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Spring Science Lessons and Activities




Spring is officially here. The weather is warmer, plants and flowers are finally blooming, and animals are coming out to play. Spring is great time to teach kids about science, since there’s so much of it taking place right outside the door. Here are some spring science lessons and activities kids can do both indoors and outdoors.  

Butterfly Life Cycle 
This is a great lesson for preschool and elementary-aged children. For younger kids, start by reading the classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Then you can go as in-depth as you’d like about the butterfly life cycle. Study cocoons, metamorphosis and different types of butterflies. If you have the budget, you can even order a caterpillar and butterfly kit so children can watch it happen. This lesson also easily translates to art projects for younger kids.   

How Rainbows Form 
They say April showers bring May flowers, but those showers can also bring rainbows. Teach kids about light and how it mixes with rain to form a rainbowKids of any age can get in on the fun with a wide variety of activities and lessons of various difficultly levels. Have preschoolers shine a flashlight on the back of a compact disk, while older children can study refraction and light bending with flashlight, prisms and white paper.  

Plant Growth 
Spring is the perfect time to teach kids about how plants grow and why everything starts becoming green again as the weather gets warmer. You can even get hands-on by letting students plant their own seeds and watch them grow. With some egg cartons or Styrofoam cups, some fast-growing flower seeds, soil and a watering can, students can plant seeds and track the plant growth over time. They’ll get to see with their own eyes the transformation from seed to plant as they learn about plant growth in class.   

What are different science lessons you teach to engage your students?

All the best,
Steve

What to Do When You Need a Last Minute Substitute


In an ideal world, you would always know when you were going to need a substitute teacher well in advance. You’d be able to pick the person, leave a detailed lesson plan and have all the resources the sub could ever need. You would come back to a class that still learned what it needed to in your absence. Unfortunately, that is not always (or rarely ever!) the case. Here are some things to do when you need a last minute sub.

Notify Other Teachers
If there’s another teacher for your grade or subject that you know well or work closely with, let that person know that you’ll be out. They may be able to print extra copies of their lesson plans for the sub or offer them some help or structure. If your school has teacher’s aides, they may be able to offer help for your sub. Plus, if another teacher or aide knows your kids, they’ll also be able to answer questions or inform the sub about discipline, allergies or any other student issue.

Buy a Sub Kit Online
There are so many online resources now for teachers in a pinch. If you don’t have the time to put together a kit or lesson plan for a sub, you can buy one from another teacher. Steve’s Classroom has plans for all grades and ages that cover a variety of subjects. These are especially helpful when you’ll need to be out unexpectedly for more than a day or two.

Always Be Prepared

This requires a bit of planning and foresight, but having an emergency sub kit will make it easier for everyone. A folder with seating charts, student information, detailed schedules and a class set of worksheets will go a long way toward making sure that your class doesn’t get completely derailed when you get sick or can’t make it in. You could also leave an information kit with another teacher so they can answer any questions the sub may have.

What are some of your best methods when you need a substitute teacher?

All the best,
Steve