Methods and Strategies: Science and Literacy Centersby: Beth Dykstra Van Meeteren and Lawrence T. Escalada

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In recent years, science has taken a backseat to reading and mathematics in many primary classrooms. Imaginative teachers have coped with this loss of science time by creatively integrating science topics into reading instructional materials (Douglas, Klentschy, and Worth 2006). In this article, the author describes an effective physical science strategy—the inclined plane center, which combines science and literacy in a meaningful way.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (3)
  • on Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:08 PM

These authors utilize a physical science activity (inclined planes) with a literacy center approach that “builds an infrastructure of centers that maximizes literacy learning away from the teacher.” This idea shows a parallel between inquiry learning and inquiry literacy. Students play and then they write. This is a different approach but one that makes sense. Students are building experiential knowledge that will provide a support for future understandings.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Mon May 16, 2011 10:23 AM

This article outlines one teacher's integration of a physical science center into her literacy center rotations. She makes explicit connections between how literacy and science centers are similar, which would help a teacher new to this type of center structure feel more comfortable having students work at a science center. I would recommend if teachers feel like they are lacking in their own science background, they read one of the books in the "Stop Faking It' seriesfrom NSTA to help with their own content.

Kate  (Louisville, CO)
Kate (Louisville, CO)

  • on Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:38 AM

There are numerous kinds of traditional literacy learning centers or stations for elementary classrooms. They include listening posts, writing centers, pocket charts, partner reads, and ABC games, and pretend play centers that allow student time to reflect as they role play. If a teacher adds a physical science center that allows students to manipulate materials at the science station then children are doing science, asking questions, and developing inquiry skills. This article describes how a center using blocks and marbles reinforces concepts about force and motion. Literacy and physical science can be taught together.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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