My first year of teaching I was hired halfway through the year. Not only did I have to quickly figure out my teaching style, but I also had to get about 50 students ready to pass that dreaded 5th Grade Science STAAR test.
I needed a way to make learning stick, and stick fast.
I knew vocabulary and science concept diagrams were the biggest memory points for the concepts they needed to know, so I thought about how I could hit these hard, repeat them, and do it while having fun!
That’s where Science Says was born. This is based on the simple game school kids have played for years and years, but with a science learning twist.
That year, I created movements for each vocabulary word, each cycle, and each process that students needed to know well.
We played and learned every day until test day!
The moment that my heart melted with pride and joy is when I saw several students doing their Science Says motions while working through questions on their STAAR test. I cried a few times during those months of getting my new class ready for that test, but these were my first happy tears.
Since that year, I worked Science Says into the weekly lessons so they learned the motions as they came up in the curriculum and practiced the previously learned ones.
It fit perfect in the closing minutes of a lesson or spare time throughout the day. And, every year the kids loved playing this game! Plus, any time you can add movement into learning, kids will connect and remember!
I made myself a cheat sheet in spare notebook paper and read randomly each day.
I am working on putting this together for you to easily incorporate this fun learning and review activity into your weeks. You can grab this growing set here.
Kids learn so many new technical vocabulary terms in Science, and they need to know these words well to maneuver through a challenging test. I started playing Science Says in 2009, and it worked so well that I stayed with it. I originally used it as a brain break sort of activity to review for the test, but the results that came from it were phenomenal. It quickly became a weekly and daily review staple. When I saw my students making motions for vocabulary words while working through test questions, my teacher heart was full of joy for student success! They were using the Science Says movements while reading their test questions to help themselves remember what those words meant. This was a simple, yet powerful tool.
I hope you find this as helpful as I did!!
Happy Teaching, Teacher Friend!!