Parent's Guide - Science
Science teachers your child to think, question and examine
Today's learning inspires tomorrow's investigation
Science education is meant to stimulate intellectual development and awaken in every child the joy and excitement of science. In an age of increasing dependence upon science and technology, it is imperative that students be scientifically literate citizens who understand and use knowledge and the
processes of science while recognizing the impact these have on their lives and on society.
A comprehensive science program offers handts-on minds-on explorations of natural phenomena while encouraging further questions. Whenever possible, it embeds exploration in the context of the natural environment. It includes not only a body of facts, but also methods of inquiry. These enable each student to ask thoughtful questions, predict, experiment, use technology, solve problems, evaluate and apply information, and make informed decisions. An effective science curriculum is always evolving in response to changes in our understanding of scientific phenomena. It encourages every student to approach the world outside the classroom with an open mind by nurturing scientific curiosity, flexible thinking, and a sensitivity to living things and their environments.
Finally, it illustrates that scientific investigation is an on-going process that can be applied to all aspects of life. Our science curriculum follows state and national standards The curriculum and instruction at Beecher Road School support national and Connecticut standards that identify what students should know and be able to do as a result of their K-6 science experience. In addition, they are aligned with the expectations of the Amity Regional School District.
A cohesive approach to the study of science significantly enriches the lives of students. It exposes them to the power and beauty of scientific understanding. Consequently, it prepares them both for the present and for the future, as today’s learning inspires tomorrow’s investigation.
What you can do to promote science learning
- Encourage a positive view of science.
- Encourage your child to share science learning.
- Experience science with your child in everyday activities: garden, build with blocks, notice the weather and observe cloud changes, monitor weather forecasts, assist with cooking and notice how the appearance of ingredients changes during the process.
- Expose your child to the natural world; for example, in addition to your neighborhood, take advantage of state and local parks and beaches, museums and science centers.
- Encourage your child to explore the science of recreational activities such as sports, dance, hiking, fishing, etc.
- Encourage predictive thinking by asking, “What do you think will happen if…” and, “Why do you think that will happen?”
- Encourage exploration of science concepts by acknowledging, “I don’t know; let’s see if we can find out together.”
- Read nonfiction and simple science experiment books to your child in addition to stories.
- Provide regular exposure to science news in newspapers and magazines.
- Provide materials to support your child’s exploration of science concepts: sketchbooks, journals, magnifiers, etc.
- Select gifts that encourage exploration of science concepts.
- Encourage your child to be involved in conservation efforts by reducing, reusing, and recycling at home.
- Remember that people of any age and gender can think and work scientifically, especially when given the time, support and opportunity.
What your child learns about science
Kindergarten through grade six
|Grade||Topics For Reflection|
Properties of matter
Diversity of living things
Seasonal weather patterns
Properties of natural and man-made building materials
Forces and motion
Structure and function of organisms
Standard measuring tools
Properties of matter
Plant life cycles
|K-2||Scientific inquiry, literacy, and numeracy:|
Properties and states of matter
Adaptations of organisms
Rocks and minerals
Conservation of earth materials
Forces and motion
Matter and energy in ecosystems
Water and land
Magnetism and electricity
Earth in the Solar System
Light energy and technology that enhances vision
|3-5||Scientific inquiry, literacy, and numeracy:|
Cells and genetics
Human organ systems
|6-8||Scientific inquiry, literacy, and numeracy:|
Inquiry-based sicence provides a thoughtful and coordinated approach to seek, describe, explain and predit natural phenomena
At the heart of it all is scientific inquiry As the preceding matrix indicates, students involved in science in the Woodbridge School District are engaged in learning much more than just the content strands of life, earth, and physical science that spiral through the elementary years. In addition to developing an understanding of developmentally appropriate content, while they are engaged in practicing the processes and skills of inquiry-based science, students also
learn rigorous habits of mind. These higher-order thinking skills will support our children as they pursue their native curiosity, and carry them through problem solving beyond the elementary school classroom.
Inquiry-based science provides a thoughtful and coordinated approach to seek, describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena. It progresses through a process of questioning, predicting, designing, and carrying out an investigation, then collecting, analyzing and interpreting data. Finally, this approach involves students in sharing their findings and ideas with others for the purpose of critical review and synthesis.
The inquiry process also encourages students to develop group process skills as they work together on exploring scientific phenomena.
Science is not isolated from other curriculum areas
Whenever possible, teachers work with colleagues to integrate reading, writing, mathematics, technology, social studies, art, music, health and physical education into thematic science units. In particular, the development and application of skills in the areas of scientific literacy and numeracy provides opportunities to strengthen the basic skills of reading, writing, and mathematics while enhancing student understanding of science content.
The language of mathematics is key to data collection
Scientific numeracy involves the ability to use mathematical operations, procedures, and tools to measure, calculate, analyze, understand, and present scientific data and ideas. In applying mathematics to science, students will develop a deeper understanding of both the science content the data describe, and the practical use of mathematics as a language to describe and explain scientific phenomena in the world beyond the classroom.
Language skills are essential to scientific thinking
Scientific literacy specifically involves the development of communication skills as students engage in speaking, listening, presenting, interpreting, reading, and writing about science. At any grade level it can include reading and understanding nonfiction texts; recording scientific thinking in a science notebook or journal; creating a visual or oral presentation for the purpose of sharing results; and listening to and providing feedback to peers. In the intermediate grades,
scientific literacy also involves the ability to seek and assess the relevance of scientific information found in print and electronic sources. Students at every grade level will encounter a standard related to Science and Technology in Society (STS). In the context of exploring STS standards, students apply their literacy skills to gather, share, and discuss information about issues related to the possibilities and limits of science and technology as they impact modern society.