Institute of Human Origins - March 2024


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Elementary Science

Scared Beyond Science

Author Post
Michelle Hester Michelle Hester 180 Points

Do any of you all have a fear about teaching science? If so, how do you plan on overcoming this obstacle? Because for myself, I feel ill prepared. 

Lietty Roig Aloma Lietty 2170 Points

Hello Michelle, when I first started as a major of Elementary Education two of my biggest fears were how to teach math and science. For math I was scared because I had forgotten most of the content, for science I was scared because I didn't know how to teach it. If it makes any sense to say, science to me is just the way things are. Well, that's what I used to think. I have found that science is more than just the way things are, it's a way to explain the way things are. Being that most educational programs are pushing for inquiry based science lessons, a lot of my fear has subsided. Here's why, there are four levels of inquiry: Confirmation: students confirm a principle through an activity when results are already known. Structured: students investigate a question the teacher gives them, through a predetermined procedure. Guided: students investigate a teacher given question, using their own procedures. Open: students investigate questions they picked with their own procedures. I have learned that the difference between the levels of inquiry is the amount of teacher involvement. Ideally, science lessons should be student centered, where the students provide explanations based on observations. Being that I would be there as a facilitator, the students would be teaching themselves and each other. Therefore, I won't really be teaching them the science of things - but the nature of science, the process methods, and skills they need to succeed in providing their scientific explanations. My job then becomes planning an effective inquiry lesson, which I've been practicing in my SCE courses. 

For this reason, I feel less worried about how to teach science because now I know - it's through inquiry and the 5E method: engage, explore, explain, extend and evaluate. I hope this helps. 

Rebeca Corona Rebeca Corona 3010 Points

Hello Michelle, I am currently a student at Florida International University majoring in Elementary Education. Right now I am taking my second science class, and through this class I have learned the importance that science can have on students and fun ways to teach it. Our professor introduced us to inquiry based lessons and various other strategies and fun ways to teach science. In inquiry based lessons children learn by experience through trial and error. This has helped me a great amount and it is the reason why I feel I am capable to teach science.

Brittney Ronayne Brittney Ronayne 975 Points

I am not a teacher yet, but I am worried about teaching science for when the time comes because it has always been my least favorite subject and I usually find myself confused. However, I plan on overcoming it by reading plenty of articles regarding teaching science and also looking at lots of lesson plans to help encourage me. Also, by remembering my purpose as a teacher; being their for the students and giving them the best education as possible, I feel that it will help my hesitation fade. Dwell on the purpose and the positives, not the scary stuff!

Leslee Nelson Leslee Nelson 1855 Points

I am in the same situation as you. I am majoring in elementary education and all of a sudden need to catch up on so much science that I was never taught. It is amazing how much elementary students learn today compared to when we were their age. I think finding resources such as this website and other teacher-friendly sites will be our best help. Even though it is not always a formal site, Pinterest has some great lesson ideas for science and so much more.

Violet Cuadra violet cuadra 795 Points

I 100% feel the same way. Science hasn't always been my forte, so teaching it will definitely be challenging for me. The best way that I am trying to prepare myself is to take everything in from my science classes and use the resources from this website. Another way is searching for science lesson plans that are fun and engaging for students. I know I'll never be a science expert, but I will do the best I can to teach my students about science. 

Leslee Nelson Leslee Nelson 1855 Points

I personally have very few memories of science (or social studies) being taught when I was in elementary school. These subjects need attention too and can easily be incorporated with reading and writing. My mentor teaching was happy when I told him I had to do a science lesson with our third graders, because they have been mentally drained with constant testing. Science is such a great hands-on experience that all children need to have. Without science being taught in schools, our future generations will have very few science advances.

Arrie Winston Arrie Winston 1020 Points

I had a fear about teaching Science but now my fear has gone away. I was fearful because Science was one of my weak subjects. To overcome this fear, I had to gain more knowledge in that area. I began to watch shows like Sid the Science Kid. I read books and gathered more background knowledge on different topics. I began doing experiments at home with my kids as a practice for an activity that I would do for my students. 

Tanya Grap Tatiana Kurjaninow 350 Points

I never feared teaching science - I actually have an education degree to teach biology in grades 7 to 12, but fell in love with elementary and ended up teaching in grades 3-6. I just teach science (well kind of... since I teach math, writing skills, etc) and love it! But in my current position, I'm responsible for helping the K-2 teachers teach science too - and they don't have a science education background. I can totally understand the fear though - I think about having to teach social studies (something that isn't my area) and it freaks me out. My biggest suggestion to those who are teaching science for the first time is to talk to science teachers who have been doing this for awhile. They can help offer insights into science teaching methods and strategies, how to teach hands-on or through inquiry, etc. My school gave me a grant to create a K-2 NGSS workshop over the summer to help give them an overview of teaching science, the standards themselves, and time to plan lessons together. If you have an educator in your school or district who knows the NGSS/science teaching, this might be a great way to learn more about teaching science. At my first job, I walked in to a science department that already had great science curriculum in place - FOSS and STC - and so I didn't have to worry about creating lessons, assessing, etc. Choosing a pre-created curriculum might be a great way to start teaching science if you have the funding (kits can run $1500 per unit), although with the internet, I've found a few good sources to pull ideas for lessons from. (I still feel that teachers should be responsible for creating their lessons/units of study - we rely too heavily on companies to create these curriculum units.)

Jordan Babcock Jordan Babcock 505 Points

Science is definitely a subject that scares me to teach. I am unfamiliar with most science subject material. I taught my first science lesson and i found it was actually better for me to teach science because of the fact that i do not understand. I studied a lot before i had to present my lesson and i found i had similar questions when i was trying to learn the subject material to teach them. I think by not being as good at math and science it should help you be able to explain the material better.

Hannah Johnston Hannah Johnston 755 Points

I was also scared to teach science when I started student teaching. My mentor teacher asked me one day if I wanted to take over science, and on advice to always say yes to opportunities in student teaching, I said yes. I've been teaching science for about two months now and I absolutely love it. My kids have so much fun during science, and yours probably will too. It's more fun to them because it tends to be more hands on than the other content areas. Don't be scared! You can learn the content easily, and the kids will enjoy it. 

Jennifer McMullen Jennifer McMullen 660 Points

I can agree with the feat of teaching science because I have always felt it was not my strongest asset, but I have come to realize students do not know if you are not the best.  All that matters is that you try and make whatever you are doing interactive.  If the students are enjoying themselves and learning, they will not know if you are not completely comfortable.  Also try the activity with some friends or family before trying it on the students to make sure it will run smoothly. 

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