Incorporating science into primary ideas?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by shoreline02, Sep 16, 2018 at 7:36 AM.

  1. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Sep 16, 2018 at 7:36 AM

    The admin team and a few teachers recently completed a walk through of all classroom at our school. We had a checklist of specific "look fors". One thing we noticed as a whole was little to no evidence of science instruction.

    As the 5th grade science teacher, and a tested subject, it wasn't anything I didn't already know. The admin team asked me to do a short PD for primary teachers on incorporating science.

    I have a good idea on how to incorporate science but I'm looking to hear others thoughts and ideas! Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Sep 16, 2018 at 10:31 AM

    I once listened to a podcast where the guest spoke about incorporating it into the read alouds. As the teacher read, she could pull things from the book that were science related and discuss them with the class. I think integrating academic areas is the best way to make sure concepts are being taught. However, I recognize that can be difficult. Some ideas I have is to teach it as a center, or possibly in small groups. I would think about: can be integrated in writing? reading? word work?
     
  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Enthusiast

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    Sep 16, 2018 at 12:53 PM

    Why not use current events to introduce new science concepts to students?

    For example, you could talk about how NASA is working on a way to send a satellite into space to “touch the sun.” It will travel through the sun’s atmosphere and face extreme heat and radiation along it’s journey as it collects data. It’s purpose is to answer age-old questions about our sun and stars in general, and to take the closest pictures of a star ever taken. Since this could be a bit complicated for 5th graders and below, you can talk about how having a better understanding of our sun will help us gain insight into major space weather events as well as how said events affect astronauts in space. You might even be able to make that into a lesson on how incoming thermal energy from the sun and it’s interaction with the Earth’s atmosphere are what cause wind and weather events on Earth.

    Further, if a student asks how the satellite doesn’t burn up, you can lead a discussion about insulated materials and substances that are designed to withstand extremely high or low temperatures and give examples of each.

    I think it would make science more relevant as science often gets discussed and misunderstood in the media. For example, when a Congressperson once said wind farms slow down wind. You could talk about how that is impossible and as the heating of the Earth by the sun is what creates wind and thus the wind cannot be “slowed down” by wind farms. This would also help dispel misconceptions about what science innovations can and cannot do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018 at 1:04 PM
  5. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:44 PM

    I think the biggest and easiest thing to implement is increasing the "wonder", that is, having students be curious about the world around them. Getting them asking questions, and then exploring possibilities for why it might be that way. Doing in-the-moment short experiments to see if their hypotheses are right. It could tie into writing easily, as there's plenty of work on informational writing (they could be looking up information about something they're wondering as a class), writing in chronological order / lists (steps something takes to happen), and could lead to plenty of reading opportunities (curiosity about a topic could lead to doing a read aloud the next day on that topic).

    Granted, I'm not a primary teacher, and it surely isn't as simple as above, but I think as educators, being flexible in the moment and going with student curiosities can certainly pay off.
     
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  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Enthusiast

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    Sep 16, 2018 at 5:55 PM

    Ooh, I like your idea! Students are more likely to learn about a scientific process and experiment with things they find interesting. Maybe even have students do a science “fair” and present their experiments to the class.
     
  7. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Sep 16, 2018 at 6:02 PM

    By the way, a wonderful (heh) site that, while perhaps more geared toward intermediate, is fantastic and incorporates some literacy/vocab work on top of plenty of natural curiosity, is:

    https://wonderopolis.org/
     

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