When I first started teaching, despite my best intentions, I soon realized many of my lessons were...well...dry....boring. So over the last few years one of my goals has been to figure out ways to make learning more exciting and fun. Teaching science the obvious way is to add more labs, inquiry, and hands on experiments. This is great, and I have added so many lab experiences since that first year. As much as I love teaching inquiry based lessons and I know my students learn so much that way, there is still a time and place for having to learn content - history, vocabulary, processes, etc. This information is key to understanding how the world works and making the important connections between what you as a student are doing in the lab and what the rest of the scientific community is doing. But that seems to be where things get boring really fast. Activities that I use to bust the boredom in my class often take the form of games or competitions to practice skills and content. I find most students are competative by nature so adding a little friendly competition and maybe even a prize at the end is a great way to get them excited about practicing a skill they may have otherwise groaned at. Playing a game, puzzle, or relay, gets the important content practiced and the students have fun at the same time.
Over the last couple days I have been tweaking and refining some of the games and puzzles that I use in my classroom to share on my TpT store. Check out these resources, and be sure to check back for more in the upcoming weeks.
Periodic Table Puzzle http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Periodic-Table-Review-Puzzle
Lab Safety Card Sort http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Safety-Rules-Card-Sort
Genetic Code Puzzle http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Genetic-Code-Puzzle
Periodic Table Relay http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Electrons-Protons-and-Neutrons-Falling-Leaves-Relay
Please feel free to leave me feedback about these products either on the store page or here on my blog!