General Science and Teaching

Making Time for Science

It seems that the recent trend in elementary schools, for the most part, is to shorten time for subjects like science, social studies, and the arts to allot more time to math and language arts. So my question is, how do you as a teacher combat the shortening of that time to ensure that your students are still getting an engaging and enriching science experience? How do you ensure that you don't resort to just handing out worksheets as a science activity due to the lack of time? 

Lauren O'Leary
Lauren O'Leary
490 Activity Points

Make the math questions science questions that require math. Make the reading a science-based selection. When trying to decide if this was a transdisciplinary or a crossdisciplinary approach, I found this resource that helps define the terms http://www.arj.no/2012/03/12/disciplinarities-2/

Emily Faulconer
Emily Faulconer
3050 Activity Points

Hi Lauren,

I am a pre-service teacher but I have heard mutliple perspectives on this topic. In an elementary setting, I would have a science friday where every Friday, you run an engaging and fun science lab for the students over the topic they are learning. That would allow time each day to just cover the content and topics of science which can be shortened to allow for the fun lab each Friday. 

 

Hope that helps!

 

Brooke Klostermann

Wartburg College '19

Brooke Klostermann
Brooke Klostermann
275 Activity Points

Hi Lauren,

I am a preservice teacher at the University of Northern Iowa.  We have recently created a unit plan which needed to incorporate cross-curricular standards into some of our lessons.  At first, it may seem difficult to see the relationship between science and other subjects.  Something we have been doing during my science methods course is keeping a science journal.  Our journal activities have us explain what we have observed, investigated, and our conclusions.  Incorporating writing and literacy into your science or literacy time is a great way to touch on both subjects.  There are a lot of great children's literature about science topics which can turn into a short writing activity, short oral presentations, book reports, and more!  It will take time creating these lessons along with figuring out how it aligns to both sets of standards, but worth it in the end.  I have been in classrooms where science is only done once a week for 30 minutes which is sad, so finding a way to incorporate it in literacy and language arts time would probably be best!

This website has tip sheets, great books for science and math, video interviews with authors, and other recomended websites.  This also has science themed programs and activities for kids which could be shown during transition times, right away in the morning, or at the end of the school day.  This website also gives ideas for what parents can do with their kids which can help spark an interest of science at home.

http://www.readingrockets.org/extras/stem_series

This website has 23 inspiring science books made for kids with amazing illustrations and information.  Many of the books are from National Geographic for Kids which has articles that could be read for comprehension and writing assignments.

http://www.readingrockets.org/extras/stem_series

I hope these websites help you in planning your lessons or gives you a good starting place!

-Sam

Samantha Butler
Samantha Butler
2740 Activity Points

Hi Lauren,

 

As a preservice teacher at the University of Northern Iowa, I've taken multiple classes where we had to create lesson plans that incorporate multiple subjects when teaching a specific subject and/or topic. When teaching math and language arts, you can incorporate science based questions and reading materials that teach students about specific science related topics. It can be difficult at first, but when creating multiple lesson plans, you can find multiple areas of study in just one lesson! 

I always find myself looking and finding different subjects and standards that coorispond to a science lesson that incorporates literacy and mathematics as well. 

 

I hope this helps,

Ms. Fountain

Jessica Fountain
Jessica Fountain
2880 Activity Points

In the school I'm student teaching at I also noticed this trend. They teach math for so long and science time is however much time they have left, which isn't very much if any. When I was filling in my lesson plans I had to try and designate enough time for science, which was difficult some days due to an extended math lesson. The best thing I could do was relate some math questions to what we were learning about in science. Integrating science into math seems to be the trend most teachers are doing now a days due to testing. That's why it's important to us as teachers to try and learn to integrate subjects together in some ways.

Dakota Grosscup
Dakota Grosscup
775 Activity Points

Hi, 

I am Elementary Education Student at UNI. This question has been a big discussion in many of my education classes. Although schools are moving away from incorporating these important subjects into students curriculum, I believe it is important material that needs to be taught. One way to provide students with that curriculum, without setting aside time, is to incorporate science and social studies skills into over lessons. This may sound tricky but once can be quite simple when looking at standards for many subject areas. Not only are you completing two curriculum areas, you are also providing connections for your students. This will help them relate to other subjects and have a deeper understanding of the matter. 

Good Luck,

Ms. Jochum

Anna Jochum
Anna Jochum
1045 Activity Points

I agree that in schools today it seems like they are trying to get rid of science and social studies and that this is making it harder to do them in the classroom because of the emphasis on math and language arts. Like some of the others I agree that you should try and set aside time where you can do science because it is important for the students to learn about it. One thing that I would try to do is set aside thirty minutes in each class if I am a math and science teacher where I am going to stop math and do science with them so that they are ready for science in middle and high school.

Nicholas Stumpf
Nicholas Stumpf
965 Activity Points

I agree that in schools today it seems like they are trying to get rid of science and social studies and that this is making it harder to do them in the classroom because of the emphasis on math and language arts. Like some of the others I agree that you should try and set aside time where you can do science because it is important for the students to learn about it. One thing that I would try to do is set aside thirty minutes in each class if I am a math and science teacher where I am going to stop math and do science with them so that they are ready for science in middle and high school.

Nicholas Stumpf
Nicholas Stumpf
965 Activity Points

Hi Lauren.  I teach at an upper elementary school and many teachers are grouped math/science and ELA/social studies.  As a math/science teacher, I have had to discipline myself to make time for science because its so easy to "borrow" that time for math.  One of the most effective ways that I've found to "fix" the problem is to do science before math.  I also plan carefully and make the most of the time that I have.

Helen Martinez
Helen Martinez
1175 Activity Points

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