Science Myths Science teaching is better left to the science teacher. Science is difficult. I’m not a scientist and don’t know enough about science to help my kids. I have to know the answers to all of my child’s questions. Science is all about facts and not very interesting. Science requires equipment. Science skills should wait for reading skills.
What is science? …memorizing facts. …memorizing formulas. …a way of understanding the world. …a way to make intelligent decisions. …a process. …FUN! Science IS….Science isn’t simply…
K-12 Next Generation Science Standards Science is best learned the way scientists learn – in the context of classroom practices. Crosscutting Concepts Science and Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas
K- 12 Science and Engineering Practices Asking questions Developing and using models Planning and carrying out investigations Analyzing and interpreting data Using mathematics and computational thinking Constructing explanations Engaging in argument from evidence Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale. Marie Curie (1867 – 1934)
Tony Wagner Play Passion Purpose “…they had opportunities to explore, experiment, and discover through trial and error – to take risks and fall down.” p 30
Young Children and Science Build on the “sense of wonder” present in all children Learn about science through play Science processes are more important than science facts Science is everywhere!
Science Processes for Young Children Asking questions Developing and using models Planning and carrying out investigations Analyzing and interpreting data Using mathematics and computational thinking Constructing explanations Engaging in argument from evidence Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information 1.Observing 2.Communicating 3.Comparing 4.Organizing or Classifying K - 12
Incorporate these science processes into your daily routines… 1.Observing: Seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling 2.Communicating: oral, written, and pictorial 3.Comparing: Sensory comparisons and linear, weight, capacity, and quantity comparisons 4.Organizing or Classifying: grouping, sequencing, and data gathering
Questioning in Science Genuine Questions Questions that Encourage Science Process Skills
Genuine Questions Listen to children Follow children’s leads Give children time to answer Examples: How does that smell to you? How can we find out? I wonder what that (critter) might like to eat?
Questions that Encourage Science Process Skills Less open-ended but still many correct answers Encourage exploration, experimentation, and communication – not a quiz to find out if they know the “correct answer” Examples: See if you can find other materials in the room that your magnets will attract? Are any of these rocks shinier than yours?
What will children wonder about? Arts and Crafts …and what genuine questions might arise from these wonderings?
During arts & crafts… I don’t know. What can we do to find out? Organizing Wow! Look at that! Observing Does this remind you of something you’ve seen before? Comparing
During arts & crafts… What does this clay look like? Feel like? Smell like? Observing How would you describe the different types of clay? Communicating Which one do we have more of? Comparing
During arts & crafts… How are these two beads alike? How are they different? Comparing What patterns can you make? Organizing If you had to sort these materials into two categories, what might those categories be? Classifying
During arts & crafts… Can you draw/paint a picture of this butterfly? Communicating What happened when you painted red on top of yellow? What will happen if you add more yellow? Communicating/Organizing Can you draw a picture that shows how the snail eats? Communicating
What will children wonder about? Manipulatives …and what genuine questions might arise from these wonderings?
While playing with manipulatives… Which of these things belong together? Organizing Let’s put all the things that go together in one group! Organizing What can we call that group? Organizing
While playing with manipulatives… How many “blocks” high is that teddy bear? Comparing What would you need to do to find out how many small blocks can be balanced on this large block? Organizing What color patterns do you notice in this tower? What color block will come next? Organizing
While playing with manipulatives… Can you use shapes to make other shapes? Organizing What patterns can you make with these shapes? Organizing If you had to sort these into 2 categories, what might those categories be? Classifying
While playing with manipulatives… What could you do to make that marble roll farther? Comparing What would happen if…? Comparing
What will children wonder about? Large Motor Play …and what genuine questions might arise from these wonderings?
During large motor play… Does that (odor/sound /texture) remind you of anything else? Comparing What do you think those (things) might be? Organizing What can you find out with the hand lens? Observing What makes you think so? Organizing
During large motor play… How many different sounds can you hear while we are on the playground? Observing How is running on the grass the same as running on the pavement? How is it different? Comparing
During large motor play… Which one of these objects do you think will fall faster? How could we find out? Comparing What kind of chart might we use to keep track of the way things fall? Communicating
During large motor play… Listen carefully to the music. How might you clap your hands to match the rhythm? Organizing How might you use your body to match the rhythm? Organizing
During large motor play… What would we need to do to find out if running faster makes your pulse rate faster? Organizing
What will children wonder about? Sensory Table …and what genuine questions might arise from these wonderings?
At the sensory table… Does this remind you of something you’ve seen before? Comparing Tell me more… Communicating Well, what do you think it is? Organizing
At the sensory table… Can you build a house? A river? Communicating Do you need dry sand or wet sand to make a pie? Comparing What is the same about water and sand? What is different? Comparing
At the sensory table… What do we need to do to find out what things float and what things sink? Organizing See if you can find other things in the room that float or sink. Organizing
At the sensory table… How many scoops of water/sand does it take to fill this container? Observing Will this container take more scoops or fewer scoops? Comparing What kind of picture could we make to show how many scoops of water it takes to fill this container? Communicating
As you consider the rocks on your table…. What will children wonder about? What are some genuine questions you might ask a child that will lead to a conversation? What are some questions that will encourage a child to engage in science processes?
Make a ramp from a cardboard tube… What will children wonder about? What are some genuine questions you might ask a child that will lead to a conversation? What are some questions that will encourage a child to engage in science processes?
At your tables… Choose an activity that children do in your classroom. What will children wonder about? What are some genuine questions you might ask a child that will lead to a conversation? What are some questions that will encourage a child to engage in science processes? Share with your group.
Remember….. …memorizing facts. …memorizing formulas. …performing intense science experiments and preparing science fair displays. …having the “right” answers. …asking the right questions to encourage genuine conversations and science processes. …engaging in daily play to find out about the world. …demonstrating that SCIENCE is connected to everything! It’s NOT simply…It IS about…
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. Carl Sagan
Observing What do you hear? See? Communicating How might you write out a song that you like so that a friend could play it? Observing/Comparing How would you describe the different sounds? Communicating How might you keep track of what happens? Comparing Which key is the longest? The shortest? Organizing Which sounds are higher? Which sounds are lower?
What is a scientist after all? It is a curious man looking through a keyhole, the keyhole of nature, trying to know what’s going on. Jacques Yves Cousteau
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder…he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in. Rachel Carson
References Ritz, William. A Head Start on Science: Encouraging a Sense of Wonder. NSTA Press. 2007. Wagner, Tony. Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World. Scribner. 2012. Next Generation Science Standards http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation- science-standards http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation- science-standards
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