Science Curriculum?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Amers, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. Amers

    Amers Cohort

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    Apr 19, 2008

    Hey, everyone! Due to state testing and wedding planning, I haven't been around much lately, but I have a curriculum question for you all. I'm especially curious about Missouri schools....

    What does your science curriculum look like? Since this is the first year science has been tested during our state tests in fifth grade (at least in MO), my school has faced some interesting challenges. I am one of three science teachers for the fifth grade in my district. In my school, students do not have science until the fifth grade. Missouri GLEs require student knowledge of plants, animals, water cycle, food chains, simple machines, solar system, force and motion, circuits, and a few other topics. My school's curriculum for fifth grade only covers solar system, simple machines, force and motion, circuits, and matter and energy. Are you seeing our problem?? Our curriculum covers a small portion of what is tested by the state. Since students do not get science until fifth grade and our curriculum for fifth grade doesn't include all the topics, how do we successfully prepare our students for MAP testing??

    Long story short: When do your elementary students begin learning science? Hmm....I guess this turned into a question attached to a vent. Sorry about that. It's just a frustrating situation. :blush:
     
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  3. UpNorth

    UpNorth Rookie

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    Apr 19, 2008

    Here is a link to my district's science framework page.

    http://asdk12.org/depts/science/Elementary/framework.htm

    We do start right away in kindergarten. We are starting to test science as well this year - I think 5th grade and 7th grade will be tested in our state. (maybe 10th too?) :)

    Here is the basic layout each year. There are 3 kits (each kit different, but each relating to that grade-level's main focus) distributed & rotated throughout the school year.

    K - characteristics
    1 - inter-relationships
    2 - cycles
    3 - changes of form
    4 - systems
    5 - energy flow
    6 - scale & structure
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Apr 19, 2008

    We start science TEKS (guidelines) in kindergarten. Here are the grade level TEKS that tell teachers what must be covered in each grade: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter112/ch112a.html I can't imagine trying to cover all of that in one year and be tested on it. The fact is that the other grade levels are going to have to start teaching some of this!
     
  5. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Apr 19, 2008

    We start teaching science in kindergarten. Science has been tested on the FCAT for 5th grade for a few years. You can find our new grade level expectancies for all grades here

    New Sunshine State Science Standards
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Apr 19, 2008

    Kindergarten. All grade levels have science in our school. In K it is as simple as "what floats and what sinks," "what are the 4 major parts of a plant," "shadows," and "seasons/temperatures."

    I think they even touch on science in preK now, come to think of it.

    We teach all of our subjects: Reading, writing, science, social studies, and math, starting in preK.
     
  7. Amers

    Amers Cohort

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    Apr 19, 2008

    Thanks for all your responses. I thought it was pretty weird when I started teaching at my school and was told fifth was the first year the kids got science. We don't have supplies for a couple of the units either....not even a text book.

    My hope is that when our scores come back and they're awful, admin. will realize that science needs to be focused on in some of the younger grades too! I hope we don't get in trouble for our students not being prepared for the test. We did the best we could with what time we had.
     
  8. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Apr 19, 2008

    Amers,
    It could be that the lower grades aren't held accountable for the science instructio like you are. In FL when science was first tested, the scores were the pits! As a result, many districts put on a improvement plan to teach more science and require at least 30 minutes daily in all grades. It also helped with the adoption of new science curriculum. I feel like this year I have taught more science because I have materials to teach it.

    What you could do is get with the lower grade teachers at your school and do some vertical team meetings to discuss some possible topics that each grade level could incorprorate. By doing that, everyone should realize that 5th grade teachers can't teach all the science standards.

    We have done this the past two years at our school and our science scores have shown improvements. The huge gains won't really show until a few years later though.
     
  9. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Apr 19, 2008

    With science just added to our state testing this year, hopefully science will become a real "subject" again...we don't have a specific block for science or social studies (which is sad because most of our fifth graders can't identify where our state is), we are supposed to integrate science into all of our lesson (which really isn't reasonable) and all of our half-days (maybe 15 tops throughout the year) are "science days" where we teach a science lesson. Isn't that sad? Like you said Amers, hopefully the horrible scores will bring us a new curriculum!
     
  10. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Apr 19, 2008

    There are tons of fabulous, inexpensive ideas on Steve Spangler's blog. He's fantastic!

    You know, the Mentos and Diet Coke guy!!! (He was on "Ellen" the other day.)
     

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