Elementary Science

Preserving the learning

Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:35 AM

I was talking to one of the parents who's child brought home the owl pellet. The child was so determined to keep the owl pellet so she would be able to study it under a microscope. Almost half of the school year is over. The one thing that I would like the students to walk away with is a love for Science and the desire to keep on learning more.

What are some ways you have encouraged or helped parents to be involved in their child's learning and helped students have the desire to learn more?

Amy Casey
Amy Casey
2360 Activity Points

Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:57 PM

Amy,

One thing I did quite awhile ago...I asked parents to specifically ask their child "tell me one thing you learned today" and "one thing fun that happened in school today"

Tha data i collected told me that students almost always talked about science class in terms of what they learned. I think you have a great goal. I think if you just continue quality science instruction your students will leave with an excitement about science!

Kathy Renfrew
Kathy Renfrew
33360 Activity Points

Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:33 AM

An easy way I have found for students to share science at home with their parents is as follows....as you are learning the vocabulary associated with a science concept you will be introducing students to words they probably have not heard before. After the students have practiced saying the new word and have learned what it means, I ask students if they think their parents know what the word means. Then I challenge them to go home and ask their parents if they know what the word means. They like to impress their parents with their new knowledge and maybe the parent learns something new, maybe they already know it, but there has been a great exchange between parent and child!

Betty Paulsell
Betty Paulsell
48505 Activity Points

Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:53 PM

Hi Amy,

What a great question! Involving parents in student learning is important to student success, but it's not always the easiest thing to do. Here are a couple of things I've done to encourage "family science":
1. Projects that students complete with their parents at home. This can be something like filling out a "Moon Observation Chart" for a month or an experiment with using common household materials, like growing crystals.
2. Have a family science night. I did this at our elementary school and it was fantastic! I set up the room with simple science experiment stations and families rotated around to each station and completed the experiments together. I made a "Science Passport" for each family where they record their observations and results. The kids and their parents loved it!
3. Make sure parents know what their kids are learning in school. I've always done this in a newsletter format. There a "What We're Doing This Week" section that lists the objectives and concepts we'll be working on and a "Spelling Word List". I also the standard info like upcoming PTA meetings, book order due dates, etc.
4. Invite parents in to help with science (or any subject)
5. Encourage kids to talk to their parents about what they learned in school today

I can't wait to get more ideas as other teachers post their ideas!

Maureen

Maureen Stover
Maureen Stover
40795 Activity Points

Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:21 PM

Along with Maureen's number 5 for parents, in the past I have sent parents some very specific questions that they can ask their children to get beyond the typical responses to "What did you learn in school today?" Try "Tell me about something fun that happened in science" Then the parent can probe deeper. I am sure you all have many thoughts about this.

Please share.

Kathy Renfrew
Kathy Renfrew
33360 Activity Points

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