Monthly Archives: June 2009

Linking Science to Literacy: Primary Connections

‘PrimaryConnections: Linking Science with literacy is an innovative programme linking the teaching of science with the teaching of literacy in primary schools. The programme includes a professional learning component and curriculum units. The PrimaryConnections units span all years of primary school. Topics are drawn from a summary of the curriculum documents of all states and territories. The outcomes are based on the National Scientific Literacy Progress Map. Each unit may be used individually or as part of the full suite of PrimaryConnections materials.’ Source: PrimaryConnections- Department of Education, Science and Training

Primary Connections uses the 5Es teaching and learning model. Students progress through 5 stages within each inquiry- Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate.  

S5006027

Great resource: Follow link for more information: PrimaryConnections. I think there are 19 topics covered with each book reasonably priced. Cheers Nina

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Planning Science : The Sustainable Curriculum – What does that mean?

Today was Day 3 of my Primary Science Matters PD. What was memorable?

The Brief: Presentation to group- you could present in any form e.g. song, poem, video, PowerPoint etc… on a lesson, how you reflect, basically ‘something’ related to science teaching and learning.

I chose to create a wiki for our staff to share their science ideas and needs. Having never created a wiki, it was a great opportunity to learn something new with an authentic purpose and a knowledgeable partner. Will it be used? I can’t say yet. Will I create wiki’s for other purposes? – definitely!

The feedback I received was, that before teachers share ideas, they need to be teaching science. Well, I can’t disagree with that! Am I teaching science?-Yes! Are my colleagues teaching science?-Yes! Can we do it better? Yes!  

Wiki address: If you want to have a peak. It’s only in its infancy, so ignore the errors. When I work out how to fix them, I will.  Hmmmm!

 http://primarysciencematters.wikispaces.com/

 The point of this post!

I can enthuse, promote and model science, but if it’s not planned and embedded thoroughly into the curriculum, it will not be sustainable. Planning is the key!

 Discussion notes for wiki:

Purpose: Planning a Cohesive Science Curriculum.

Teaching & Learning Outcomes:
Accountable to the VELS in terms of assessment
Embedding – PYP Scope & Sequence
Awareness of the resources required for future budget considerations
Strategic approach towards implementing a whole school approach to Science teaching through the PYP.
Assessment schedule and protocol
Whole School Science Professional Development
Create a culture of collaborative teaching of science, to impart ownership of the science curriculum to the teachers

School Program Implications:
Explore science in everyday life
Engage boys, and encourage girls by using science as a tool to build interpersonal skills
Science to be ingrained across the school profile
Improved understanding of science concepts and applications
Continual monitoring, though analysing ongoing data including VELS ratings, student perception surveys, PoLT surveys, etc.

Future Directions:
Develop a cohesive science curriculum
Meeting the PYP accreditation standards
Science integrated into all Domains
Teachers to develop their skills, in teaching practice and content knowledge
Raise the profile of science
Develop a resource plan as a part of the whole school budget
Explore the ICT applications

 I would like to thank the presenters (Amanda & Emily) for three enjoyable and ‘awakening’ days.

Where to from here? Not sure yet! Cheers Nina

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Primary Science Matters

Am I teaching science? The question should be: Am I teaching science well? At present, I am teaching science, but within a rotating inquiry structure. I’m now keen to extend this to everyday teaching and learning situations. I know my students are naturally curious and will enjoy learning more. Finding the science in everyday situations will be a focus.

bubbles

Linking to literacy, particularly to book selection will be the key. I know there are books on bubbles, making volcanoes, floating and sinking   and I’m sure many more made up as Guided Reading sets.

Source: Monash University/Faculty of Education – Primary Science Matters Handout

The handout states that ‘the Science Continuum identifies a range of pedagogical purposes, ones that may involve practical investigations include:’

‘Bring out students’ existing ideas

Open discussion via a shared experience

Provide an open problem to be explored via play or through problem solving

Challenge some existing ideas

Share intellectual control

Focus students’ attention on overlooked detail

Practise using and building the perceived usefulness of scientific models

Helping students work out some of the ‘scientific’ explanations for themselves

Collecting evidence/data for analysis

Promote reflection on and clarification of existing ideas

Promote reflection on how students’ ideas have changed

Clarifying and consolidating ideas for communication to others’

When reading the above, the links between the teaching of literacy and science stand out.  I am now confident that I can teach more science within my existing program. When learning about a science concept, saying it’s science is important, so that my students understand what science is and that they are actually learning science. Often, as teachers we come up with exciting names for our units or lessons to draw our students’ attention, but the flip side is that they may not realise what they are actually doing!

TWITTER UPDATE: 66 followers & following 73! I’m impressed by how many educators share their knowledge.

Cheers Nina

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Surviving Report Time : New Posts to Come!

I’ve neglected my blog for a little while, but thanks for continuing to visit. 

Posts to come: Guided Reading – Part 2  &  Are we teaching Science?

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Is this Science ?: You tell me! I’m in a Moodle: What’s that?

Very quick post. Day one completed of Science PD. I’ll write about that later. Lots of ideas and some valuable ‘thinking organisers’. Watched a great utube- Now where is the science in this? Alot I think! Enjoy & yes I’m in a Moodle! More to come…. Cheers Nina

Additional info– Our presenter also showed us the following utube, ‘Herding Cats’ and stated the following:

‘Bringing learners to a particular goal is like herding cats.’

Can’t argue with that one! Also, can someone answer the following: What is a fact? …. and can I have some examples please!

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