Science Songs for Your Classroom

 Whether you are remote learning or in the classroom, you can spice up learning by incorporating science songs into your classroom. If you are distance teaching, I love the idea to start the Google Meet or Zoom session by playing one of these songs to get your students motivated and engaged for science class. 

Here are some songs you may want to incorporate into your science sessions: 

Science songs for your classroom

  •  She Blinded Me with Science

This is a fun song to include in your lessons. It should be noted that there is one line toward the end of the song that may make teachers feel uncomfortable when the artist says, "She made love to me", while many students may not even pick up on it, you may want to shut off the song before it gets to that part. 

  • Drops of Jupiter, Train
  • Satellite, Dave Matthews Band
  • Gravity, John Mayer
  • They Might Be Giants
An entire album devoted to science! All songs are three minutes or shorter and cover a variety of topics such as the solar system, the sun, force and motion, elements, and photosynthesis. 
  • Science Style 
Remember the song Gangnam Style that was a hit a few years ago? Well, this parody is a fun play on science. 
  • Weird Science, Oingo Boingo
  • Golgi Apparatus, Phish
Incorporating music into the classroom will always make students excited about learning. What I also like about this list is that this is a good starting point. Assign extra credit and have students find more relationships between music and science to bring their favorite genre or artist into the classroom. 

Engagement Tips for Remote Learners

 Behavior Management Tips to Increase Engagement in a Remote Learning Classroom

Making connections with distance learning students

Since the onset of COVID-19 and the introduction of distance learning, many educators find themselves scrambling to find ways to engage our online learners. While most disruptive behaviors are now easily cured with a mute button or removal from the platform, many teachers are left wondering... 

Are you alive??? 

If you are wondering how to motivate and engage your learners while remote teaching, check out the tips below. 

Five Tips to Increase Engagement in Your Online Classroom

1. Build Relationships

Just as relationship building activities are necessary for classroom management, they are also needed for online teaching. Since the 2020-2021 school year began with many different types of classes going on, whether they are in class, hybrid, or remote, we are not afforded the luxury of already having a relationship with students prior to this type of learner. This year is even more important to take the time to learn about your students and build a relationship to help them feel comfortable and confident in the classroom. 

Here are some ideas to build a relationship with your students: 

    - Use Meme as a check-in 

    - Have students create FlipGrid videos

    - Spend the first five minutes of class asking them personal questions (How was their weekend? What is their favorite animal? Throw out movie lines and see who knows the movie.) Let the students see that you are a "person" and not just someone there to lecture them. 

    - Have a question of the day. I love the website linked. The questions are quick and easy. You can put them in a Google Form and share some of them or spend time during class talking about them. 

2. Online Participation

It is really important to include all kids in your classroom lessons. Call on students throughout your teaching to make sure that they understand and that they are engaged. Calling on students at random can also help you to informally assess whether or not the students are understanding the content you are teaching. This could be a good time to learn that you need to slow down or speed up. 

Choose different methods for calling on students so that they aren't feeling anxious during your class. Giving students an option to type their questions or answers in the chat feature could help to increase student participation. 

Also, if you are using Google Meet, you may want to try Breakout Rooms. You can take the whole class and divide them into groups so students can have smaller conversations with one another. Often, students will have a louder voice when they are in smaller groups. 

3. Private Messages

This option will really depend on a variety of factors including your learning management system and software used to monitor students. In my district, Schoology is used as our learning management system and DyKnow is used to monitor student work on their Chromebooks. Both of these systems have an option that allows me to privately speak to a student.

Of course, you need to follow appropriate messaging practices but having the ability to have 1:1 conversations with your students will allow you to build stronger connections with them. You can use the messaging features to: 

- remind students of missed assignments,

- review a concept they may be struggling with,

- update students on what was missed while absent, 

- answer student responses on Google Form questions

- relieve student anxiety about a problem 

4. Creative Hands on Activities and Demonstrations

As a science teacher, I worry about the lack of hands on science that is going on right now. Obviously to some degree that cannot be helped but there are still ways to SHOW students what is going on. 

Demonstrations: Document cameras aren't JUST for documents! I use my Ipevo document camera for science demonstrations so that the students can see what is going on. Even students IN the classroom love logging in to the Google Meet to view what is happening on the Smartboard. 

Continuing to bring demonstrations to my science students has increased engagement and student interest in science. While it is not ideal, it is helping and my kids love it. 

Hands-on activities: Just because students are home, doesn't mean that they cannot participate in hands on fun. If you can be flexible on the materials that students will use to complete activities, students can still use their hands and have some fun. 

Using STEM activities has been the easiest way to do this. Most of the activities are very flexible in the materials that need to be used. Students need to be creative so it's a win-win! Need ideas for STEM activities? Check out this blog post to get the wheel turning. 

5. Sense of Humor

Most of all, especially in these times, having a sense of humor is really important. We are in unprecedented times navigating a very crazy, and sometimes scary world. While we still have the curriculum and data collection always looming at our doorstep, it is also important to take time to remember that we are all human beings and sometimes we need to kick back and laugh. 

Don't forget to laugh, tell jokes, and show your students that you are fun, smart, friendly human being. Once students know this, it will go a long, long way in developing a kind and respectful relationship with your students on AND off screen. 

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    How to Use the Teachers pay Teachers Digital Tool

     Using the Teachers pay Teachers Digital Tool for PDF Activities

    How to make digital PDFS with tpt digital tool

    As we enter this difficult time of remote learning looking for every digital lesson and activity we can get our hands on, did you know that Google Classroom users have a great tool that they can utilize on Teachers pay Teachers

    What is the Digital Tool?

    Google Classroom users are super lucky in that they can still use PDFs on certain lessons and activities that Teachers pay Teachers sellers have deemed appropriate for the digital tool. Basically, this tool, allows users to type directly on the PDF. So you can now include answer boxes, notes, highlighting tools, and questions for your students to answer using lessons and activities that you ALREADY own! 

    Once you are complete, the only way to use the activity is to export it to your Google Classroom, so users of Schoology, Canvas, SeeSaw, etc do not get the benefit of this tool.... however hopefully in the future this changes. 

    Why is this Helpful?

    Many of us have been using Teachers pay Teachers for years, so we have accrued many awesome lessons and activities that are most likely printable only. While thousands of teacher-authors are quickly trying to adapt to the changing learning climate, many are not there yet. This digital tool allows buyers to use lessons that they have already purchased so you don't have to buy new ones if you don't want to. 

    How Do I Use This Tool? 

    This tool is fairly easy to use and pretty intuitive. Below are the steps to use the tool. I also created a video for you to watch to help you get through the steps. 

    1. Either purchase the lesson or go to My Purchases to locate the lesson you want to use. You will know if an activity is compatible with the digital tool if you see the image that is below the purchase price that tells you it is a TpT Digital Activity. 

    2. Once you have accessed the tool, you can do many things with it. The video will walk you through the many features. 

    Chemical and physical changes activity using the TpT Digital tool for PDFs

    Features include

        - Answer box

        - Text

        - Pen

        - Highlight

        - Shape

    Before assigning to your class you can preview it to ensure it is exactly as you hoped it would turn out.

    Need step by step instructions? Watch my screencast below...  


    Try out this tool on some of your existing purchases and let me know what you think! 

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      Teacher Self Care Ideas


      With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the life of a teacher got that much harder. Prior to 2019, a teacher's life was hard enough trying to juggle students, their parents, administration, colleagues, state testing, and keeping up with the latest teaching trends that there was little room for a personal life... unless the teacher made sure to save room for a life outside of the classroom. 

      Then March 2020, ushered in something no one could have EVER anticipated... 

      It was as if the evil teaching devils tried to devise a way to make the life of a teacher even more insane... 

      which is why now, more than ever, it is vitally important that teachers everywhere take time to indulge in self care. 

      Self care is different for everyone. Whether you are an athlete, mom to humans or furbabies, a bookworm, or restaurant enthusiast, below will give you five ideas to pamper and show the teacher in your life some love. 

      Five Self Care Ideas for Teachers: 

      For the Bookworm: 

      One positive from being on lockdown this past spring was that I found my Kindle as I started cleaning up around my house. I was excited to dust it off and start reading again. I was even more stoked when I found the Live-brary site. For those of you who may not know, Live-brary allows you to download books for FREE by using your library card. Simply sign up and you can search for nearly any book. While some books may have a waitlist, this app is so cool and will save you tons of money. 

      Once school started in September, I decided to keep up with my reading habits. An hour before bedtime, I put down my phone, take out my Kindle, and spend the time reading. I won't lie, it is sometimes REALLY hard to put down that phone but I noticed that my sleeping habits have gotten so much better. According to my Fitbit, I am sleeping a lot deeper and for a longer amount of time. 

      For the Athlete: 

      I would not really consider myself an athlete however I do care about my body and as I get older, I want it to be in good shape to support me in my golden years. One app that I absolutely LOVE is the Peloton app. Yes, you can use this for spin class but the app which is about $19/ month has so much more! Whether you are into strength training, yoga, cardio, running or even just walking, there are so many great classes on demand or live that you can take! If you decide to sign up, connect with me at SamsonsShoppe! 

      For the One on the Run: 

      I hate cleaning. According to my husband, I am also not very good at it. So for my birthday, I saved up my gift cards and splurged on a Roomba. Oh. My. Goodness. I am kicking myself for waiting so gosh darn long! The Roomba is absolutely amazing. I have it scheduled to go around the house each morning while I am working and honestly, there is nothing better than coming home to beautiful lines on the carpet. If you are like me and loathe any type of cleaning, this is one way to take care of yourself!  

      For the One with a Cluttered Mind: 

      Have you tried Headspace? A few years ago, anxiety completely took over my life. One of the strategies I was told to try was Headspace. There is a free and a paid subscription, but honestly, you do NOT need to pay for this. There are so many different programs within the app that can help you with meditation, mindfulness, and a night of deeper sleep. I found that taking a few minutes a day did help me to relieve some of the stress and anxiety from life.


      For the One who NEVER Takes a Moment:

      It is important to remember that self care is different for everyone. Some of the ideas above are great but for others, they may not totally fit the bill. You need to make sure that you choose something that will either make your life easier or happier. For me, the choices above fill either one or both of the categories but that doesn't mean there aren't other things. Below, I will list a few more ideas of things that a teacher - or anyone - can do to help take care of themselves. Some of the suggestions may take a few minutes but others might be longer. I hope you use this list of ideas to choose which one is best for you and remember that you are important and you need to take time for you! 

      More ideas for self care: 

      • Walk your dog around the block
      • Get your car washed (it feels so good to get into a clean vehicle)
      • Mani pedi time! 
      • Back massage
      • Dinner at your favorite restaurant
      • Phone call to a friend
      • Lunch with your mom
      • Painting
      • Drawing
      • Window shopping in town
      • Cooking a meal
      • Listening to a podcast
      • Playing a board game
      • Looking at old pictures
      • Organizing a room

      Which is your favorite activity? Let me know below so I can add it to my list! 

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