Assigning roles in science groups can be a helpful way of managing student participation in science investigations.
Notice I say managing participation! Not managing behaviour… Obviously there will inevitably be issues that require teacher support to overcome when children work in small groups but assigning roles encourages participation, develops responsibility and increases accountability among your students.
To use the posters and badges follow these simple tips:
Assign a role to each student at the beginning of each lesson. Teachers can determine whether these roles are chosen by the students or themselves. I personally like to assign the roles myself so that students are given the opportunity to have a go at each role.
Despite the roles that have been assigned, students should still be monitored as they work to ensure groups are cooperating and remaining on task.
Posters should be displayed in the classroom for students to refer to as well as badges prepared for students to wear during lessons so everyone is clear on what their role is. These badges can be laminated for longevity, hole-punched and threaded with a safety pin. Science basket labels can be laminated and attached to baskets with zip-ties, blue-tac, Velcro dots or sticky tape.
Following these simple steps will ensure your students are not only staying on track so they remain concentrated on the task at hand (hence more able to learn) but will also ensure they are learning vital life skills to set themselves up for success for life beyond the classroom.
Like the sound of getting your students working purposefully in your science classroom? Sign up to our Free Resource Library to get access to these posters plus plenty more great resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum.
Reading, writing and analysing timelines is a requirement of the Australian Curriculum but it should not have to be a chore for you or your students!
Here are seven simple, yet effective, ways to get your students involved in practising timeline reading and writing skills while keeping them engaged and excited about what they are learning:
1. Timeline Bunting: You know the bunting you see in the party section of your local dollar store?
It can make a simple, yet effective timeline activity for your students. Depending on the age of your students and the outcome you wish to achieve: – you could have your students write the dates onto the bunting themselves to create their own individual timeline; – you could have each student write one date and event on their bunting and then come together as a class to put the timeline together; – OR you could add the dates and events on yourself and then have your students put the timeline back together after handing them a piece of bunting each.
2. Block Timeline: This idea is great for the lower grades but I can assure you the older grades will have no hesitation in having a go at this activity as well! Using wooden blocks, cheap building blocks or even an old jenga set you can write the dates and events on separate blocks. You can then either: – allow students in small groups to put the timeline back together – OR give each student a matching date and event and have them together as a class put the timeline back together.
3. Paperchain Timeline: This is a super simple timeline activity that can easily be prepared in minutes. Giving each student some strips of paper have them write the dates and events on each strip. Glue them together to create a chain. (Alternatively you could again do this as a whole class or in small groups by giving each student one strip and then have them work together to put the timeline together).
4. Coathanger Timeline: This activity could be done with the recommended coat hanger for individual timelines or a piece of string for a collaborative timeline. Students write the dates and events on pieces of paper/card and then tie the events onto their coathanger with string. Alternatively you could peg them on their coat hanger or a piece of string if doing a collaborative timeline.
5. Floor Timeline: Place a long piece of tape onto the floor (or depending on the surface you could just use chalk to rule a line). Mark certain dates on the timeline and have students add events that they have been given onto the timeline. Alternatively students could create their own timeline on the floor if they have been given multiple events to sequence (this would be space dependent though).
6. Puzzle Timeline: Using real puzzle pieces or the template found in our FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY, either you or your students can write the dates and events onto each puzzle piece and then put them back together.
7. Paper Cutout Timeline: Also from the dollar store you can often find pre-cut cards in various different shapes and sizes. These plane-shaped cards were perfect for creating a collaborative Transportation Timeline.