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Field Trips | Posted in Elementary Science

Hi Rochelle,

Field trips can be a great way to engage students with science.  Our school asks us to include one field trip for each class.   Local museum and other educational institutions are a good place to start.  I've taken my chemistry students to a local aquarium the past two years where they have a hands-on program on water quality in the aquarium as well as a local waterway.  Biology students do a program at the natural history museum.  Environmental science students have done field studies at local parks, a waste treatment plants and composting facility.  This year we began the school year with a service project.  Students were bused to a number of location organizations, parks and institutes to do some volunteer work, but also to learn about the needs in the community.  A couple groups went to a local nature park and another to an arboretum where they both helped in planting and weeding and also learned some of the science behind maintaining a healthy ecosystem.  Think about what resources are available in your area and then make some phone calls.  

Rebecca Falin


Rebecca Falin

Inquiry-Based Learning in Elementary School | Posted in Elementary Science

Hi Kevin! I am currently taking a undergraduate course called "Methods of Teaching Science" and we also have a major focus on inquiry-based learning. Personally, I believe that inquiry-based learning is great for students because it gives them a chance to think for themselves instead of merely being told an answer. Furthermore, science is an ongoing investigation of the natural world so even professional scientists are in a continual process of reviewing and asking questions. One way to incorporate this type of learning is to follow the 5E model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) which easily aligns with Next Generation Science Standards. I suggest becoming familiar with both of these, if you are not already! I cannot think of any cons of introducing inquiry-based learning to lower elementary grades. Journal Article that addresses your question: https://learningcenter.nsta.org/resource/default.aspx?id=10.2505%2f4%2fsc17_055_01_18  I hope some of this is useful to you! 


Brooke Tatz

Gardening at school with young children | Posted in Early Childhood

Sounds like a great plan of action. You're planting the seeds for further garden lessons in the spring (pun intended). Keeping the school garden going throughout the summer and planting things kids could experience the entire life cycle of was always a challenge for me too! I never balanced it quite right. Our preschool teacher did a great job with her students. They planted potatoes and popcorn each spring and then the new class would harvest in the fall. She also kept her gardening/healthy eating program alive throughout the snowy winter by incorporating specific produce into her baking lessons each week. i.e. beet cake, zucchini muffins, avocado pudding, etc.


Sarah Benton

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