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    Grade 8 Science
    By S.E.

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    That was me last year. If I may deduce, you are in Ontario, and you are starting with Mechanical Efficiency since you mention the "other 4 units". That is definitely the hardest of the 5 units... is there any way you can teach one of the others first? I found starting with Cells was good, because microscope work interested them and it was procedural. (As a side note, I would mention that Science is definitely the hardest subject to teach in my opinion because you can't ever "wing it" and it takes oodles of preparation.)

    I varied the kinds of activities we did- usually an experiment with write-up every other week (they usually take a full hour with cleanup and starting on the write up!), I used computer-guided research A LOT - like webquests. Another teaching strategy that worked (and I had 2 classes- 1 a behavioural challenge every time) was to give them areas to research and then present it to the class (i.e. self-teach). At the beginning of the year we also looked at Inferences. If you can integrate it at all with Language or Math, that helps too- I only taught them Science but I did a combination L.A./Science assignment and we did graphing and equations (Fluids unit) for Math. I liked the Nelson textbooks best but my school had Sciencepower so I mixed and matched. And if you can go to STAO (Science Teachers of Ontario) conference in November, do it! It gave me some great ideas. Hope this helps and sorry it's rambling. P.S. I opted out of grade 8 science this year- I love it but I love it even better teaching it to fifth graders. Best of luck.

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