#stayathome2020, who saw that coming? Remote-learning became a trend overnight. Teachers became creative as they sought to continue instruction from a distance. Students were forced to admit they actually liked going to school. What a time! Is it over, we definitely hope, but the governor has yet to say. One thing, students were likely denied was the opportunity for hands-on Science instruction.
There is great concern about how students fared at home. We have all seen the death toll due to Coronavirus and we know that among the deceased were parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, some of whom were primary caregivers for our students. We have also seen the jobless rate rise and the extended lines at food banks. We won’t know exactly how the stay at home orders affected each student, but we know that it was stressful for everyone. While we wonder how much “summer slide” we will see, and we worry if our students have been reading, we must ensure they experience academic excitement upon their return to school.
Science instruction can be the excitement to reinvigorate academic interest. Hands-on-minds-on Science instruction can be a healthy diversion to the things plaguing the minds of our students. According to the Social and Emotional Learning Alliance for South Carolina, upon their return, we will need to help students redevelop self-awareness. This includes the confidence in their strengths and the ability to seek help or find answers. It also includes self-efficacy, the feeling that they have control over their circumstances. Students may be lacking in self management skills, including the ability to control impulsive behaviors and the ability to set goals and work towards them. Students will also need to develop social awareness. They will need to learn how to empathize with others whose experiences and background are different from their own, and how to verbalize their empathetic feelings.
A few Science-based activities that may help students socially and emotionally are as follows:
These are just a few ideas for Social and Emotional Learning through the lens of Science instruction, but the possibilities are many. Hands-on-minds-on Science is the perfect diversion to thoughts about the problems in the world. Additionally, hands-on-minds-on Science activities will encourage students to have meaningful, focussed discussions with one another as they work towards common goals.
Because Science Education Matters,
Kimberly G. Massey - M.Ed., NBCT
Science Instructional Specialist
Rock Hill Schools of York County
Readers are invited to comment below.
Kimberly G. Massey
Science Instructional Specialist, Rock Hill Schools of York County
The views/opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Rock Hill Schools of York County SC.
Call for Papers
If you believe Science Education Matters, and you have something you would like to share as a blog post, papers are being accepted. Your post should be between 600 and 1500 words. The topic should be relevant to Science educators and those who care about Science education, and the future. The topic should be broad, yet specific examples should be explored in the post. Any references should be cited at the bottom in APA style and the websites should be hyperlinked within the post. Photos owned by the author are also a great addition. Please email Kimberly G. Massey to share your topic idea BEFORE preparing your post.