Thursday, July 17, 2014

Science: Fifth Grade Focus

If you read my blog you know I'm prepping for a new grade level and part of that grade level focus is a heavy emphasis on science. Led by Willingham's book, Why Don't Students Like School?, I understand that its the background knowledge that will lead to greater knowledge in all curriculum areas, and I believe this is particularly important with regard to science.

Therefore, as I tackle the new units of study, I am laying a path of study and investigation that includes the following.
  1. Create a Sensational Science website to host all the information.
  2. Read a number of science and science education summary articles to create framework for learning. 
  3. Carefully read the Massachusetts' Science Frameworks and related information. Place K-5 Standards for each strand on the website. 
  4. Study and read the Next Generation Science Standards.
  5. Write a grant for tech/engineering supplies for Lego Mindstorms or a related unit. 
  6. Research and potentially plan a three-part Museum field study experience for teachers and students to inform all of us about specific science standards in a dynamic learning space. 
  7. Take the past science MCAS tests and attend to the specific kinds of questions and responses necessary to do well on those tests (see below).
  8. Research what good science writing looks like and how it is organized. 
  9. Studying the lives and work of famous scientists today and in the past with a biography framework
  10. Set up the classroom with a student-friendly maker station and STEAM supplies, science bulletin boards, book area, and other useful science supplies. 
  11. Begin the year with a get-to-know-each-other science unit focused on vocabulary and the environment. 
  12. Create a routine for science study and meet the challenge of trying to fit all the science and math standards and teaching points. 
  13. Incorporate expected newly designed science units, software, and strategies introduced early in the year. 
Sample Science MCAS Questions