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Elementary Science

Finding time for Science

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Krysten Morgan Krysten Morgan 275 Points

I am a current Junior in college pursuing a degree in Elementary Education. As I go through various experiences in different classrooms, I notice that there never seems to be time for science. Very rarely do I see teachers finding time for science. I was wondering what ways teachers have found to integrate science in your curriculum even when everything seems so math and ELA driven? 

Taylor Andollo Taylor Andollo 720 Points

I have noticed the same thing also! A lot of schools only require students to have science for 30 minutes, which is nothing compared to their other core subjects. I feel like it almost depends on the class and how caught up they are with their, considered, more 'important' core classes to make time for science. I was fielding at a school this semester that required teachers to have a big STEAM project for every quarter, so the teacher explained to me how it was difficult to find time for science, but it was very important that they did because their projects would be analyzed by the district. I would think that it is best to follow a strict schedule in class or at least make sacrifices within other subjects because it is important for science to be taught with a decent amount of time. It might be possible to even integrate some science within another subject, for example, if you are reading a story in your reading class about plants you can include a brief science lecture on plants and so on. 

Brittney Just Brittney Just 743 Points

I have also seen this problem in some of the schools I have observed in.  I think the best way I have seen to integrate it, is by making their lessons cross-curricular.  I think making your content in language arts and math tie into the content in science can help with needed time in both subjects.  

Hope Vanlandingham Hope Vanlandingham 695 Points

Hello, 

Yes I have also noticed this! I have also seen to integrate this into ELA. During ELA 'time', you could have the students reading and writing about science. That way you can get more science instruction in and at the same time you will also be teaching literacy. 

Camryn Lochner Camryn Lochner 370 Points

I see this everyday in my current first grade placement for student teaching. One of the first things I was told at the beginning of this school year that most of the time science and social studies is not taught within the normal school day. It seems teaching science is a burden because ELA and math is so much important. In the past few weeks, I have been cutting ELA time short by 15 minutes just to squeeze in a little discussion/mini-lesson for science. However, after christmas break the first graders should be more skilled writiers. So, we will be intergrating science in everyday ELA class with some form of writing aspect. This way I can kill two birds with one stone and make sure my students are gaining foundational science skills. 

Christopher Like Christopher Like 340 Points

It is funny how all of the previous posts are from teachers new to the field and already they have hit on one of the biggest hurdles in teaching science- when is there time. 

Here are some things to think about. 

1) Link some of it to literacy/math. The NGSS does a remarkable job of outlining links to ELA and Math Standards on each Performance Expection. Use this as a bridge to steal time from the literacy block. 

2) Scientists write and read. In fact many of our NGSS practices involve gathering information and communicating results. Yes, we want students doing the hands-on fun stuff, but developing multiple modalities where students can engage with the material is necessary to go deep into the topics. Reading informational text is also overlooked a lot in elementary. Science and Social Studies are perfect places to put those standards. 

3) All disciplines have some form of Question- Evidence- Claim foundation. This is the basis of science lessons. We have something we want to solve, we gather evidence from experiments and experts, then we make a claim as to how we can answer that question. It is no different in social studies (except they are using primary and secondary sources instead of experiments). In ELA we often ask kids to give us text evidence after reading something, and in math we make them show their work as evidence. 

4) Is teaching literacy the same as teaching someone to be literate? Think about that. Teaching someone to read letters on a page is only one step. To be literate they need background knowledge to link new information to when they encounter it. I think of K-2 as learning to read, and 3-5 as reading to learn. Science and social studies are perfect vehicles for this. 

I hope this helps. Good luck!!

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