The following will be taught in Junior Kindergarten: Art: Meet the Masters Bible, reading, math, social studies, geography, science/health, physical education. Art lessons for pre-kindergarten students are moving beyond finger paints and into the worlds of van Gogh, da Vinci and Rivera. Teachers in a. Top Reasons to Choose Meet the Masters Art Lessons Appropriate Timed & Scripted Lessons (Including Kindergarten); Art Supplies & Teacher Training DVDs.
We have used this guided-inquiry approach with teachers at all educational levels, from elementary through high school. Having become aware of the intellectual demands through their own experience, the teachers recognize that developmental level will determine the amount of model-building that is appropriate for their students.
For the teachers, however, the sense of empowerment that results from in-depth understanding generates confidence that they can deal with unexpected classroom situations. Page 95 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Generalizations and elucidation of general principles come after experience and in iterative fashion.
Carefully chosen questions are designed to elicit debates and hard thinking about these ideas based on guided investigations, related readings, and small group and individual work.
Specific laboratory investigations have been selected by the staff — activities they know will cause the students to confront their existing beliefs about physics. This guided inquiry is essential at the introductory level so that the students can later use their developing knowledge and conceptual understanding to dig more deeply into the key ideas of physical science. The University of Washington program is based on the belief that both lecturing on basic principles and providing unstructured lab time are less effective strategies for bringing about student growth in conceptual understanding and reasoning skills.
Today, more than 25 years later, she reflects on how her experience in the program has affected her professional development as a teacher. The good news, however, was that I was welcome to take a newly-created position as the science specialist for grades K Not wanting to relocate and not stopping to consider that my major in French might not have appropriately prepared me for this new position, I Page 96 Share Cite Suggested Citation: The district science supervisor suggested that we start with a couple of Elementary Science Study units, Clay Boats and Primary Balancing.
The unit guides and equipment were ordered.
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I was all set to begin my new teaching role. Never having had a science lesson in elementary school, I was not predisposed, as I had been with the other subjects, to teach it as I had been taught. The students were engaged. They talked a lot about what they were doing and we all asked a lot of questions.
But I wanted to do more than just explore and ask questions. I wanted to learn some basic principles and have a clear vision of where we were going. I wanted to lead my students to discover and understand something.
But what was it that we should understand? This is when I first came to recognize that if I were to become a truly effective teacher, I would need scientific skills and understandings that I had not been required to develop during my undergraduate years. I applied and was accepted. Nothing I had been exposed to in college had really addressed what I needed to know to guide my students to develop the conceptual understanding and thinking and reasoning skills needed to make sense of the world around them.
I walked away from that summer feeling that my brain had been to boot camp. No course of study, no one teacher had ever demanded so much of me. I had never before been asked to explain my reasoning. A simple answer was no longer sufficient. I had been expected to think about how I came to that answer and what that answer meant.
It had been excruciating at times, extricating the complicated and detailed thought processes that brought me to a conclusion, but I found it became easier to do as the summer progressed. I also began to realize that just as important as what I came to understand, was how I came to understand it. Through the process of inquiry, I had come to an understanding of content that I had always felt was beyond me.
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I wanted to be able to ask the questions that would lead my students to the same kind of understanding. The key to the questions was first understanding the content. The content had been the focus of the summer institute and as a result I had developed a conceptual understanding of several basic science concepts including balance, mass, and volume.
Along with these concepts I had discovered an appreciation for the need to control variables in an experiment. I was now better equipped to take a more critical look at the science units I had used the previous year.
I recognized that Clay Boats had probably not been the best choice for a teacher with only a budding understanding of sinking and floating, but Primary Balance seemed to be an appropriate choice since I had explored very similar materials and had some ideas of how I could lead students to discover, through experiments in which they would come to understand the need to control variables, which factors seem to influence balance and which do not.
Page 97 Share Cite Suggested Citation: It is an understanding of the content that allows me to teach with confidence units such as electric circuits, magnetism, heat and temperature, and sinking and floating. And although this content knowledge was essential, simply understanding the content did not assure that I could bring my students to an understanding appropriate for them.
How does one begin to develop some expertise in these strategies we call inquiry? For me, I can only suppose that it began by reflecting upon my personal experiences. However, in subtle ways, over a period of many years, I began to teach in the way in which I had been taught in the summer institutes.
I know that early on I began to pay attention to the questions that I asked, for the questions stood out in my mind as the tools that, when deftly wielded, resulted in the desired state of understanding in me.
I knew, too, that questions would help me to discover the intellectual status of my students. In other words, where they were. I envisioned the terrain between the students and their conceptual understanding.
I liken the terrain to an aerial photograph that clearly details all the various roads that lead to the designated destination. I am well acquainted with this terrain, because I have traversed it on more than one occasion myself, and have conversed with others who have, perhaps, taken a different path to the same destination.
It is in this way that I can offer guidance to my students, so that they may not wander too far from a fruitful path. I want them to encounter some difficulties and to resolve conflicts and inconsistencies, and to grow intellectually from these experiences.
But I do not want them to wander aimlessly or to plunge headlong over a cliff. I want them to arrive at the destination relatively unscathed. For this reason it is crucial, that like a vigilant parent, I continue to offer support in their intellectual insecurity. I question and listen carefully.
I scan the territory to find where the explanations and responses to my questions place them, and then plan my next strategy to keep them moving ahead. There are, of course, other considerations in the teaching of inquiry-based science to elementary students.
Engagement has never been a problem for the students with whom I have worked. Science is naturally engaging. Developmental appropriateness is another matter. These materials were carefully designed to build conceptual understanding in logical, sequential steps.
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You do not, for instance, begin to think about why things sink or float without first developing an understanding of what we mean by mass, and what we mean by volume, in terms of concrete operational definitions.
Only then can one begin to think about how these two variables may influence sinking and floating. In summary, the most important step for me in becoming a more effective teacher of science was gaining a sound understanding of the subject matter content. It was equally important that this content was learned in an environment of inquiry-based instruction.
It was then necessary to reflect on my experience as a learner so that I could put into practice what had been modeled for me. Finally, I must add that it is essential to take a critical look at what we are doing and to evaluate what is working and what is not.
If what we are doing does not result in a better understanding of the content by our students, it could be that the problem lies with us and not with them. Page 99 Share Cite Suggested Citation: University coursework, which traditionally has been didactic with hands-on activity relegated to labs that confirm the lectures or reading, has been a source of concern to many involved in K teaching and learning.
Some provide examples of inquiry-based teaching at the university level and strategies for doing so NRC, Still others strongly recommend that every undergraduate preparing to teach have as part of their coursework the experience of engaging in original research under the supervision of a research scientist NRC, The above description also illustrates a change in college science coursework toward an instructional sequence that is inquiry-based.
It demonstrates the important features of beginning with exploration of a phenomenon, delaying the teaching of terms and principles until they are needed, emphasizing the formation of concepts, and applying newly learned concepts to other situations. How do I behave to promote, support, and observe inquiry? I had been teaching kindergarten for many years before coming to a two-week workshop on light and color at a prominent science museum.
I was ready to learn a new way to teach science. I was convinced that traditional approaches were not giving my students a sense of the skills they would need to succeed in later science courses and in a technologically advanced world.
But instead of learning about teaching, we began as learners of science. First the instructors set the stage for a long-term inquiry. We played with different ways to mix colored pigments and colored light. I had always believed in hands-on activities for my students, but I had never had the opportunity to engage in a long term investigation of my own — I had only taken high school laboratory classes where you filled in the blanks on worksheets.
What a surprise doing an inquiry turned out to be! I thought I knew about hands-on science, but I discovered that there is big difference between inquiry and hands-on. From the starting points provided to us by the staff, we came up with a series of questions that would guide our investigations.
The staff told us that, like scientists, we might take some twists and turns, but that the time spent on our investigation would Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: In partnership with two other teachers from my district, we choose our own question to investigate. We figured that if we could explain it to ourselves, then we could explain it to others and really understand the phenomenon.
At first we re-created all the colors of the light spectrum and then determined what shadows each created. As predicted, our investigation took many twists and turns, but each gave us a new piece of the puzzle.
For example, with staff assistance, we made visits to other exhibits, one of which was color removal, a demonstration of how removing colors by putting colored filters in front of a light source changed the light that reached our eye. We also read about the frequencies of visible light and about how the eye perceives those frequencies. All About Pollination Length of Time: About 45 Minutes This lesson is designed to help students develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
About 60 Minutes Students will discuss food webs and how animals interact together in an ocean biosphere and make a model of how animals get their energy from other animals and the sun.
Thanksgiving Food Pyramid Length of Time: Animal Habitats Length of Time: Camouflage and Environment Length of Time: Food Chain Tag Length of Time: About 45 Minutes This lesson is designed to help students understand that the Earth has a layered structure.
Planets and Solar System Length of Time: Engineering Design Length of Time: About 45 Minutes This lesson is designed to generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. Controversial Environmental Issues Length of Time: The class will take sides on whether they are for or against the controversial issue.
Debate an Environmental Issue Length of Time: Students will analyze the information given and discuss their opinion based on facts from the article. Multiple Class Periods Students will research and write a persuasive essay about the effects of plastic in every day use. They will be encouraged to send these letters to officials who could make a difference. About 45 minutes Observe various substances to recognize different characteristics of solids, liquids, and gases.
The students will work in pairs. Creature Connection Length of Time: About Hours The student will research three living creatures, write a short report for each, and discover the ecological connections between each. Glad Scientists Length of Time: Toothpick Structures Length of Time: Two minute periods The students will create a structure which can hold as much as possible using only toothpicks and glue.
About 2 Class Periods The student will connect science to everyday, unusual, or rare actions carried out by people. Water, Water, Everywhere Length of Time: Words of the Environment Length of Time: Cost of Recycling Length of Time: Is recycling worth it? Menus to Save the Earth Length of Time: Students will create a week long menu using only basic foods and in-season items available in the area.
A Gift at a Time Length of Time: About 45 - 60 Minutes Using a list of terms from all fields of science, the students will connect them in six or less steps to a non-science term, explaining scientific relationships during the process.