Thursday, July 14, 2016

Science Practices

I am working to get my entire WEBSITE completely updated.  It is slow going because I spent so many years where I couldn't do much to it.  But page-by-page I'm getting there!
This week I gathered my new materials and organized all the resources I have teaching science practices and skills.

Like many science teachers, I have tried multiple ways of helping kids understand the "doing" part of science.
When I first started teaching, many, many years ago, I taught the "scientific method" as my introductory unit. As I grew and learned, I realized that wasn't the best way (since THE scientific method is not a real thing), but I still started the year with a pretty big "science processes" unit.

I eventually moved to teaching all skills through content only; with no skills unit at all.  This was not effective for me.  Trying to teach a skill and content at the same time resulted in neither being mastered very well.

I am back to starting the year teaching skills.  I do not spend nearly as long on it as I used to, but explicit instruction in certain skills, followed by deliberate and purposeful follow-up within content all year long is the best way for me to help my students learn both practice and content.

The Next Generation Science Standards include science practices as part of the student standards.  I really like this.  These standards make it clear that science is not just content, it is so much more.

However, some time spent on the skills that are part of the practices have proven very useful to my students.

My materials for practices and skills can be found HERE.



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