Naturally Teaching

An elementary teacher science blog

About

Hey there, I’m Victoria!

I am so glad that you are here! With all of us living the go-go-go lifestyle with limited time, too many places to be, and unlimited distractions, it means a lot that you have decided to spend your precious time with me.

If you haven’t caught on by the pictures and categories on the pages of this website, I LOVE nature, science, and picture books! These passions have developed over many years and have influenced my teaching style.

To give you a little background, I hold a B.S. in Education with an integrated science major and a language arts minor for elementary school (hence my desire to integrate science and ELA through picture book companions!). I spent nearly ten years working at a local nature center using my teaching degree to coach elementary educators on how to teach science using the nature from Michigan, but more specifically, the nature in their schoolyards.

Starting in January of 2022, I opted to stay at home with my two children where I get to use the very same teaching techniques that I have finessed over my ten years in the field. It has been such a blessing to spend such quality time with my children. I have also enjoyed sharing my passions with them as we read picture book after picture book and use nature to aid in developing whatever skill they are trying to master.

My kiddos on a bridge looking for animals in the pond

I’m also passionate about helping educators like you discover that teaching science in the elementary classroom can be approachable, digestible, and even enjoyable! We can do this by breaking down science into understandable chunks and seeing how it interconnects in your community. By providing place-based context to the topics you are teaching, you and your students will have a better connection to the information and will understand and retain it better. This style of teaching will also provide authentic experiences that your students can draw upon for inspiration for their writings as well as provide them background knowledge when reading books.

How do I know these things? Because I lived and breathed it for nearly a decade.

Observing a Bald-faced hornet’s nest with a hand lens at a program for children remote learning during the pandemic

I loved helping break down the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into patterns and rhythms that could flow with what was happening in the teachers’ schoolyards each season. I helped the district that we partnered with to develop full-year nature curriculums based on the NGSS for kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade all revolving around what was happening outside their very own classroom windows.

I loved modeling different types of scientific inquiry when I would visit the classroom once a week and lead each class. This gave the students different types of learning experiences that they may not have had the opportunity to experience otherwise. It also gave the teachers an opportunity to engage with their students in a more intimate way and to also have on-the-ground professional development.

When this partnership first began, I heard a lot of complaints about the district-mandated science taking up too much time in the teachers’ schedules and how they needed more time for reading, writing, and math. They didn’t see the need to teach science when their students weren’t being tested on it.

Learning colors outside in the spring with a rainbow bookmark

Over time as we worked together and I modeled different inquiry techniques and activity types, the teachers began to see the benefits to teaching science in their classrooms. There was more excitement in the air about the lessons that were being presented and the growth in their students’ reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. Their students wanted more non-fiction books in the classroom so they could look up which bird was at the bird feeder or which seed they found under a tree in the schoolyard. They embraced and excelled at using science journals to share their understanding of what was happening outside. They fully engaged with picture books that helped introduce them to new scientific concepts…

Here at Naturally Teaching you can expect to find science articles that break down complex science concepts into more digestible pieces so you as an elementary teacher can feel more comfortable with the information you are teaching your students.

You can also expect to find tips and tricks for integrating science and ELA together to fulfill curricular goals in both subjects in an effort to save you time in your busy schedule.

Along those same lines, you will find suggestions for picture books so you don’t have to track down the perfect piece of literature to introduce complex scientific concepts. I am a firm believer that there is a book out there that can help you introduce any kind of science to your elementary students and the words and illustrations will reach them in a way no other introduction can.

Let’s grow together to get science working for you in your classroom!

So let’s grow together to get science working for you in your classroom. Science in the elementary classroom can:

🔎 Progress observational skills

🧠 Develop critical thinking skills

📚 Support and encourage reading skills

✏️ Grow and advance writing skills

🌎 Provide real-world experiences for your students

💚 Give authentic experiences that will help your students retain and recall information easier

🏫 Connects your students to their local community and nature, helping you develop the next generation of amazing citizens

Let’s connect!

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Send me a DM on Instagram with a science subject you need a picture book for

Looking for ways to save yourself time in your busy schedule? Click here for 7 time saving tips for teachers!

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