Tag Archives: scientific method

Two Things I Need To Survive 8th Grade: Coffee and Mnemonic Devices

When I first started teaching 8th grade, the curriculum was all new to me. I was the inclusion teacher in four subjects, as well as teaching two of my own resource classes.

Few things are less intimidating than being unfamiliar with the curriculum and learning it just a few days ahead of the students. One of the first things I had to learn was the Scientific Method.

I needed a quick way to memorize the steps:

  • Ask a question
  • Form a hypothesis
  • Test the hypothesis
  • Analyze results
  • Draw conclusions
  • Communicate results

I also needed to think of a way to help my students memorize these steps for their test.

Fortunately I had been in band and knew the “Every Good Boy Does Fine” trick to learn the notes on the staff. Since then, I have always been a big fan of mnemonic devices. And, as luck would have it, the science teacher I worked with usually had a cup of coffee in her hand every morning as she greeted the students in the hallway.

So this is what I came up with:

A fun snapshot of the science teacher with her morning cup of coffee would make a great poster for the classroom.

Totally unscientific, but trust me….silly things like this work!

Tweedle Dee used this same strategy to help her in her science class this year and last year. (Being a teacher’s kid, she learns all kinds of crazy ways to memorize things!)

I am certain I will never forget the steps to the Scientific Method and I bet there is a good chance you won’t either.

Ideas for SMART Board Tools: Sentence Arrange

The “Sentence Arrange” tool in SMART Notebook is a great tool for sequencing and ordering and can be used in all subject areas.

You can find this tool in the Lesson Activity Toolkit.  Basically you enter single pieces of information –  in sequence – on up to 8 separate lines. The lines are shuffled and students must reorder them. Like most of the activities in SMART Notebook, it has a self-check feature.

I have used this for whole class instruction, stations, and individual practice.

The screen shot below shows how we used this tool for learning the Scientific Method.

Stay tuned for another clever way to memorize the steps of the Scientific Method!

Here are some other ways I have used “Sentence Arrange” in the past:

  1. Memorizing the Preamble of the Constitution
  2. Learning PEMDAS in math
  3. Sequencing events in a story
  4. Ordering numbers from smallest to largest
  5. Memorizing the 7 base metric units
  6. Ordering presidents
  7. Sequencing battles in a war
  8. Memorizing lines of a poem

What other ways could you use this tool in your classroom?

Share your ideas here!

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