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Science in Kindergarten: What Does It Look like, Sounds like?
Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:27 PM
I know there is lots of good science instruction happening in Kindergarten classes everywhere. I am hoping that some of you will share some of your planned lessons or lessons you want to make more NGSS like. New lessons ideas might be sparked! Ideas might be built upon. What books do you use to begin science investigations? What science investigations lead to writing? Lots of opportunities. :-)
33360 Activity Points
Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:24 PM
I am working with third grade students, and we get to do lots of "experiments" during science lessons. We learned about sink or float, and reviewed the different states of matter. I am interested in how younger students become interested in science, and what we can do to encourage exploration.
2545 Activity Points
Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:24 PM
With my class I am having them create a hybrid animal and their habitat. They find two of their favorite animals and create one animal. They combine habitats and diet. After develping what they want to do and making a plan, they will use materials and create the animal along with the habitat it will live in. Uses their creative skills!
16040 Activity Points
Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:58 AM
Thank you for posting this! Very interesting!!
1620 Activity Points
Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:59 PM
I am currently in a 1st grade Dual language and I did an experiment about the changes of temperature of hot and cold. My little ones enjoyed using thermometers and seeing how the temperature changes when seeing the difference of hot and cold.
4485 Activity Points
Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:13 PM
I am a student teacher in a kindergarten class. We recently worked on the five senses. It was really amazing and students really learned so much. I have attached my demonstration on a experiment we did using pudding. they were able to eat afterwards for snack time.
Demonstration.docx (0.02 Mb)
4840 Activity Points
Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:59 PM
I have found a few great books that my students loved to read when it came to introduce science. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is an obvious choice but The Snowy Day is a great one to talk about states of matter. After reading the book, you could ask students what they think happens to the snowball if they don't know already. They could create stories about what happened to include writing into your lesson.
I hope this helped. Good luck!
955 Activity Points
Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:35 PM
I used to worked as a Kindergarten Aide and I have seen students work with partner to discover which items can stick to the magnet. Then the teacher made a chart under magnetic section and non-magnetic sections. Then we discuss in class on which items falls under which category? Magnetic or Non-magnetic?
2735 Activity Points
Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:20 PM
I'm currently student teaching in Kindergarten now and we’re on the weather unit. I've started to come up with many science lessons and experiments for my students using Pinterest. "Raining sponge" and "shaving cream rain clouds" are names of two experiments I found. We're going to create both experiments side by side for the students to see. I choose this so the students can visualize and understand both comparisons to real clouds!
160 Activity Points
Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:57 PM
I'm a student teacher and have seen the lack of science in the lower level classrooms. I'm interested to see some of the responses.
4355 Activity Points
Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:57 PM
We are really working diligently in our school this year to ensure students have daily instruction in science. Our PLC focus this year is science (school-wide), so we are hoping to really make great gains this year.
All the best,
19130 Activity Points
Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:19 PM
I am also in student teaching and I also do not see too much Science incorporated in the classrooms. The most I have seen in the lower level classrooms is the weather during calendar time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
2655 Activity Points
Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:59 PM
I have noticed that the real shift in our school came after our principal decided to make science instruction a priority. Each grade level must dedicate time daily to quality science instruction. It is really working so far for us this year.
All the best,
Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:37 PM
I found some resources that you might be able to get some ideas from. It includes trade books you can use to introduce the lesson and also some activities to go along with it.
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children for 2000—Books published in 1999 (Journal Article)
Teaching Through Trade Books: Kite Explorations (Journal Article)
The Early Years: Young Questioners (Journal Article)
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K—12 (Books Published in 2007: Science and Children) (Journal Article)
4755 Activity Points
Sun Nov 16, 2014 5:58 PM
Thank you Jenny for the books, I've been looking for ideas I can use to teach in a kindergarten classroom.
1590 Activity Points
Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:27 PM
Thanks for those books! I'll be sure to add them to my resources.
1255 Activity Points
Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:44 PM
I have actually never heard of these books. I'll have to look into them. Thanks for sharing!
1750 Activity Points
Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:58 PM
I think mentioning NSTA Outstanding Trade Books as resource is a great idea. I know from my 3 years on the committee that chooses those books, there are many excellent books for young children that would be wonderful components of Kindergarten learning.
Reading a book aloud could be used in multiple ways. It might be used to introduce a science concept or to help student gain additional information about a science concept. Having said that, reading books about science isn't kindergarten students doing science.
Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:35 AM
Here are some articles about PreK to K teaching.
101470 Activity Points
Fri Sep 19, 2014 11:41 AM
I am currently student teaching in a first grade classroom. We are finishing the 4th week of school today and I have yet to see any kind of science instruction going on. The focus has been on math and writing only. I think that all these new demands in the math and reading curriculum are taking teachers away from science and social studies. I realize the others are important, however there should be a good balance between them.
3115 Activity Points
Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:47 PM
In my current field placement, I also don't see Science being incorporated that much. The list of NSTA Trade Books that you shared is really helpful! Thanks!
2075 Activity Points
Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:48 PM
Fri Sep 19, 2014 6:39 PM
As a student teacher I am very disappointed in the lack of science in the curriculum. The students enjoy science so much. I hope I see some interesting things here.
2440 Activity Points
Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:48 PM
Science is not as incorporated in the early grades as it is in the older grades. In the older grades they have to focus more on exams that they have to pass.
1335 Activity Points
Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:51 PM
I am in a first grade classroom. As far as I've seen, we have only reviewed the science lab tools. The students were simply introduced to the tools and were expected to identify each tool. They drew a picture of each tool.
I would like to see science integrated with another subject.
1780 Activity Points
Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:47 PM
I would agree with many of the post here. Being in schools I have also not seen science being done in the lower grade levels it's like its none existent. I think that is pretty sad because I think there are many interesting ways to talk about science with young children.
1545 Activity Points
Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:58 PM
Science instruction is very minimal in the primary grades whatever the reason. In Vermont, we are thinking one of the reasons is that because testing in ELA and mathematics are the subjects that are part of the accountability teachers are spending more time teaching those two subjects. The result is the curriculum is being narrowed leaving no time for science,never mind, social studies, health, physical education,arts,language.
I was in a 1st grade classroom today where mathematics was being taught and the students were using "talk moves" from science. There was a disagreement about an answer and the teacher modeled ,"I respectfully disagree..." Students followed up by repeating what the teacher said and explained their thinking. They explained why they disagreed. When students gave answers the teacher probed,"How do you know that?" This sounds very much like "What's your evidence?" While students were working and talking they were engaged in the Common Core mathematical practices.
Although she was in fact teaching mathematics,she was teaching and modeling some of NGSS Science & Engineering Practices and skills necessary to meet those practices. Students were speaking and learning to listen carefully to each other. If I am not mistaken ,speaking and listening are part of the Common Core ELA standards.
The point I am trying to make is that there are many commonalities between the 3 sets of standards. As educators we need to take advantage of those commonalities and use them to enhance learning not narrow it.
Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:58 PM
I am currently in a Kindergarten classroom, and we do about 30-45 minutes of science everyday. Last week we focused on rocks, their properties, and their uses. This week we are working on soil.
Generally there is a fair amount of hands-on learning.
1185 Activity Points
Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:54 PM
I felt the same way about science instruction taught in the school I've been place at for student teaching. I noticed that we teach science and social studies for only 20 mins a day, and that's if we actually get to it. Since I'm in a bilingual classroom and science needs to be taught in English, a lot of that time is spent translating between English and Spanish. I did integrate science in the reading block with a book about living things. I'm sure this is a way we can teach more science during the day.
1590 Activity Points
Sun Oct 12, 2014 5:04 PM
Take a good long look at this blog for quality early childhood resources that are respectful of what young children can do, and guide educators in facilitating an atmosphere that allows for children to investigate their world. It is much better than a lot of the "science for amusement and showmanship" that serves to entertain rather than nurture budding scientists.
Beth Van Meeteren
910 Activity Points
Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:57 PM
I teach kindergarten. At the risk of being criticized for the lack of real plans, I will share with you how I run a science based curriculum.
It was my dream to integrate science into the literacy based curriculum but in the end, it didn't feel genuine. So I switched my thinking around. Now I start with science and integrate literacy, math, and social studies. This is year 2 of my program and I am now more confident and relaxed. The subject matter is totally engaging and the children are eager to learn more every day. We have special sessions on Skype or have visitors in class. We take science field trips and explore our school grounds. Other materials are spread around the room and change with the seasons.
Questions and observations are at the core of my approach.
The school librarian provides picture books on any subject I ask for and the kids use those during literacy centers.
We write science observation reports with targeted sections for literacy development.
I could go on and on. I am attaching the spreadsheet I created. It is a general look at how I think, what resources and ideas I have, and also where I can locate other resources. It is not an actual plan but a look at options and ideas for how I can proceed.
The second attachment is the "science observation report" that is a regular feature of our week.
What I do not have on the spreadsheet yet are the great things that happened during another unit on Space that the students asked for when we had extra time in the schedule. That is another very rewarding topic.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtKeQj2p4330dFVuX2lQbnE4eVpJd3JEX2hwTmZlY3c&usp=sharing (External Website)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cbtf0OR4IEfm96sOnhbQZVXY5r2hBJp-cW7B7D3K4Ng/edit?usp=sharing (External Website)
1420 Activity Points
Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:13 AM
This is awesome Gail, I hope to teach science like this one day. I saved the documents for when I start teaching next year. I'm not sure where I'll be but I hope they take science as serious as you do.
Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:21 PM
I want to give you a great big hug!! we have the same dream. I did this with a multiage grade 5 & 6 for 15 years. Although I am a huge proponent of the Next Generation Science Standards, I love the fact you start with science and integrate all the other disciplines.
I am 5 years out of the classroom but I truly believe that integration with science/maybe social studies as the foundation of all learning. In fact,I do not think it is possible to meet all the expectations of Common Core and NGSS if we continue to teach in silos.
You are doing what young children need in order to meet NGSS standards. You are creating a rich,culture environment where children demonstrate curiosity, ask question, and obtain information from the environment, books,etc. The children in your class are engaged in the science and engineering practices. Thank you for sharing.
I am sharing a link to the collection I put together for kindergarten around the topic of weather. I hope you find it helpful. Weather Resources for Kindergarten
33360 Activity Points
Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:45 AM
Thank you, Vanessa.
Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:02 PM
This is REALLY helpful! Thanks!
1365 Activity Points
Fri Oct 24, 2014 12:42 AM
I could use some insight on the topic also. I am a student teacher and I am having trouble coming up with science activities.
1225 Activity Points
Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:16 PM
Thanks to everyone for the kind words and encouragement.
Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:06 AM
I am still in college, but hope to be teaching soon. I hope to teach the lower levels and I found this forum to be very interesting. Gail's way of teaching and her shared documents are so interesting. She has the integration of the other subjects and that's wonderful. She even included a little bit of arts and crafts, which all students enjoy!
4540 Activity Points
Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:13 AM
Thanks for sharing! I do not see much science in my Student Teaching class, this was great help!
1485 Activity Points
Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:15 PM
I am a student teacher and also a mother. My three daughters have all loved science since kindergarten. Their favorite activities are the hands-on experiments and long-term activities. My second grade daughter has been raising caterpillars. They have made their chrysalis and she is anxiously awaiting them to become butterflies. They participate in science activities daily. When all three of them were in Kindergarten they had to do a daily observation of the weather. They made pictures of what they saw outside from October 1st until December 1. They noted when the leaves changed and when the temperature started to drop. This gave them a direct connection to the changing of the seasons. Kindergartners love activities where they can draw pictures of observations they make. I feel this was a great activity.
3390 Activity Points
Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:38 AM
Robin, your children might be interested in participating in a citizen science project. See SciStarter for a list of projects, some that even preschool classes can participate in.
6270 Activity Points
Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:34 PM
975 Activity Points
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:57 PM
I think to start science, it is essential to read a book with the class. A lot of students, especially in Kindergarten may think they have never had any science contact before school or know what science is. Depending on your lesson topic, I think a book is always the way to go. It has stories, pictures and you can use it for writing as well. Integration of science and writing with one book!
1150 Activity Points
Mon Nov 24, 2014 5:14 PM
I am in a kindergarten classroom and I did a lesson on exploring light! I have attached it to this post so hopefully it will help you out with some ideas!
Light_Lesson_Plan.doc (0.12 Mb)
2290 Activity Points
Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:34 PM
I am also in college and during my hours in Kindergarten and 1st grade classes, I have noticed the big lack of science in the curriculm; what I have seen is very basic and simple. This post has a lot of great information, tips, and resources that will definitely come in handy when I become a teacher. I hope to integrate science more and have the students invovled in several hands-on activities. Thanks!
855 Activity Points
Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:43 PM
I am currently in College and will be student teaching in January. I have seen many great science units and lessons in grades 2-5, however the extent of science in k-1 seems to be basic body parts, weather, and overly simplified plants. Most of the science was taught through literacy. I am interested on how teachers have modified science subjects in these grade levels and am hoping that we can bring more hands on science content and activities into the classroom.
10 Activity Points
Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:08 AM
I think that science in kindergarten is about letting students explore and be young scientist. Students should be understand the lesson at their level of knowledge.
1615 Activity Points
Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:43 AM
Great ideas being posted on this board. I recently learned ways to incorporate discrepant events into science lessons in order to spark engagement and is an interesting way of inquiry thinking.
1615 Activity Points
Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:54 PM
I am currently student teaching in a Kindergarten classroom, and I do not really get to see the students do anything with science. Science is left towards the end of the day and if they do not get to it; they just don't do it. What is something that I could do to try to get the students to explore with science a little more in the classroom?
1315 Activity Points
Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:20 PM
I'm currently a pre-service teacher and my area of interest is early childhood. I also have noticed the lack of prioritizing science (basically any subject other than math and writing) in the classroom. I have not yet observed an engaging science class. I truly believe we must find a balance. Every subject is important and serves a crucial purpose.
505 Activity Points
Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:01 PM
Thanks for the great ideas. I look forward to using many of the ideas listed as I will be a first time teacher next year.
3180 Activity Points
Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:16 PM
I wish that I saw more science in the early grades. It seems to get skipped over often.
1520 Activity Points
Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:47 PM
1365 Activity Points
Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:14 PM
I’m currently a student teacher in a kindergarten class. During science, the teacher will first read a science book or show a video and then students will work using a lot of hands on. This will help students explore.
1165 Activity Points
Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:24 PM
I am a student teacher and have not seen many science experiments conducted in the classroom. The students usually work in partners to complete assignments and watch videos on Sates of Matter. I can't wait to implement some of these ideas into my future classroom!
995 Activity Points
Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:37 AM
I love the fact that this website allows us to draw in the ideals of other students. Just from reading your post I have learned of some many more ways to incorporate science in the classroom. Very informal! Thanks!
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