Elementary Science

Including science concepts in math and reading subjects

I am a student at FIU and one of the requirements for me to graduate is that I complete clinical hours at selective elementary schools. From my observations I notice that the subject science is barely ever touched in a week frame. Teachers and their classes could go through a whole school day and not participate in science lessons. They mostly base their instruction on the reading and math subjects, especially during state standardized testing time. Although I feel that a balance needs to be found between core subjects like reading and math mixed with science. I recognize that there is not so many hours in a day to teach the children everything they need to know and that there may be other obstacles but if teachers created more lesson that involve a little from every subject, then the student could acquire a lot of knowledge. For example a reading lesson could be on a science concept, in which the students practice reading skills and learn about a science concept. What do you think? Could you give me strategies on how to do this?

Julissa Ramos
Julissa Ramos
765 Activity Points

Hi Julissa!
Each month in NSTA's Science and Children, there is a column Teaching with Trade Books. The article includes suggestions using two books (K-2 and 3-5) and science lessons on the topics -- all ready to use. The lessons use the 5E Framework and include their alignment with NGSS. For example, here is the latest Beneath Our Feet. You can search the Journal archives for more lessons. Even if you don't have the exact book, the lessons can apply to others on the same topic.
Mary B

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
10110 Activity Points

Hi Julissa,

Yes, there are only so many hours in a day. How to fit in all subjects with the high priority given math and reading calls for looking at how to find ways to develop themes which intregrate subjects. A key underpinning of science is data which bridge science and math. Here is a journal about how to consider this for your students. Let us know if this is helpful to consider. 
http://www.nsta.org/publications/browse_journals.aspx?action=issue&thetype=all&id=55
Science and Children
[color=#262626][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]January 2011
Vol. 48 No. 5[/font][/color]
We can’t ignore data! This issue makes collecting and representing data an integral part of Inquiry.

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
44543 Activity Points

Hello!

I recently read an article about teaching Science through the use of literature circles. The article completely opened my eyes to exploring the many different ways to integrate science throughout different subject areas. Reading time seems to be a perfect place to incorporate science concepts; children truly do enjoy reading nonfiction books and learning about the world around them. Biographies of scientists and other informative pieces could be used as well to address some of the concepts behind the nature of science itself.

Additionally, I like the idea of incorporating STEM activities into the curriculum whenever possible. The beauty of these activities is that they are interdisciplinary by nature. In one activity, a teacher can address concepts in earth science, physics, and mathematics, all while using technology and working on problem-solving skills. Students truly find joy in completing a STEM challenge task or building and testing models. Additionally, math itself can be easily integrated with science. Students can learn many math concepts in the context of science-related story problems and scenarios. 

Check out the article titled "A Literature-Circles Approach to Understanding Science as a Human Endeavor" by William Straits on the NSTA website when you get the chance. As I said before, it really encouraged me to think outside the box and look for more ways to connect science to other subjects.

Colleen Hines
Colleen Hines
925 Activity Points

Hi Colleen -- Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. We often think of Literature Circles as basically an elementary level strategy, but as I read the article, it seems like there are take-aways for learning activities at the secondary level, too. Here is a link to the article. 

Mary B

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
10110 Activity Points

I'm currently working on a research project this summer on climate change. I'm learning how to use different charts to integrate into my curriculum and can see how I can easily combine this with math. For example in introducing the students to thermometers I can do this during math and have them compare celsius and farhenheit. As we create the graphs and skill such as line plots I can also integrate math into our science findings. There's so many opportunities to incorporate science into other subjects. 

Brenda Velasco Mizenko
Brenda Velasco
2695 Activity Points

Hi Brenda,

My name is Maxine Dibert and I am a third grade teacher in Fairbanks, Alaska. I am working on climate change research this summer as well. 

I attended the GLOBE training https://www.globe.gov/  in June. And now I am writing elementary level curriculum on local monitoring of changes and blending in local/elder knowledge of changes they have seen.

I would love to share ideas with you and hear about your research and are you bringing it back to the classroom.

-Baasee,

Maxine

Maxine Dibert
Maxine Dibert
1345 Activity Points

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