabulary through a fun and captivating video clip. Within the Explain segment is a “Show What You Know” game-show-like assessment that checks for student understanding. The offline lesson is a graphic organizer or mind map that also determines mastery of the foundational science concept.
I feel extremely lucky having experienced both the once in 50 yer eclipse of today an the seventeen year locusts when I was much younger (and living in DC).
I feel extremely fortunate to have had the science education that I’ve had which started at a very young age and more importantly, was led by by father who was a world class thinker about science and education. From an early age, he focused on building understanding of the big science concepts and had a cross cutting organizational mind which marked me to this day. I remain impatient with learning facts and am always curious about finding patterns and understanding the big picture.
As a little kid, certainly by second grade, I understood that found was a vibration that could be transmitted by the “microphone” of a bottom of a cup, along a tight string, to another cup which would act like a speaker. He also had me understanding that the basis of the telephone was the same vibration which make the electrical current flux and which could be transmitted and broadcast the same way.
Easter is almost here! I am sure your kiddos are super excited, if they are anything like my children. Even though we consider our selves a Christian homeschool family, we still enjoy taking part in the fun of the “Easter Bunny” too. So, of course Easter egg decorating is on the top of our list. With any holiday, I like to incorporate the theme into our homeschooling. So, I found some awesome fun and educational 2nd grade science “egg” themed experiment’s on the fabulous internet! Below are my top 3 favorites that I found on HubPages. To find more cool egg experiment’s, check out HubPages- Fun and Easy Egg Experiments for Kids. *Ask your child what they think will happen before you preform any of these experiment’s. It’s be fun to see what they think before and their reaction after*
- Spinning Around– Place a hard-boiled egg and a raw egg on the table. Spin each of them and observe what happens. The boiled egg will spin faster. The raw egg will spin slowly.
- To Sink or to Float– Place the two glasses of warm water on a table. Add about 10 heaping tablespoons of salt to one of the glasses and stir until the salt is dissolved in the water. Place one raw egg in each glass and observe what happens. The raw egg in the normal water will sink to the bottom while the raw egg in the salt water will float to the top.
- Egg in the Bottle– First, set a hard-boiled, peeled egg in the mouth of the bottle. The egg should sit in the opening without falling in. Now, move the egg away and light a piece of newspaper and drop it into the bottle. Quickly place the egg over the opening of the bottle, with the narrow part of the egg pointing down into the bottle. As you watch, you will see that the egg will get sucked down into the bottle. If you try to get the egg back out of the bottle. It won’t be able to go back through the opening without breaking apart.
Wishing Everyone Happy Easter!
Is your child struggling in with their second grade math? Math can be a difficult subject at any grade for children. When kids have a hard time grasping math concepts, it can cause them to develop some math anxiety. Reassuring your child, that there is no race to be won, that it’s okay if they need more time to learn the material, can help their self confidence greatly. Another way to help your child with their math is by adding some fun math games. Using real life props are also great teaching tools. For example, when your child is learning about money, use real coins and bills to help them learn. You can also make printable flash cards and create printable worksheets; they are great for extra practice 😉
February is one of my child’s favorite months. As you may have guessed, my child loves candy, chocolate to be specific. Don’t we all? 😉 Making Valentines are also another favorite. We make ours from scratch, always have. It’s more fun that way to me. My kids just love getting colored paper, glitter, glue, doilies, etc. and making tons of those heart felt Valentine’s. I know not all kids like to be artistic, but mine do, especially my 2nd
grader. In fact, I am already thinking about when I should add an official art curriculum to our homeschool curriculum. Maybe next year, hmmmm…
It is 2015 and the school year is half way over. With the New Year, comes resolutions. However, in our house, I like to take it one step further and make some homeschool resolutions too. What do I mean, homeschool resolutions? There are always things you can change or improve upon in life. Your homeschool isn’t any different. So, what I like to do, at this mid-point in our school year, is to look back and see if there is anything I would like to change, remove, or add. For example, I have decided that I want to add some free learning games to our regular homeschool curriculum. I think kids need
more fun in their school work, because when you are enjoying yourself, you want
to continue doing it.
Happy New Year!
By now your 2nd grader is probably reading on their own pretty well. With Christmas just around the corner, books are a great gift idea. There are so many book options: character books, comics, books by homeschoolers, etc. If you or your child own a tablet or a computer you can even save some money by buying e-books; some are even free! Another great gift idea, is to allow your child to create their own story book. They have kits where kids write their very own story and they get to illustrate their own pictures too (if any). Once they finish, then it is sent off to be published. What a great way to not only build their self-esteem, but nurture their love of books. For children who are still learning to read, there are book gift options for them as well. There are audio books and books that come with CD’s or videos, that read the book, as your child follows along.
Happy Holiday’s Everyone!
Is your 2nd grade homeschooler learning about the first Thanksgiving? There are a few fun “Thanksgiving” things that you can add to your homeschool this month. For starters, there are many themed books that you can buy or maybe even borrow at your local library. You could also learn about the foods that were actually served at the first Thanksgiving and then compare them to what we eat during our own modern Thanksgivings. Thanksgiving themed crafts are also a fun idea. You can have your child make things like napkin holders, a table centerpiece, or even an Indian headdress. Of course, one of my favorite crafts is called “Thankful Turkey”. You have your child draw a turkey body and cut it out. Then you cut out paper feathers. Then each day you have your child write
something he/she is thankful for, until Thanksgiving Day, taping them to the
turkey. Then on Thanksgiving Day you can read them before sitting down to eat
dinner, allowing each family member to share what they are thankful for as well.
Halloween, for those of us who celebrate, is such a fun time for little ones. For me as a homeschool teacher, it is really fun for me too. I just love to incorporate Halloween themes into our homeschooling. Whether it is printable worksheets, stickers, or fun spooky crafts, kids will be excited and eager to do their school work when you use a fun theme. Of course for those who do not participate in Halloween, fall is another theme that you can incorporate into your homeschool just the same.
Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween & a Happy Fall!
Now that the new school year in in full swing, I am sure many of those who are new to homeschooling may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Trust me I understand, I also was new to homeschooling once. Remember, we all have that learning curve, we must go through. Figuring out our childrens’ learning styles, finding a homeschool curriculum, and deciding on a schedule that works. In time, you will be a homeschooling pro, but until then just relax and enjoy the experience and remember why you are homeschooling your children.