Elementary Science

Amount of time for science in the classroom

Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:28 PM

Hello, I am currently a junior at the University of Northern Iowa and as I read farther into these posts I have noticed a trend when it comes to the amount of time teachers have for science in their classrooms. I spent a week at a school this fall and they had 15 minutes at the end of the day on Friday for a rushed science lesson. I thought there could have been more integration of science throughout the week, but I am not sure how else I would handle the lack of time other than using some of the reading time for science books or articles. I am looking for some more ideas on integrating science into the entire school day. 

Miranda Hansen
Miranda Hansen
2574 Activity Points

Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:31 AM

Yes - this is often the norm in elementary classrooms due to fear of falling behind on test scores. This also often happens to Social Studies. I have been an Elementary Science Specialist and would tell you that the best thing to do is schedule regular time for the Science- do as many hands-on things as you can being sure to incorporate reading, writing and Math- using time allocated for those subjects. If students are using interactive science notebooks you can do that really well and make your instruction seamless and integrated- which research shows is the best way to teach anyhow!!! Teach the skills in the classes- like if you want students to graph their lab results- teach graphing in Math class then have students do an activity in science where they have to collect data- then in Math - come back to it- okay- let's graph the data we collected today.
Can you find a reading to support what you are doing in science? Ok let's read and discuss what happened in class today- does this article support what we found out or does it raise new questions? etc

Julie Alexander
Julie Alexander
250 Activity Points

Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:51 PM

You can always include science in your literacy lessons, you can also include science in social studies. Science doesn't just have to be at it's designated time you just have to be creative in ways you can integrate your lessons.

Sydney Murillo
Sydney Murillo
3300 Activity Points

Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:33 PM

That's a challenge for many of our teachers. You just have to know that science can be a strong gateway into math, reading, and writing. Integration is key. Use science text for your interactive read aloud or shared reading. You can use a non-fiction science text to discuss text features, but also having students make a claim about something and find evidence from the text to support their reasoning. If you're teaching upper grades the students will also have to link their claim and evidence with reasoning. I've also used science-based fiction text like, Rosie Revere Engineer or The Three Little Pigs - An Architectural Tale to engage students in engineering concepts or to present an engineering challenge.

Instead of teaching a lesson on measurement, I had students roll an object down a ramp and use rulers to measure how far the object rolled. You can find which science lessons lend themselves to math concepts and substitute your math lesson for a science investigation.

And then honestly, the reality of teaching is that you're always going to be pressed for time. I know how meaningful and important science is for my students, so I do science days. Every Tuesday is a shortened day and on that day, I teach science THE ENTIRE DAY! You do what's best for your students. You don't need permission to teach science. *wink* Good luck to you!

Loribeth Mau
Loribeth Mau
103 Activity Points

Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:51 PM

Hello!

I am an undergrad at the University of Arkansas. I noticed in my field placement that very little time was spent on science instruction on the days that I visited. Unfortunately, on some days when there were assemblies, extra programs, or anything out of the ordinary, science was the area that got cut. I agree with you that science could be integrated into other disciplines, such as math or social studies. For example, you could discuss the science behind historical events by discussing the trade winds, why they occur, and how they were used by early people for navigating the ocean. In my literacy classes, I have learned that science can be incorporated into classroom libraries by choosing appropriate books or through shared reading as mentioned above. Best of luck to you in finding how to integrate science into your teaching throughout the day!

Taylor Price
Taylor Price
190 Activity Points

Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:58 PM

Hello,
I have also witnessed this lack of science in the classroom during my Practicum placements. The thing I worry about, though, is the way some teachers try to incorporate it through literacy. I have heard of many teachers who simply read a book about a science-related topic, do a comprehension assignment on the reading, and call that science. I think it's important to remember to include scientific discourse when integrating science into literacy lessons. I assume letting students have an active role in scientific exploration and inquiry also helps tremendously. Literacy and science truly can go hand-in-hand, and I would love to hear ideas of how some elementary teachers specifically use literacy to promote this scientific inquiry and investigation!

Sarah Halford
Sarah Halford
190 Activity Points

Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:55 PM

Hello,

First and foremost I want to thank you all for sharing because it has opened my eyes to understand how science has been thrown under the bus in the education field. In fact many classes around the world do not give science the importance it deserves. The teaching program has allowed me to do my student-teaching in a first grade math/science class and it has been a joy to work with students in discovering how different things are created. In addition, I agree that students do not learn based off a science textbook but learn by hands-on activities. Educators should encourage students to participate in class discussions, help bring science to life, and demonstrate connection to the real world. To successfully engage students in science activities it is highly important to make class assignments fun and creative. There are great ways to introduce science lessons, for example, the teacher could use videos, books, or open discussions to initiate students learning. An effective teacher encourages and scaffolds students learning development to achieve academic success. Remember to make an impact in learning because teachers could be the only scientist that students will ever know.

Darlyng Trujillo
Darlyng Trujillo
40 Activity Points

Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:15 PM

I think the best way to handle the lack of time scheduled for science is to try and incorporate science or stem activities into other subjects!

Kendall Sikes
Kendall Sikes
55 Activity Points

Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:02 PM

Hello,

I am a junior elementary education major, and I have also noticed a lack of focus on science in elementary classrooms. When I was at my field placement last semester, I never experienced any science lessons, and I visited throughout several different time periods of the day. It is not difficult to incorporate science in the classroom because it is happening all around us. I think that it is crucial for all teachers to dedicate a good portion of the school day to science, and a great way to start that out is by making sure all of their children have science notebooks, so they can jot down their ideas, opinions, and observations from their science lessons.

Katie Koch
Katie Koch
150 Activity Points

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