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The importance of science in Elementary level

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Brenda Guerra Brenda Guerra 1860 Points

I have been working with students with different ages and I have seen that students in the elementary level are lacking of knowledge on any concept of Science. After the service learning experience I have seen that the maximum of time that students receive for science class is 30 minutes. In my opinion 30 minutes is not enough for not even an elective class. In my perspective science is as important as reading and math. The reason is because students needs to learn how people have become who they are now physically and everything that involve the earth like things that are alive and not alive. Elementary schools should extend the hours of class on science because on future grade levels they will struggle because they will not have a good foundation on science.

Sheila Chavez Sheila Chavez 3775 Points

I agree with you that science is important as reading and writing. It teaches us about the world around us, it is part of our daily lives. Every action that we do involves science, from brushing our teeth to the food we eat. Thirty minutes is definitely not enough time to teach any subject for that matter. Schools have been scheduling classes like this, due to standardized testing. My field experience teacher, made a comment on how if students don’t understand the concept within that time, she cant stop and reteach, she has to go on. She also said that when there is extra time available, she would go back to what the students didn’t understand. During my observations, I noticed that teachers teach science with lectures and a textbook. Science is about involving the students with hand on investigations. Science is a subject that you learn by doing. Many aspects affect how science is taught, as teachers we can do the best we can so students are successful in science.

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

Sheila, I am shocked at what your field experience teacher said about going on if time is lacking to teach a concept fully and then maybe having time to come back to it later. Leaving out a piece of knowledge can break down everything that rests on that piece of knowledge. Learning is a building process. You cannot leave out some of the bricks and hope the structure will survive! I like what you and the person who started this post say about how elementary students need a good knowledge base of science and more time should be spent on it!

Kathy Renfrew Kathy Renfrew 37138 Points

I totally think science instruction is just as important as learning literacy skills. All of us need a basic understanding of the world around us to be informed citizens. We need to give ourselves permission to use the time needed for science instruction. many struggling learners find themselves engaged in science and their math and literacy skills impoved as well.

Veralyn Ulep Veralyn Ulep 1010 Points

Hello, I agree that learning science is just as important as learning literacy and math. Science happens everyday, we just need to discover it. Sadly, a lot of teachers I work with barely teach science because Math and Language Arts are heavily focused on due to standardized testing. I, myself, am guilty of not teaching science daily or consistently. Last year, I taught science only once a week for 45 minutes to an hour. This year, I have bumped up my science content to twice a week. I know, that is still very little in comparison to those who teach science daily. Because I'm still a newbie, I'm still trying to understand the science content more better in order to teach my students accurately (hence, being part of this learning center). In addition, I'm trying to find other ways to incorporate science more through literacy and math. Do you folks have another advice or suggestions of ways to incorporate science more in an elementary school schedule? I have to also keep in mind when students have to go to their other classes for electives such as music, where I am not their teacher for the moment. It seems to be difficult to teach all the core subjects according to their standards/benchmarks, plus add elective classes and school events when planning lessons that will be effective. Please let me know what I can do as a teacher to incorporate science more into my schedule. All suggestions will be appreciated!

Lauren Nishimoto Lauren Lee 1390 Points

I agree with all of you that science is not taught nearly enough in schools. From my experience, schools are so focused on making AYP that they spend a majority of instructional time on reading and math. Luckily for my fourth graders (although they probably view it as unlucky), they take a standardized test in science in addition to reading and math. I find that my grade level spends a great deal more time teaching science than other grades in my elementary school because we are tested in the subject. I know that is not the best reason to teach science, but at least my students get a fair share of science instruction. I teach science almost daily. Because we spend so much time on science, reading, and math, I find that we lack enough time to teach other subjects, like music and art. I think the key to covering all subjects is integration. Combining other subjects with science is a great way to make sure you're teaching all of the benchmarks in the time you have. I know, easier said than done, but it does maximize the time you have. I have my work cut out for me in a couple of months because I am teaching summer school and they want a science based, integrated curriculum. I have some ideas of how I am going to incorporate reading and math with science, but does anybody have some really great ideas for third graders? Or any other ideas for all of us teachers struggling to find ways to integrate science?

Elena Snow Elena Snow 595 Points

Hi Brenda! I am an elementary teacher in Hawaii and I am seeing the same things out here. It even is apparent in our states standards. Statewide (and nation wide) public schools have been adapting to the new Common Core Standards in Math and Language Arts, but social studies and science are still waiting to be redesigned. It is sad that public school have such a PUSH to meet the state standards for math and language arts, that science, social studies, and specials are pushed aside. I am a huge science person :) One way I make time for science in my classroom is by creating lessons that incorporate more than one subject. I often integrate my reading and writing into Science or Social studies by have them write informative or opinion pieces on what they have been learning in science/ social studies. As teachers, with little time we are given, we need to learn to maximize our lessons :) I hope one day that the DOE will recognize that students need to be allowed to experience all subjects equally, not just math and language arts. :)

Kathy Renfrew Kathy Renfrew 37138 Points

Elena, Would you be willing to share an example of an integrated lesson and/or unit you might have used this year with your students? It would be very nice to see something that students have actually done. I have been trying to create some lessons but right now I do not have my own students to try them. Maybe I could find someone who might be willing to try some of my ideas next fall. Kathy

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