Friday, December 14, 2012

Independent Science Lessons and Blog Hop!

It is a sad fact in my classroom, but most of my students are not reading at grade level. This has been caused by years of sliding through classes. Our school district enforces "social promotion" so no one is held back. Well, I don't know how many of you read science textbooks, but they are not the easiest material to process. There is new vocabulary, difficult concepts, and lots of math interspersed throughout the book. Imagine trying to read this when you aren't even reading at grade level!

To help my students understand the information, I have begun creating independent lessons that students can use instead of the textbook. These lessons have a mix of text and graphics to help illustrate the big ideas of a topic. I do my best to write them at about a 5th grade level so they are accessible to most of my students. I also use lists to help organize students' progress through the lesson so it is easier to stay on task.

So far I have created the lessons for the major components of our study of the human body. I have many of these for sale at my store. Today I am offering three of my independent lessons as a prize for one commentor on this post. Share a topic you wish you had an independent lesson for, a strategy you have used with struggling readers in your middle school classroom, or anything else!

Good luck to everyone! I can't wait to read your comments!

This post is not just a chance to show off my independent lessons - it is also part of a blog hop for middle school and high school teachers. Continue on to the next blog at Night Light Lessons! If you ended up here without seeing the earlier blogs, you can go back to the beginning at Teaching High School Math.



  1. What if I said I wanted to see independent lessons on the human body? This is where we are right now, and my kids are really struggling. They are also about 4th to 5th grade reading level.

    A strategy that I have used is partner reading. They get a partner. They sit across from their partner. One reads a paragraph. Then the other person has to ask them a question about what they read (either directly from the reading or not)...then they switch for the next paragraph.

  2. Social promotion is a huge struggle across the states. I wish that they truly went by mastery of standards to determine a students level in independent subjects and were intermixed based on their levels not ages.