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Science Tools and Lab Safety for Primary Grades

One of the first Science units that I teach every year to my kiddos is about Science Tools and Lab Safety. It is a great way to familiarize the students with the Science tools that they will be using all year long. It is also a great way to teach them how to properly use them. It is important to remember that while you may be teaching young kids, you are also laying the ground work for all the Sciences that come later. Science in the primary grades prepares students for biology, chemistry, physics, etc…Since I teach second grade, I generally stick to the basic Science tools such as:
·         Magnifying Glass
·         Magnet
·         Microscope
·         Terrarium
·         Computer
·         Balance
·         Beaker
·         Weather Vane
·         Aquarium
·         Safety Goggles
·         Notebook
·         Thermometer
·         Rain Gauge
·         Stop Watch
·         Ruler
·         Scale

I have my students cut out fact cards for the different Science tools. We put them into a pocket in our Science notebooks for reference throughout the year.

If possible, have all the tools for the students to examine. I like showing the students the real tools as well as using a Power Point presentation that encourages discussion about the reasons we use Science tools.

We also discuss which tool is the correct tool for the different jobs…

Lab Rules are also crucial to teach students. Even if you don’t have a Science lab, lab rules are important to follow when performing experiments in your classroom.

My best-selling Science Tools and Lab Safety Unit can be found below

My Science Tools and Lab Safety Presentation can be found at:

OR, you can buy the BUNDLE and SAVE!!!

Postcards to Your Students - Setting the Tone for a Great Year

Kids LOVE getting mail! There really isn’t a better way to set the tone for the school year than to send postcards before school starts. It is a great way to open up the line of communication with the students and parents. I don’t know how many students over the years have told me that the postcard that I send them before school starts is the first piece of mail that they’ve ever received. Postcards are relatively inexpensive. You can usually find them at teacher stores in packs of 30. I will be sending my bunch out this week (one week before school starts). I generally just say something like:

“I hope that you’ve had a fun summer. I’m excited to be your teacher this year. I look forward to seeing you on the first day of school!”

You will be surprised with the amount of students that will bring the postcards to school to show you that they received them. I even get Thank You notes from students for sending them!

Simple Classroom Rules

Classroom rules are essential to classroom management. However, my classroom rules have changed in the years since I first started teaching. I used to start the year by establishing the rules. In college, I was taught that 4 to 5 rules were ideal (not too many, not too little). In the past, I even did brainstorming activities with my kiddos and allowed them to vote on the classroom rules. While that was effective, I realized that all I really needed were 2 basic rules.

My 2 rules:

1.       Be respectful: This rule really covers all of our behavior issues. If we are respecting the teachers and others, then everything will be OK. This rule takes the place of “Stay quiet while the teacher is talking,” “Keep hands and feet to ourselves,” “Remain quiet in the hallway,” and etc…
2.       Be responsible: This covers a lot of issues. I like to tell my kiddos to take care of their business. This takes the place of “Always be prepared,” “Have your supplies ready,” “Finish all your work,” and etc…

I post these rules above our “Bucket Filler” reminder. I also like to read “Fill a Bucket” to my class every year on the first day of school. It really helps to establish a classroom community. Below you can find the activities that I like to do with my kiddos during the first week of school!