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Elementary Science

Science at Home?

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Dawn Cook Dawn Cook 280 Points

As a pre-service educator I am concerned with my future classroom and I have heard that incorporating Science at home can prove to be beneficial. My question is whether or not this is a realistic expectation? I would love students to do home investigations centered around a particular topic for the week; however, with all parents have with work and other activities would all the preparation for such an idea be done in vane? Does anyone have experience with such a "take home" program?

Alisa Kunhavijit Alisa Kunhavijit 2600 Points

Hi Dawn, I actually really love the idea of take-home science. I think it is important to make that connection with the students and show them how what they are learning connects to their lives. If not, the students do not understand the importance of learning the material to begin with. I do understand that parents are busy and cannot always help students with experiments but there are ways around it. Like Scott had said in his post, observations of the weather and environment is a great way to bring science home. They can do a weekly journal of observations of their trees, clouds, weather, etc. Depending on the age, students can even conduct an experiment about ice, salt, and temperature. All they do is take a glass of water with some ice and add salt. They can see how by adding salt, it is lowering the freezing point of ice and therefore causes it to melt. You can connect that with snow and ice and why we pour salt over ice on the roads, sidewalks, and driveways. I hope this helps! There are so many ways to do easy science at home and making that connection is very important. Best, Alisa

Scott Gierasch Scott Gierasch 1415 Points

I think it would be reasonable to have students do observations at home. It would only take a few minutes to step outside and record their observation in a journal. That wouldn't be a burden on the parents or require them to have special materials at home. Depending on your location, students could document how the leaves on trees change colors in fall. They might notice that leaves on different trees change color and fall at different rates. In the spring they might watch the leaves grow again. Is there any correlation between the trees that lose leaves first compared to the trees the grow new leaves in spring? Students could also make some weather observations or keep track of the phases of the moon.

Nancy Kaur Pak Singh Nancy Kaur Pak Singh 2900 Points

Personally, I think it is a great idea to send a small project back home for students to continue their observation at home or they may start the experiment at home with their parents helping and they will be able to share their observation in the classroom. That would definitely get parents more involved and help students to connect science to their surroundings. I came across a book that would be excellent, it has great ideas on the experiment that students can make at home. Science Around the House(Simple Projects Using Household Recyclables) by Roz Fulcher.

Kaitlyn Warner Kaitlyn Warner 1245 Points

I think that science at home can definitely be a realistic expectation for students.  There are so many easy things that you can have your students do that require very little effort, time, and supplies.  One idea would be to have students collect and bring in samples from their homes, backyards, or neighborhoods to test in class.  You could do things like rocks, soil, leaves, water, etc.  Another idea could be to have students do observations, for example to observe a banana ripening or fruit that is kept in the refrigerator or on the counter in their house and record and draw their observations.  I hope that some of these ideas are helpful and that you are able to incorporate informal science learning at home for your students because I really do think that they enjoy it and that they can learn a lot from it. 

Maria Andrea Cobo Maria Cobo 1780 Points

I think many times it is risky to send actives like this home since the outcome may be really good or really bad. For instance, I am in a school that is located in a low socio-economic area. Although, I think take home projects are great because they include parents, siblings, and family members I am scared that most of my students do not participate and it is a complete fail.  What are recommandations to avoid such problems? 

Jessica Escorcia Jessica 635 Points

Science is everywhere! All children are curious is given the correct question, which makes them wonder, and develop an answer. Young children are especially curious, and amazed by almost everything. If children are taught to observe, and ask questions, they can "do" science almost anywhere. A great way to do science at home is by assigning a scientist of the week. Each week, a student take shome a kit, inside the kit are friendly projects that are cost efficient and easy to do. The students are to do the project at home with parents, and then present to the class. From personal experience, the kids love it! Add fun to it and get a lab coat and goggles so the children can dress and play the part! 

Roslyn Gainey Roslyn Gainey 1045 Points

I think it would be a good idea for students to have some science take-home assignments. It would probably be more convenient for parents, and easier on you if they are science activities that don't necessarily require the help of an adult...but in general just know your students well enough and how they are about getting basic homework done and then go from there with what types of assignments you will have them doing. 

Beatriz Ulloa Beatriz Ulloa 3435 Points

I believe that science at home can be beneficial if the student actually does the activity. One activity I did on my own back when I was in elementary school was growing a bean seed. I wrapped the beans in a moist cotton ball and placed it in a bowl and watched it grow. To me it was a really fun thing to watch it grow. What you can have a student do is plant one to two seed in dirt and wrap one-two seed in a cotton ball. Then, they can see which one grows faster and how it effects the way it grows. Another, activity is having students find what can clean a penny better. For this they may need a parents help more, since they may want to use a chemical they shouldn't. Students and parents should be told that the student is to use products that are not harmful. They can use vinegar, alcohol, juice and other non-harmful produces. Students would then bring their pennies to class and share their findings. In class the teacher can explain to the student why certain produces clean the penny better then others. This is if the student is not able to do it themselves after doing the activity at home. ~Beatriz U.

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