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Trying to fit science into the K-6 day

Seems like everytime something new comes along, we bump science out of the day. What are tricks that some folks have used to sneak science into the day?

Laura Z. Newman

I found some wonderful people in the community that were science experts and brought them into my classroom on a regular basis to discuss their expertise in science. One was a retired scientist and another was a stay-at-home mom scientist. One could bring in the fire department to talk about fire science, etc. The community was happy to visit and share their knowledge. Prior to the scientists visits, the students would research science topics and do PowerPoints, oral presentations and/or experiments on different science topics. The administration liked the idea of bringing in the community to participate - they even called the newspaper to do an article on my classroom to show off their formal public speaking skills on their science projects (public speaking is a dead science in schools today). I do have to confess I did this in a private school with 21 6th graders. But I would attempt this in a public school with 32 students as well!

[ report as inappropriate ] August 9, 2006, 12:00 am


Cathy Helgoe

The authenticity of science brought in by the community participants seems like an effective strategy. FYI there is an article in the recent ASCD mailing about elementary science. It says that most teachers are really uncomfortable teaching science because they aren't knowledgeable about it. Your strategy would help these teachers.

[ report as inappropriate ] August 14, 2006, 12:00 am


Joy Lopez

I have taught many multiple-subject pre-service teachers. One of the things I have found is that they are not afraid due to lack of knowledge, rather lack of trust in their knowledge. These teachers think back to their own learning experiences and only remember science being a cold, dry subject form a text book. They never had modeled to them hands-on learning. So, unless they were inspired by science in college, they don't see it as interesting rather something to fear. When working with these pre-service teachers, we have to demonstrate how to teach inquiry based science, not just tell them to do it. Once you let teachers "play" with science, it no longer seems scary, rather fun and exciting.

[ report as inappropriate ] August 15, 2006, 12:00 am


Joy Lopez

Community resources are great. I have invited folks from the local water department (free!), local folks from museums, etc. I try to get female scientists so my girls have the opportunity to see women in the field. Two of my favorites: a female rocket scientist and a geologist (formerly USGS). The rocket scientist with NASA came into my virtual high school science class.

[ report as inappropriate ] August 14, 2006, 12:00 am


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