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Building a Foundation for Science

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Yessica Castillo Yessica Castillo 690 Points

Hi Everybody,  I am a Student Teacher in a Kindergarten class and I have been struggling with focusing on just the foundation for my students. Since it is my first time working with kids this young while using a curriculum, it's important for me to touch on the basic points. But how much is too little? and How much is too much for students at such an emergent level? Any tips or resources for emergent learners would be very much appreciated! Yessica

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92369 Points

Yessica, great question. I suggest you go to Explore All Resources and search that topic. You can try several variations like; introducing science to kindergarteners, how to develop hands on science for K, etc. I initially taught 4th and 5th grade and then moved to 2nd grade before becoming a STEM teacher. When I began teaching 2nd grade, the curriculum guide had many of the same content standards as the upper grades but they weren't taught as in depth in 2nd grade. We actually did some of the same experiments as the upper grades but did not go into as great detail. However, those little ones surprised me with their curiosity and all of the "why?" questions they posed. Their questions helped me develop my own questions and helped me embrace "why?" as a teacher. They also learned more vocabulary than I could have anticipated. Based on my experience, I would say, there is never too much science. Share what you know, then allow them to question, and then ask them how we might find the answers together? You can also find some great lessons for K learners on Explore All Resources and at http://ngss.nsta.org/Classroom-Resources.aspx

Gabe Kraljevic Gabe Kraljevic 4564 Points

Hello Yessica, This is something teachers in ALL grades grapple with! How much do I teach? What it too little, what is too much? The first person I would go to is your cooperating teacher and other Kindergarten teachers. They have taught this curriculum and should have a good idea of the expectations and will likely fill your bag with all kinds of goodies they have used. Next, look at the curriculum support documents. There should be resources that have been identified or created by the ministry of education to help you out. These would include activities, lessons and assessment strategies like rubrics. Check out your state or province's science teachers' association for their resources. These will be linked directly to your curriculum. Develop a PD plan in which you attend and participate in as many opportunities to learn, network and share ideas about your curriculum. Don't be too afraid to over-reach your students' abilities. There is a wide range of students in your class, and some of them might understand what you are teaching. Regardless, it is probably better to back track to simpler stuff than underestimate your students' ability to comprehend the content. Reflect on everything you do and make a self-assessment of what is working, what isn't. Ask yourself, "Are my students getting this?" followed up by, "How do I know?" Now create informal and formal assessments that will confirm their understanding. Hope this helps. Gabe Kraljevic

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