Social Studies and Science

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by NewTeacher12345, Sep 1, 2019.

  1. NewTeacher12345

    NewTeacher12345 Rookie

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    Sep 1, 2019

    Hi everyone! I am a new teacher and my district does not have a set curriculum for science or social studies. I am almost positive that we just follow the Massachusetts frameworks and develop our own units from the 4 major content areas/topics. Are there any resources that anyone knows of that aligns to this framework? Preferably entire unit plans that i can follow in order to keep it consistent. Thanks!
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Sep 1, 2019

    Let google be your BFF.
    There are probably an abundance of prepared plans that you can access easily.
     
    Obadiah, Tired Teacher and bella84 like this.
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Sep 1, 2019

    What grade?

    Also check out resources on teacherspayteachers.
     
  5. Tired Teacher

    Tired Teacher Cohort

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    Sep 1, 2019

    I used to make my own units when working in a district that did not provide a set curriculum. That way I liked what I was teaching. If I had to do it all over again, I think I'd find SS or science books ( my grade level) from used book stores or Amazon to save time. Then I'd pull from them what I wanted to use.
    It would save the time of googling ALL, but help give you a basic framework to pull from and you will like what you are teaching. I have looked at teacherspayteachers a little bit. Not enough to be an expert on it, but I haven't seen anything on there that I couldn't make myself for free that I wanted. I have seen some cute stuff that if I'd have had an account, I probably would have wasted a bunch of money on.....lol I like to shop, but don't do much of it anymore.
    Good luck! :)
     
  6. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Sep 14, 2019

    What grade level? Most districts/states have at least a loose framework for what topics need to be taught when. In my mind the curriculum is the text series or materials. You may not have a curriculum, but there is likely a learning continuum or grade-level calendar for you to follow somewhere. Check out the state's education department or local school district websites. For both social studies and science, interactive notebooks and foldables are great tools to use. TPT is my go-to for quick resources, but do a search for teacher blogs as well.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sep 14, 2019

    New Teacher, have you reached out to your coworkers and asked for help? It sounds like you want a canned program, and I am honestly not a fan. I agree with the suggestion that Google should be your new best friend. I would also suggest that you look at the FREE RESOURCES and LINKS thread that is on the general education forum. Since I am a science teacher, I can guarantee lots of science links, but there is something for everyone there.

    By the way, if you seek in the Massachusetts DOE website, you will find:
    http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/mcu/
    http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html
    http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/search/default.aspx

    Marry these frameworks to Google searches and you are in business.
     
  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Sep 16, 2019

    I would recommend caution if purchasing science kits. Often the advertisement or the box in the store looks like you're getting a lot, but when you actually look inside, not much is there.

    I'd recommend emphasizing exploration in both subjects. Science and social sciences are not just what you memorize but also what you do; students need to experience science, not just choose the correct answer on a test. I'd also recommend integrating math within the lessons.

    When I was a student in school, science was emphasized but in my latter years of teaching I saw just the opposite. Our school (no lie) actually had a representative from a major company selling a science curriculum designed only for days when the teacher runs out of stuff to do. (I sat there thinking, I don't have many days like that). In my opinion, science and social sciences need emphasis rather that de-emphasis! One day's glance at the news is filled with articles within these subjects. Yet how many adults know that the tilt of the earth causes seasons, the earth's rotation does not cause gravity, space and time are connected...and in social science, to quote Alan Jackson's song, "I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran."

    Kids books in a library can be a fantastic resource for lessons. NASA has tons of resources and not just about outer space. YouTube can connect you with Bill Nye, the Science Guy; Mr. Wizard's World, Nova (perhaps a bit advanced for elementary, but the visuals and explanations can be useful for teaching), and other programs. A lot of what I watched on Mr. Wizard (when it was on Nickelodeon) found it's way into my lessons. If you live near a college, that might be a resource for special speakers.

    I'd also recommend integrating science and social science into your other lessons when appropriate. If reading a story from another state or country, find it on the map. Better yet, have the students label and color that location on their blank maps. Some ways I've integrated, I've used the Internet to find pronunciations of a word or two from another language, I've looked up samples of musical instruments, I've made PowerPoints of extra information about a topic for the computer the students had access to for individual exploration. Several times, students and their parents were a resource from trips they had taken on vacation--that's real life social studies from a kid's point of view! In math class, story problems can be created relating to science; when I introduce a math concept, I often relate it to a made up story problem. Our math lessons had a year long theme of national parks, which lent itself very much to science topics in story problems. Although I'd also recommend not going overboard; a teacher, especially a new teacher, can quickly become overwhelmed in trying to integrate. There's only so much time before or after school each day. But again, my best suggestion is to always be on the lookout for such integration.
     

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