Forums / Elementary Science / How often do you teach science?

Elementary Science

How often do you teach science?

Author Post
Lauren Bridgeman Lauren Bridgeman 600 Points

Hi, everyone, I was wondering how often everyone teaches science in their classrooms? I know many school districts vary on whether they require science to be taught or not, so if it is not required, are you still incorporating it into your week? Thanks!

Courtney Lucca Courtney Lucca 620 Points

I am a student teacher in San Diego, and at my current school we teach science or social studies on Wednesdays. We usually choose to teach science, so that turns out to be about 1 hour per week for science instruction. If it were up to me, however, it would be more often. :)

Angie Kennedy Angie Kennedy 1055 Points

As a fourth grade teacher, I teach one week of science for one hour a day for four days and then teach one week of ss for that same time period.

Stacy Wilson Stacy Wilson 1085 Points

We are being told that starting next year science will be added to the curriculum. Up until now, we have integrated science through our reading stories. We also use the OERB program in Oklahoma to teach about energy resources.

Chelsea Hunt Chelsea Hunt 780 Points

Hello Lauren, I see I am a little late in responding, however I just signed up, so I thought I would weigh in! I teach in North Dakota, this year my schedule was I little screwed up and I was only able to teach science 3-4 times a week for about 30 minutes. However after discussing the issue with my principal I am hoping that is not the case for this up coming year!

Rebekah Campbell Rebekah Campbell 2810 Points

We teach science for about 30-40 min per day, but it seems like my math lessons always bleed over into science time. We try to integrate content learning of science and social studies into the reading block so that more time in the science block can be devoted to exploration, testing hypotheses etc.

Lisa Marks Lisa Marks 875 Points

Luckily for my students I am able to teach science five days a week for 60-75 minutes. This includes explorations, writing in science notebooks, and reading around specific science content so there is a lot of integration. Unfortunately it seems like Social Studies is often overlooked other than being integrated into writing and reading and science when it applies. As a result of this imbalance the teacher in the grade before me teaches Social Studies for the amount of time that I teach science. Since these subjects are both ones that we are each strong in it balances out well.

Debbie Pentecost Deborah Pentecost 6238 Points

I teach science for one hour every day to each of 4 classes of 5th or 6th grade students.

Rebecca Johnson Rebecca 415 Points

I teach 5th and 6th grade science. We have 2 classes of each grade level. My 5th graders have about 90 minutes of science per class and the 6th graders have 70-75 minutes of science per class. Fortunately, my school requires science. The time difference is because 5th grade used to be tested in science on our state Benchmark exams.

Heather Peacock Heather Peacock 1400 Points

I am currently in the student teaching process right now, and throughout my program I've only seen schools allot 30 minutes of instruction for science and social studies. I also do not see too much, if any cross curriculum between science and any other subject. If you do not have a lot of time to teach science, I would try incorporating science into the math curriculum in order to fit it in. I believe you should have at least 45 minutes worth each day set aside for science because depending on the subject matter, the lesson could be longer one. By not having science instruction in lower elementary grades, it makes it more difficult for the students to pass the state wide science assessments because they haven't had much instruction time. The same goes with history. I would try and fit science in math and social studies in English in order to hit every subject in the most effective way.

Mendi Butera Mendi Butera 405 Points

As a student teacher, I have seen science done differently in my two placements. In my first placement, kindergarten, the students did not begin science until a couple months into the school year; however, they engaged in science for about 45-50 minutes everyday at the end of the school day. In my second placement, fifth grade, the students have science every wednesday for 2 hours at the end of the school day. In my first placement, the students had a little bit of science tied into literacy in the second half of the school year as they began a non-fiction unit, where the books were science focused. In my second placement, the students do a great deal of non-fiction articles, often where they pick the article, and several of these articles are science related. I think the level of science engagement depends on the school and the teacher!

Amber Escobedo Amber Escobedo 680 Points

As a current student teacher, I have see science taught in two different grade levels. In my second grade class we did science once a week for 2.5 hours. I liked having a large block of time for science especially for the younger grades. I think sometimes with a small block of time it is hard to get students involved in hands on activities, or by the time everything is set up, it is already time to clean up and move onto the next activity. In the fourth grade class I am student teaching in, my students alternate time between science and social studies. For example, 2 weeks of science (4 days/week, for 1 hour/day), then two weeks of social studies. This seems to work fairly well, however students go a couple weeks at a time without being exposed to any science.

Karen Nerio Karen Nerio 1100 Points

Science is taught daily in my classroom. Sometimes there is not enough time for a full lesson, so the lesson is broken down into 2 days. The students are normally introduced to the content on one day and have an activity that they continue to build on for the next day and sometimes even the whole week. We recently made booklets about habitats and food chains. The students really enjoyed incorporating art into the lesson, both through art works that exemplified the habitats and having the chance to recreate them.

Crystal Umali Crystal Umali 430 Points

I am currently student teaching in a 3rd grade classroom in San Diego, CA. We try to teach science about 3-4 times a week. My guide/master teacher loves science so she puts forth a lot of effort into incorporating it into our daily routine.

Virginia Yeatman Virginia Yeatman 200 Points

Good for her! You have to make time for Science. The kids will love you for it!

Ava Aldcroft Ava Aldcroft 595 Points

As a student teacher, I have seen science done differently both semesters. In my first semester, I wasn't aware of a specific time dedicated to science at the school. My teacher did not care to teach science often since the students attended a program called "School in the Park" in which students traveled to Balboa Park in San Diego They would get some science instruction there during their time at the Rueben H. Fleet Museum, a science museum. This last semester, the school dedicates every Wednesday to about 2 hours of science instruction. Sometimes we will run longer than 2 hours, but for the most part, Wednesday is our main science day. At this particular school, it seems that Wednesdays are everybody's science day. I think it really depends on the school.

Karen Sengenberger Karen Sengenberger 120 Points

I am a 6th grade math/science teacher. I have an hour block for science each day. Therefore, I teach science 300 minutes per week. Unfortunately, with the added pressure of math test scores, there are days that math trickles into my science block. I know that there is a connection between the two, however sometimes it just doesn't seem to connect. Any help making sure that science becomes more of a priority among key holders would be appreciated.

Kathy Renfrew Kathleen Renfrew 35268 Points

Karen, Your students are lucky to have an hour of science instruction everyday. Unfortunately , science continues to play the role of stepchild to mathematics and literacy . I truly believe we are hurting our students by not providing them opportunities to investigate, think, read, write and definitely talk like scientists do. I think one way to help the most struggling learners is to engage them in science and which provides context and relevance, and base literacy instruction around that context. The Next Generation Science Standards intentionally built in the connection to the math and literacy standards. We need to leverage those connections to give science its rightful place in elementary schools. Kathy

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10245 Points

I agree, Kathy. Rather than trying to integrate science into math and reading, it seems better to have students use and apply their skills in reading and math to science investigations and other activities. (Same goes for social studies and art, too.) The theme, big idea, or standard in science provides a context for using the skills.

Kathy Renfrew Kathleen Renfrew 35268 Points

Mary, I have been thinking about this a lot. I think we have to convince other educators of the value of science. But to do that, we actually need to teach quality science and sometimes that means taking a risk. In my career, i have often found it is better to to ask forgiveness than permission. So my advice is take the time to teach science, integrate the talking, writing, talking and reading into the science. By doing this, you are not only teaching science but you are teaching literacy as well. Maybe in science you speak, listen and argue and in literacy you do a close reading of a piece of text ( does not always have to be print) that complements the science instruction. Through that piece of text you are working towards literacy standards as well as having students engage in science and engineering practice #8 Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information. Kathy Wish I was still in the classroom where I could "walk the talk"

Christine Clayton Christine Clayton 845 Points

We are required to teach 1 hour of science each day. I also teach math (in which we have to teach 1 1/2 hours). I love being able to teach science for that long each day because the students really enjoy learning about science.

Charles Zimmer Charles Zimmer 525 Points

I devote two 30-minute sessions for Science per week in my general lesson plans. But I have also made an effort to integrate Science in my Literacy block so I can gain more class time. I try to plan labs/experiments during the 30-minute sessions and focus on reading/writing science related content during Lit. block.

Chelsea Hunt Chelsea Hunt 780 Points

Your post interested me! I am very curious how you are able to work on science during your literacy block? I am going to be running into the same problem this year that I had last year, where I only have about 30 minutes to teach science, so this should be very interesting.

Dana Canales Dana Canales 615 Points

I am fourth grade self contained in Texas. I teach Science every day for at least 30 minutes a day. Our students start state assessment in Science in the 5th grade.

Kimberly McNorton Kimberly McNorton 845 Points

You can find Science articles that can be implemented into your literacy block. There are many articles on this site as well as on There were many times I was able to look up the subject and use the passages to help teach Science and Reading skills.

Deborah Rudtke Deborah Rudtke 1165 Points

In 5th grade, we teach Science daily - most days we have a 60 minute block. In Florida, 5th grade is tested at the end of the year with the FCAT 2.0 Science test.

Jan Farmer Jan Farmer 1265 Points

I teach 5th grade and we rotate classes. I teach science to 1 class twice a week for 40 minutes. I also try to integrate science in my reading groups throughout the week.

Kim Villarreal Kim Villarreal 1735 Points

2nd Grade in Texas and we teach 45 minutes daily. Our students also attend science lab once a week for 50 minutes.

Christine Bedwell Christine Bedwell 1605 Points

We flip/flop science and social studies for 50 minutes about every 3-4 weeks. There are science kits that come to our school from the district, so we have to manage our time when we get them. It still is not enough time, but since we are allowed to integrate our areas of learning, we can make more time. It really helps. I know that our district did have some low preforming schools that only taught reading, writing, and math. Sad!

Debbie Pentecost Deborah Pentecost 6238 Points

I teach 5th & 6th grade science for 1 hour every day. Our 5th & 6th grades are departmentalized.

Lisa Marks Lisa Marks 875 Points

I teach science to my third graders every day for 50-60 minutes.

Cassie Weilmuenster Cassie Weilmuenster 460 Points

I teach Texas Fourth grade math and science. I teach science for 45-50 minutes each day for 5 days a week.

Christine Kernan Christine Kernan 205 Points

I teach third grade science and math to two classes. I teach science for 45 minutes Monday- Thursday.

Haley Johnston Haley Johnston 1455 Points

When I teach Science it is for an hour every day.

Elizabeth Mims Elizabeth Mims 815 Points

We have 30 minutes to teach STEM at my school. Reading and math are our main focus though, so sometimes our STEM time runs short. I am going to work harder this year to make sure my students get their STEM time in. It is so hard though, even with a set schedule.

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers