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New Science teacher


Junior Member
I just got a long term Sub assignment for eighth grade science in the A.M. and Lang. Arts in the afternoon; I never taught Science on this basis before with 1 and a half hours each. I just got there and the supply room is a mess. I haven't been able to get many materials together as some are mixed up with other materials. Since I had to produce and we're doing Force and Motion I do the periods by this method. I use an Edhelper work sheet for the lesson and have them do the Multiple choice problems. I make sure to stop briefly and explain some paragraphs and then after they have worked on the problems, we go over the answers. I then go to the Book and briefly show simple experiments like showing a weight on a string and explaining center of gravity. Flyby spacecraft use the gravity of a planet to sling shot them past it, on this I talked about "Apollo 13" and how they had to do that because of low power preventing a moon landing and getting back to earth. The Vice principal came by and said she would contact a friend at another school who teaches middle school Science.
They're a typical eighth grade class and i've leaned to roll with some stuff they do and stay cool, although I have written 2 of them up after calm fair warnings. I also announced that i was giving all the classes an "A" to "keep" by proving they can do that work. I really want to make this work. One girl said "this is boring" when I passed out the
.worksheets. Any helpful suggestions? please


Full Member

I'm not clear if you have a textbook- but maybe you can get one, and follow the lessons in there. Do you have a science consultant or resource person for your area- why don't you contact him or her and see if either s/he can connect you with a mentor teacher who can supply you materials too, or else give you some support? (e.g. videos/DVD's, lesson plans, a course outline, etc...)

I know Science is a lot of planning and set-up, but it is a great opportunity for hands-on too. Are you making up these Edhelper sheets from a curriculum, or where are you getting your content from? You could do some note-taking, some reading, some webquest-style research if you have Internet access. With reading, you could have them jigsaw or get into groups and present a poster/short presentation about a concept that they then have to share with others and take notes.

Hope this helps. Sounds like a challenging situation.


Full Member
Here's a few ideas

Check out sciencespot.net and go to the Physics lessons for teachers. Also check out middleschoolscience.com also click on Physics. You will have to go down to the Forces and Motion section. One thing that I have done is give each child a mousetrap and give them a distance that you would like them to reach. Apollo 13 is a great movie to show when discussing gravity. Another wonderful resource when doing Apollo 13 is nasa.gov and click on the link for Educators. They have really cool games for the kids to play too. Check out these websites, the first two have really helped me. Also check out www.nsta.org, and ask the other science teachers if they have a membership to get you into some of the resources. I also know that our public library has Bill Nye videos on DVD and I check them out when I need something extra or help explaining a topic. -They are pretty expensive to buy. Hope this helps.


Middle school science

You're in a tough spot for sure.

1. Set up some procedures - ways of doing things every day. They need some structure and routine.

2. You've got to get the kids doing some science on their own. It sounds like your resources are a mess so try these links for help:




Feel free to pm me if you have specific questions or concerns. I've taught middle school science forever.