Vernier Science Education - June  2024


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Research in Science Education

Teaching Science in the classroom

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Carley Riggins Carley Riggins 215 Points

I am a student pursuing a k-6 licensure and I am currently observing at an elementary school. I met with my mentor teacher today and she stated that she only teaches Science for the first half and the semester, and then switches to Social Studies. Have you ever experienced this or is this common for classrooms today? 

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92369 Points

It depends on which grade level in elementary. I have seen 1st through 3rd grade teach some combination of science and social studies where they are alternated by units or weeks. The reason this is done is because the lower elementary grades have to fulfill more minutes in reading and math so that social studies and science are left with 30 to 45 minutes that must be shared.

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10275 Points

Hi Carley -- What grade level does your mentor teach? If a state has a standardized test in science in the Spring (often in grades 4 and up), not having any science instruction in an entire semester could be a problem. We could certainly have a discussion about the importance of science and social studies and student interest in these subjects, but as was noted, the reality is the requirements in reading and math instructional time in the early grades. I am more familiar with schools that give teachers the flexibility to alternate science and social studies daily or weekly depending on the topic and activities. But I do know of a school in which the principal told teachers not to teach science or social studies until fourth grade, to prepare the little ones for the third grade tests. Yikes! Mary B.

Samantha Kalmick Samantha Kalmick 700 Points

Hi Carley, I am currently student teaching in a first grade classroom. My mentor teacher tries to make sure that she has 20 minutes each day to teach Science. She teaches Science and Social Studies every day, in the classes that I have observed in prior to student teaching this is the case as well. Maybe it has to do with the state where you are getting your license?

Connor Neuroth Connor Neuroth 80 Points

Hi, Carly 

I am a pre-service teacher and I have seen this in many of the lower elementary classrooms. The lower elementary that I have visited have said they do not have enough time to include science in their regular school day. I sugguest that you keep incorporating science in your classroom through cross-curricular lessons. You could read a book that focuses on science during their reading time. I have seen teachers use many different techniques that includes science in other subject areas. Those teachers are just making sure that their students are receiving science time and have stressed the importance of keeping science involved in the lower elementary. 


Connor Neuroth 

Pre-service teacher

Wartburg College

Carolina Hernandez Carolina Hernandez 390 Points


In my personal experience I am completing field hours at an Elementary School where some of the teachers that teach grades K-1 teach science and soical studies every other week. The students learn language arts and math every week and then every other week science and social studies are incorperated into the lessons. 

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