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Hands-on Lessons Gain Students’ Interest

District teachers are building more of these into instruction

four students work an experiment at school

When asked what students needed in the wake of distance learning, families, students and staff called for more hands-on learning experiences. Our schools and teachers are making it happen! 

Here’s an example.

Josh, a fifth grader wearing protective eyewear, was “excited to work with dangerous chemicals”: baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, water, and an alka seltzer tablet. For the science lesson about conservation of matter and chemical reactions, he and his classmates were cautioned about “overreactions.” 

Teacher Gloria McGriff facilitated the science lesson, which aims to build students’ skill in observing, recording and collaborating as they conduct experiments. Once the baking soda and vinegar mixed in the sealed bag, she encouraged students to notice the bubbling reaction, the expanding volume of the bag, and whether there was a weight change on the triple-balance scale. They repeated the experiments with the other ingredients.

“This is fun!” said Yasmine. “Mixing stuff together is interesting.” 

That interest and curiosity is what teachers always hope to inspire in their lessons. They do a lot of preparation in order to make a hands-on lesson meaningful, aligned to standards and connected to the subject matter and our students reap the benefits of teachers' effective planning.