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General Science and Teaching

Science Teacher Rotation

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Kathryn Mattila Kathryn Mattila 2625 Points

The science dept at my middle school is talking about ways to meet the new science standards for next year. Our thought is that we would become experts in one subject and teach the same subject for the semester and then teach another subject the next semester. Every six weeks the kids would rotate to their new science teacher for a different subject. Seventh and eighth grade students would be mixed together in the classes. The first year would focus on physical science and the second year would focus on life science/earth science. We have already talked to the admin and they really like the idea. We are assuming that we are going to cover 6th-8th science standards, because science is not taught in 6th grade in my district. I really would like to hear some feedback on this idea. Thank you

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

I agree with Tina. I think it would be more practical and less boring for the teacher to rotate on a semester basis. If a teacher is bored, students pick up on that quickly and then they feel like if teacher is bored, why should we be interested!!

Sandy Gady Sandy Gady 43175 Points

Kathryn, the idea is one worth exploring. I agree with Tina on the semester rotation and teaching two topics versus one. It is really easy to get bored doing the same thing over and over. The biggest reason I would go with semester is not only getting to know students better, but to also give them a chance to get to know you and recover their grade if they find themselves behind. Building relationships is always a huge part of learning, and with the seven week rotation, just as a student figures out your classroom rules and style, they end up switching teachers and starting again. Another advantage is if you can find two topics that can be linked together, where the learning from one can lead to another, you can build on skills already taught and help students make the genuine connections. I am looking forward to hearing what you decide to do and how it works over time.

Jim McDonald Jim McDonald 4950 Points

I too like the semester idea. It gives the students a chance to deeply investigate key science crosscutting concepts, core ideas, while experiencing the science practices outlined in the NGSS. Some curricular and investigations take a lot of time and 6 weeks would only allow you to do a little bit on a concept or two. I too would like to hear how this works out and what you decide.

Brandi Schonberg Brandi Schonberg 720 Points

This is very interesting! We have a small middle school where there is only one 6th, one 7th and one 8th grade science teacher and each of us likes a different area of science. I LOVE earth science and space, our 8th grade teacher is the physics and chemistry master, and our 6th grade teacher really like life sciences. This would be a neat approach for next year. I would love more information on how it helped at your schools so I can back this idea up with real examples of success.

Kris Hernandez Kris Hernandez 8410 Points

This sounds like a great idea. I also think that switching each semester will keep the teachers from getting bored. The fact that the teacher will teach the same course for one semester and become an expert is great. As a future teacher I really enjoy all the ideas I am able to get from all the experts!! Kris

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