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practical for 1st lesson

Discussion in 'Science' started by scienceteacher11, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. scienceteacher11

    scienceteacher11 New commenter

    sorry I wrote a thread earlier about doing a practical first lesson and I'm so confused!
    my colleague is insisting that she does a practical with her classes for the 1st lesson and that its a good idea
    however I'm planning my lesson and once the expectations have been defined and getting to know each other there really isn't enough time to do a practical. Think it would be awful for me to look rushed and flustered on my 1st lesson but she said it's important to get them excited about science. I fear that if i do one the end of lesson will be rushed and definitely no time for a plenary and i really want to establish a clear structure.
    The reason i'm so confused id because 'm starting a gtp so i'm not that experience so I assume the sensible thing to do would be to go with the advice of a more experienced colleague but it goes against my instinct.
  2. Ssn77

    Ssn77 New commenter

    I'm doing a practical first lesson and leaving the expectations to the second lessons (tell them that you will be doing the admin stuff next lesson). Obviously, outline your expectations about safety and sensible behaviour before the practical.
  3. scienceteacher11

    scienceteacher11 New commenter

    Think i'm going to do the bunsen burner license thing , that way its saves time rather than doing a whole experiment so there's still an element of fun without the time of an experiment. Is it safe to use one bunsen so for example one pair light a bunsen, turn it off then the next pair lights it and so on...
  4. Ssn77

    Ssn77 New commenter

    Could you have at least a couple of bunsens going? If it is just one and a whole class waiting their turn, you risk them getting bored and messing about; also puts more pressure on the timid ones to have everyone watching them.
    My son did a something involving heating squares of metal in Yr 7, and a couple of pupils picked up hot metal with fingers. The teacher just laughed and said they would never do that again, knowing that they only do minimal damage in that experiment but they would be more careful as they moved onto more risky things. It always amazes me that we are completely OTT about health and safety in school labs now, yet let unsupervised 17-year-olds loose in cars. Some schools do not allow pupils to light bunsens themselves (comes from management not science teachers)
  5. scienceteacher11

    scienceteacher11 New commenter

    good point about the messing around, i'll have 2 working with me at a time and the rest working on lab safety posers, I know h&s is OTT but i'm a new teacher in a lab i'm not that familiar with a class I don't know ,so not comfortable to let them loose! So parents moaning that the children have a slight burn or anything like that is something i'd rather not deal with during my first week!
  6. Don't bother going over all the lab rules unless you are going to do something that uses them - like lighting the Bunsen - but I usually wait until I get to the lesson in the scheme of work. I am planning to just get straight into teaching them and do the skills in context, eg drawing equipment when you separate salt from rock salt or lighting Bunsens when you compare fuels etc.

    Line them up outside and get them quiet before you let them in, get them to collect their new book as they come in and sit in the plan that you want them to. GIve them really simple rules - try your best, respect the learning of others and follow instructions. Then plan an engaging lesson - I agree doing things that help them get to know each other will help, but put them into context, so you could get them to find the person who has the photo of the bit of equipment that they have the name of and work together.

    Don't talk to them any more than necessary as it could bore them! And make sure there is a learnining objective so you can do a meaningful plenary.

    It is always hard to judge a first lesson correctly. Just make sure that if you do have a problem student you pick them out in the line next lesson and tell them again your expectations, and if that fails make contact with the parents early. If you come across as wanting to support little Timmy or Annie then mum should be supportive and having a relationship with home should help with the student - be prepared for ups and downs though!

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