No Science??????? Really?????

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mmswm, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    My oldest son is beginning middle school this year. I just got his schedule. He's NOT taking a science class!!!!!

    WHAT?!?!?! REALLY?!?!?!?

    You have GOT to be kidding me!!!! Science is the one subject that this kid enjoys. Besides, how the <insert expletive> are we supposed to compete in today's global world if our kids AREN'T LEARNING SCIENCE!!!!!!

    Sorry for all the shouting. I'm dumbfounded. He has time for Art, Band, and PE, but NO SCIENCE??????

    I'm going to scream now. Loudly. Then I'm going to find the nearest teacher supply store and do what I do best. My kids will not suffer for the stupidity of their school district.
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oh, and I forgot to add...he also has time for "Packer Time", whatever that is...but NO SCIENCE!!!!! GGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrr
     
  4. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Is this a choice they get, or is it how it is for all middle schoolers?
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    It's how it is. The only thing I can think of is that they switch mid year from social studies to science....I hope....
     
  6. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    What is Packer TIme?

    Do you think it could possibly be a typo?
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Here's his schedule. There's A days and B day, and periods 1-10

    1-2Social Studies (A,B)
    3-4Math (A,B)
    5Lunch (A,B)
    6Packer Time (A,B)
    7-8 Art (A)
    7 Spanish (B)
    8 Band (B)
    9-10 Language Arts (A,B)
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I think Packer time is a study hall...
     
  9. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Does this school employ a science teacher? I'd be on the phone finding out. Science is a core subject. What do the state standards look like?
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'm looking all that up right now....I'm shocked. I just don't have the words to describe how I feel.

    (On a side note, are we surprised that this district didn't make AYP last year?)
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    What kills me is that I see absolutely no need for study hall. I never had it, and I went to the "best" schools (my kindergarten tuition was more than many Ivy League universities). I survived without it....but I would NOT be who I am today with a slip-shod science education.
     
  12. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    I would definitely be calling the school and talking to them about this. Surely there are state standards for science!
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    OK, I know you: What answer did you get when you called?

    Or did you get home from work too late to call?

    How incredibly asinine!!

    So he'll play the Oboe, but have learn no science??????

    Take a look at the state standards, and find out when he's taking his next standardized test in science. You know that administrators' ears will perk up when you start talking standardized test scores.
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Alice, I've left a message, but gotten no reply yet.

    I think an explanation is in order. I hate to be the overbearing parent, but this time it's called for.

    As a parent AND as a teacher, I can simply see no rational for this that would satisfy me.

    The thing that gets me is that science is Matthew's favorite subject. It's the reason he doesn't hate school. It's the only subject he WANTS to learn. He learns mathematics, and pays attention in LA, because he KNOWS he needs those skills to truly learn the science he loves so much. He's told me that much (now you can watch mama puff out her feathers in pride at how mature of a statement that is).

    This is the kid I want to strangle because of all the science experiments he does. Do you know how many products have been used for purposes other than intended in his "experiments" (and do you know how big of a mess that hot water and baking soda, under pressure, makes when the container finally explodes?).

    grrrrr, just grrrrrrr.
     
  15. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    So... 3 core classes, 3 electives, and study hall?

    WOW. I'm pretty passionate about band, but three electives plus study hall seems a little extreme to me. Don't get me wrong - I love music, I love art, I feel PE should be required... but I also believe SCIENCE IS A CORE CLASS.

    As an aside... some elementary schools in my district don't have science until 5th grade... just in time for FCAT. Disgraceful.
     
  16. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    My daughter did a student teaching social studies block in a 4th grade classroom last year. Her students were all African American. They did not know who Martin Luther King was and did not know that we had our 1st African American president. She asked the teacher about it before she left and was told that this was their 1st social studies lesson since 1st grade. She had to ask why and was told that they have social studies and science on their schedule but do not actually teach it because they need to spend the time on LA and Math because of the state tests!! And they wonder why we are so low globally in science.
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Aug 18, 2010

    Core Subjects: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Sudies

    Important Subjects: Art, Music, PE, technology, life skills

    Subjects/periods that aren't necessary, but are nice to have: Study Hall, Student Skills seminars.

    Core subjects should be every day, all year long.

    Important subject should be present, but could be reduced to every other day, or rotate in short (say 6 week) blocks.

    Nice but unnecessary subjects and go the way of the powdered white wig.
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Okay, I've done some research. Here's a link to the state science standards. http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/standard/content/science/index.shtm

    I also found out that they do social studies one semester and then science the next. Download the 6th grade science standards and tell me how those can be effectively taught to 11 and 12 year olds in half a year.

    Like I said before. I'm a capable teacher. My own children will not suffer. But what about the kids who don't have a mom like me? How fair is that to them?
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    mm-- it looks like a double period.

    I bet it's so they can do labs in science.
     
  20. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I now that with staffing cuts and the need for extra instruction in reading and math, we have had years when the kids didn't get science every day. They got it half time, divided with social studies.
     
  21. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Alice, yes, but I still have problems with that. First of all, the school day is from 8:42-3:42, divided into 10 periods. That's 42 minutes each period, so a double period would be reasonable for labs and such, I agree. BUT, WHY do the kids need 84 minutes for lunch and study hall EVERY DAY????? that's 168 minutes of time that could easily be cut in half, freeing up time to be able to teach all the core subjects every day.

    Instead of lunch AND study hall, double periods for each, why not a single double period for lunch/study hall together? Now we have another double period in the day where we could teach, oh, I don't know....Science...yes, science would work.
     
  22. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I would call the school and ask to have a meeting with the principal. Maybe it is a mistake...maybe Packer Time could be substituted for science...or band...
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I agree about the study hall.

    But it appears that he WILL have science (and during the winter-- the worst half of the year. The timing will work out well for him.)

    Personally, I think it's a stupid system; I would rather every other day all year long. But he WILL learn science, and that's the main point, right?
     
  24. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Yes, but I'm still not happy. The core subjects should be all year long, every day.

    Even as a musician, I can say, without a doubt, that the core subjects should get AT LEAST the same amount of time as music and art.

    *sigh*

    The worst part is that he's really angry about it. He LOVES science. It's his whole reason for going to school! Now he won't have that until January. That stinks.
     
  25. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    So his schedule would be in a day
    SS 84 mins,
    Math 84 mins,
    Lunch 42 mins
    Study hall, 42 mins
    Art 84 mins or 42 mins each of spanish and band
    LA 84 mins
    This is 7 hrs. Lunch should be no more then 30 mins and that would give them 52 mins that could be used for science or put an elective there. And what about PE?
     
  26. myangel52

    myangel52 Comrade

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    Aug 18, 2010

    Last year, one of our sixth graders was missing a math class -- he had two electives plus his p.e. class, and didn't have a math class. It was an error in the scheduling that didn't get caught until he said something to me in the hallway 2 months into school. EEEK!!!

    Needless to say, that got fixed very quickly once I heard that.

    Hopefully that is not the case here. It sounds like it isn't, if they switch social studies and science halfway through the year. But, I would want it confirmed that that is really the case, if it were my kid.

    ETA: I would love to have that much time for our math classes... 84 minutes? Not to mention having over 40 minutes for lunch. Nice!
     
  27. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oy, I'm so angry I'm mixing up double periods with a/b days! :lol:

    Yes, sorry about that.

    PE isn't there. In my blind rage about no science, I didn't realize that PE wasn't on the schedule either. I'm not so thrilled about that either. And where's health? We always put it as a unit in our science classes, but if you have to cram the rest of it into half a year, when are you going to get the rest of it?

    I'm just not happy. My kid is not happy. We'll make it work, but I wish it were different.
     
  28. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    As a science teacher, students should have it year long and at least every day. It takes a LONG time to properly LEARN science using inquiry, research, and its no wonder that students just suck at science in most cases.

    I think if that was my child, I'd be finding him some extra curricular programs to join that would help him develop his science skills. (And ya, I'd be blowing my top too)
     
  29. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Well, My top is done blown. As we've seen on recent threads, I'm well versed enough in science to supplement myself. I'll take the 6th grade standards and create activities for him to do on the weekends, so when he gets it "for real", he'll have had this time at the beginning of the year to start the process of learning, and be able to excel when he get to the class itself.

    I'll do the opposite with social studies next term. He's been doing a self paced "course" I created for him in logic for the last year. He's pretty good at doing things on his own when he's interested enough. I won't have any problems getting him to do extra work with science. :)
     
  30. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I wonder if you could go to the next board meeting or meet with other parents (PTA(O) parents) and discuss this. Maybe if you have a committee and bring it to the board it will change. If not for this year, for next year for sure.
     
  31. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Some districts around me do this for middle school - half a year of science and half a year of history. And yes, it's usually the schools that didn't make AYP, because they "need" the time for more intensive English and math classes. (Nevermind that some students can be motivated to try harder through science and history classes...) The districts' rationale is that yes, we do have state standards for science, and yes, there is a standardized test in 5th and 8th grades, but those tests don't count for the API score. They could have 0% of students proficient in science and still make AYP if their English and math scores are high enough. Crazy, right??

    In my district, most 7th and 8th graders get a full year of science and a full year of history. The students who test low get extra math and English classes, so some of them do the half year thing or else don't get any science or history at all. The elementary schools, though, don't really teach science at all (although I've been hearing about owl pellets in 4th grade from this year's 7th graders). Some students say their 5th grade teacher gave them the science test and told them to just guess because it doesn't matter anyway!! There is definitely something wrong with our educational system when only English and math "matter"...
     
  32. diana

    diana Rookie

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    Half a year of social studies and half a year of science? That is completely dumb. Science discovery is not some part-time thing; neither is social studies. I hope the teachers at this school are bright enough to at least use the reading of informational texts as a means of including science and social studies year-round.
     
  33. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    mm~In my district, 6th and 7th graders go to science/social studies every other day for the entire year. The classes are an hour and a half a day. In 8th grade, students receive 42 minutes of social studies daily and an hour and a half of science daily. Hmmmm? Can we see where the focus of our testing is?
     
  34. diana

    diana Rookie

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    KateL, that is just sad about those teachers' stances on the importance of science. I did my student teaching in a first grade classroom and science was such a hit with the students. Doing experiments was a fun way to incorporate cooperate learning as well as reading, writing, and higher-thinking skills.
     
  35. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    The principal at my San Francisco middle school, who was also the principal for the sister k-5 site, was quoted in the Chronicle as saying 'of course we don't have time to teach science'. This was the year I was hired to teach 6, 7 and 8th grade science to kids who hadn't had science in 6 years while attending his elementary school. And he gave me exactly $0 to start up said science program-no supplies or equipment. It's so sad to see these values in our administrators.
     
  36. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I teach test prep for a living (there: I'm outed)... and I can tell you that teaching skills in the absence of content knowledge is bogus. Some of my students experience remarkable turnarounds in scores... and it's because they're getting the thinking skills, but they're also getting the content on which the thinking skills are to be used.

    For heaven's sake, most reading and writing curricula teach the necessity of knowing the purpose for reading or writing - that the purpose dictates the approach. That is precisely as it should be - but eliminating the content for which the skills are intended simply guts education.

    My signature indicates my philosophy - that education isn't what you know but what you can do with what you know - but to do anything with what one knows, One. Has. To. Know.

    What a good thing this isn't live audio, because I'm swearing up a blue streak on behalf of mm's son and his fellow students.
     
  37. DaleJr88AmpFan

    DaleJr88AmpFan Cohort

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    I'm doing some checking for you... but I can ASSURE you that the system does work. Look at what sub-group did not meet AYP for the district... I am sure your child will not fall into that area at all. One of my colleagues (5th gr) has her 3 children going through the very same school system... all three are "gifted". All are doing fabulous in all core areas and on state tests. Her husband is a science teacher in our district for freshman. Now, if there wasn't enough concentration on science, they would both be beating down the doors to the administration. So, far, I have heard nothing negative about it. Trust me, if there was anything to gripe about, they would be the first. They have EXTREMELY high expectations for their kids.. almost too much IMO. As far as Packer Time goes, it could be a homeroom time that allows for both study hall and life skills/health.

    Again, I have a call into them and will update you when I know.

    Sorry about your frustration...
     
  38. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    It is stunning that a science class was dropped for a study hall period. More than stunning, it is an outrage!

    Perhaps your son's schedule has not been finalized. We have already received two finalized schedules for my son and none of them make any sense. We went through the same process last year. His final final schedule was received only days before classes began.

    Hopefully your school will see the error of their ways and add the science class.
     
  39. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Thanks, Dale. I appreciate that :)
     
  40. bros

    bros Phenom

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    84 minutes for lunch?

    Nice.

    This was my middle school schedule if I remember correctly (all periods 42 minutes except where noted):
    English
    Communications (Essentially a class to teach us how to write essays)
    Music/Tech Ed/Computers/Art (had one each marking period)
    Lunch (22 minutes)
    Science
    World History
    Gym/Health (3 marking periods of gym, and 1 marking period of health)
    Math

    And the electives would change times with the gym/health after a semester.

    And we'd have spanish once a week replacing an english class
     
  41. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Bros..I should go back and correct that...I was mixing up double periods with A/B days. Lunch and study hall are single periods...42 minutes each.
     

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