EDU 537: Science in the Elementary School
Tuesday, 4:00-6:45 PM, Goddard 102
Course Syllabus
Course Instructor: Dr. Jeanelle Day
Office: Webb Hall Rm. 151
Office Hours: Monday 1-3; Tuesday 1-3 ; Thursdays 12-1 pm and by appointment.
Phone Number: 860-465-4532
Home Phone Number (emergency): 860-872-6689
Email: [email protected]
A. Catalog Description:
Uses an activity-oriented approach to deal with theoretical and practical aspects of developing science
experiences for children. (Acceptable for Elementary Education endorsement)
B. Prerequisites:
Admission to Graduate School and completion of core courses.
C. Course Description:
1. Purpose
To facilitate reflective thinking and professional problem solving in participants. The course will be devoted to
the enrichment of science teaching in the elementary school through knowledge of science, student learning,
and action research and will concern examination of basic issues and interrelationships involved in the effective
teaching of science.
2. Objectives
Alignment of Activities with Assessments in EDU 537
Course Objectives
ACEI
Conceptual
Framework
Products
1. Develop a content knowledge base, which includes
current research in science education and practical classroom
applications, including the National Science Education
Standards.
2. Demonstrate the ability to design and implement a plan
for the inquiry-based teaching of specific science concepts
based on learner’s developmental characteristics.
1.0, 2.2,
3.1, 3.2
1.1, 2.1, 3.1
Creation of integrated lesson plans,
presentation of appropriate handson activities, moon journal.
2.2, 3.1,
3.3, 4.0
2.1, 2.2, 2.3,
3.1, 5.1
Creation of integrated lesson plans,
presentation of appropriate handson activities.
3. Demonstrate the ability to design and implement a plan
for alternative assessment of student learning in an inquirybased classroom.
3.1, 4.0
2.1, 2.4, 3.1, 5.1
Creation of integrated lesson plans,
presentation of appropriate handson activities.
4. Develop strategies for helping all students develop
scientific concepts through the use of manipulatives,
technology, and laboratory work.
3.1, 3.2, 3.4
4.1, 4.2, 5.2
2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1
Creation of integrated lesson plans,
presentation of appropriate handson activities.
5. Develop strategies for increasing awareness of historical
and current contributions made in the fields of science by
diverse peoples.
3.1
5.1
Creation of integrated lesson plans,
presentation of appropriate handson activities, presentation on
historical figures in science.
6.1
Written reflection and demonstrated
membership
in
professional
organization. Journals.
6. Demonstrate familiarity with professional organizations
and the resources they provide teachers’ professional
growth.
5.1
7. Demonstrate an understanding of science curricula that
exist in the schools.
3.1
6.1
Scope and Sequence paper.
8. Demonstrate ability to use Blackboard, participate in
online discussions and develop/add to a wiki.
4.1
4.1
Journals. Participation in online
discussions, wikis.
EDU 537 – Spring 2014
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D. Texts and Other Materials
1. National Research Council (1996). National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: National
Academy Press. Found online at: http://www.nsta.org/publications/nses.aspx
2. Goldston, M. J. & Downey, L. (2012). Your science classroom. Sage Publications. ISBN:
9781412975223.
3. Professional education journals and library databases such as ERIC to be used for extensive reference.
May be found in online ECSU Library. Most articles will be placed on the course Blackboard site.
4. Elementary School Textbooks, students and teachers editions, used presently in your school or a
representative one.
5. Connecticut Department of Education, (2008). Curriculum Standards Including Grade-Level
Expectations
for
Science
PreK-8.
Found
online
at:
http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/curriculum/science/pk-8_sciencecurriculumstandards8-08.pdf
Other materials:
For this course, one text was chosen (~$90). There is also the requirement to do two other things: 1) Join
NSTA and 2) Go through Project Learning Tree Training ($35 due on first training night and you get all
the materials for your classroom). Here is the rationale behind the two requirements: As for joining an
organization, when you join NSTA for $32, a ton of articles that used to be included in an additional
course text may be found online in the member site (or through the ECSU library!). These articles will be
used in this class, so if you want to search at home for articles, then the membership can really help.
Membership also includes access to Science Objects which allow you to complete online PD in science
CONTENT where you need it. As for completing Project Learning Tree Training, this serves two
purposes: 1) to better acquaint you with proven strategies to teach biological and ecological concepts in
the elementary school, and 2) to set you apart from other teachers in your school as being very
knowledgeable of current science curricula (and for those without jobs yet, to give you a leg up on the
competition!). All in all, the combined expense for this course should be ~$160 and you get lots of great
stuff!
E. Course Activities in Meeting Objectives
Completion of the course requirements will consist of group and online discussions, viewing of online
videos,presentations and written summaries; individual papers and lessons plans; and a final portfolio
documenting (1) an appropriate set of newly developed competencies and skills (science content and
science pedagogical knowledge) in elementary science teaching, and (2) a knowledge base involving the
production of professional level products and activities.
Requirements for final grade evaluation in this course will be met through written and orally presented
assignments meeting a specific professional criterion level. All assignments must be completed. Any
assignment not completed on time will result in a 10% deduction of the final grade. To be judged
acceptable, all assignments must show evidence of a graduate professional level of development,
preparation, research and presentation. This includes evidence of reflective thinking and self analysis,
and planning for teaching science for all students in your classroom using state and national guidelines for
the 21st century.
F. American’s With Disabilities Act (ADA) Statement:
If you are a student with a disability and believe you will need accommodations for this class, it is your
responsibility to contact the Office of AccessAbility Services at (860) 465-5573. To avoid any delay in
the receipt of accommodations, you should contact the Office of AccessAbility Services as soon as
possible. Please understand that we cannot provide accommodations based upon disability until we have
received an accommodation letter from the Office of AccessAbility Services. Your cooperation is
appreciated.
EDU 537 – Spring 2014
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G. Grading Policy
Grades will be determined according to ECSU policies. Rubrics will be used for judging the level of your
work. Please refer to grading description at the end of this syllabus and rubrics (grading forms on
Blackboard). Please refer to your Graduate and Undergraduate Catalog for specifics on determining your
GPA.
H. Attendance Policy
Absences must be made up, upon approval of a written makeup contract with the instructor. The student
is responsible for the timely scheduling, planning, and completing all alternative activities to attain
objectives for the missed session. Your attendance in required at each course meeting for the entire
meeting time of 4:00 PM – 6:45 PM.
I. Assignments:
You will be required to turn in the following work on the course Blackboard site:
1. A SHORT reflective response should be written in your personal journal at the end of class each day.
This only needs to be a few sentences about what you learned and how you would apply it in your
own classroom. Use the personal journal online to complete each week. Must be finished by April
29.
2. Develop an integrated elementary learning cycle unit plan. The 7 lesson plan within this unit should
have one plan per grade for K-6 found from commercial source or website. Think themes and a
sprialed curriculum when choosing your topic area! Of the 7 lesson plans, 1 should include
components of the history and nature of science. For each “found” lesson, write a description of how
you would make each lesson more constructivist in nature. For further criteria, please refer to the Unit
Plan documents on Blackboard. Class presentations will be made on April 22 and 29.
3. Creation of a presentation based upon an historical figure in science (history and nature of science).
The scientists should be female or of diverse ethnic background (DO NOT pick someone mentioned
in typical textbooks or with a widely-known name). You should prepare an oral presentation of the
scientist and explain (in first person) what the person’s work entailed (discoveries made, personal
history, and other interesting tidbits of information that can show students how the scientist used the
nature of science in making discoveries). The presentation should last between 5-7 minutes. Prepare
a one page handout (for Dr. Day) about the scientist and post as an attachment for your classmates on
our class wiki in the space provided notating it with the name of the scientist. Due on April 1.
4. Disposition reflection and participation self-reflection. Your attendance in this class is expected
because your experiences and thoughts are a valuable part of the daily discussions. Due on April 29.
5. Attendance and participation. Because this class is highly interactive, it is essential that you be in
class, be on time and not leave early, as well as be an active participant. Active participation includes
being prepared for class activities by reading assigned text materials, participating in class and online
discussion and activities and being prepared for and participating in presentations. I will be using the
following rubric to evaluate your attendance and participation, and will ask you to use it, or one that
you devise, to self evaluate. The grade will be determined for each class session based on your
attendance and participation following the rubric below. Participation grade includes the online
journal. Due on April 29.
6. Scope and Sequence. One of the most important things to learn about teaching is how the curriculum
is organized in all the disciplines. In order to plan units and lessons, teachers not only need to know
what to focus on at their grade level but also to know what they can expect students to know and be
EDU 537 – Spring 2014
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able to do when they reach their classroom and when they go on to someone else’s classroom the
following year. How can you learn first hand about curriculum? In this activity you are expected to
research the science scope and sequence in the elementary school where you have your field
experience, where you teach, or in a school in your community. Whatever the grades in your school
of choice, (PK-2, PK-6, PK-5), these will be your focus for this assignment. Compare your school’s
science curriculum with the CT Science Standards. Is the focus clearly on the CMT assessments? If
not a practicing teacher, interview your cooperating teacher about the curriculum. If not in a clinical
experience, please find a teacher in your community to talk to (you may discuss with a teacher in a
past clinical experience). What does he/she say about how the curriculum is organized? What place
does science have in the overall school curriculum (time spent each day and week)? If you could,
what changes would you suggest in this school’s science scope and sequence? Write a 2-3 page paper
addressing the above questions and your recommendations. Due March 11.
7. Moon Journal. You should complete a moon journal by marking the time viewed, approximate
location in the sky, and make a drawing of the moon as it appears each night for a month. A form for
you to fill out with this information is located on Blackboard. Please complete observations by
March 11 (Not scored but will be used in other class activities.)
8. Review a science education professional website and join at least ONE professional organization
in science education, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and complete ONE Science
Object on a content area in which you need extra tutoring. While a student, memberships are
inexpensive. For instance, preservice teachers can join NSTA for $32 by entering the membership
area within www.nsta.org. Write a 1 page reflection paper on the type of materials that are included
on the website for NSTA and one other professional organization that supports elementary science
teachers. Be sure to include how the use of these materials might help you as a teacher in your
reflection as well as your receipt for joining NSTA (black out credit card information!). The
reflection on your Science Object is due on March 26, too. Due March 25.
Date
Activity
Tentative Schedule of Course Activities
Reading/Discussion Topic
Jan.
14
Introductions/Expect
ations. Moon Journal
beginning.
Reading: None
Discussion: Introduction to classmate.
Assignment: Please familiarize yourself with new Blackboard Learn site.
Jan.
21
Process Skills.
Reading and Writing
in Science
Reading: ELA Common Core Standards and the Next Generation Science
Standards - how they affect the science classroom.
Jan.
28
Learning Cycle: What
is it?
History and Nature of
Science: Why should
we bother?
Science/Inquiry:
Doing what’s best for
students.
Bubbleology
Content Focus Physical Science:
Light & Color.
Readings: Chapter 1 Your Science Classroom
Other readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.
Video: Preparing to Teach Science
http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1001
Feb.
4
EDU 537 – Spring 2014
Reading: Chapter 2 Your Science Classroom
Other readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.
Video: What is Inquiry and Why Do It?
http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1452
4
Feb.
11
Content Focus - Earth
Science: Earth
Materials.
Feb.
18
Content Focus - Earth
Science Ocean and
Convection Currents
Feb.
25
Content Focus Physical Science:
Electricity and
Magnetism
Chemistry: Just the
Basics! Of Cabbages
and Chemistry.
Content Focus Earth/Space Science Changes in Earth and
Sky and visit to ERCLibrary.
Mar.
4
Mar.
11
Mar.
18
Mar.
25
SPRING BREAK
Ap. 1
It’s All Connected:
Assessment in
Science
Ap. 8
Content Focus Brown Eyes, Blue
Eyes and
Differentiation;
Working with Special
Needs Students and
the Common Core
Ap.
15
Content Focus Biology/Ecology:
Content Focus - It’s
All Connected:
Reading/Writing in
Science
EDU 537 – Spring 2014
Reading: Chapter 3: Your Science Classroom
Other readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.
View video: Essential Science for Teachers: Earth and Space Science
Session 2. Every Rock Tells a Story
http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=2089
Reading: Chapter 4: Your Science Classroom
Other readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.
Video – The Water Cycle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4wlVJCAbfk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BayExatv8lE
Reading: Chapter 5: Your Science Classroom
Other readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.
Reading: Chapter 6: Your Science Classroom
Other readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.
Reading: Chapter 7: Your Science Classroom
Other readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.
Video: Essential Science for Teachers: Earth and Space Science – Session
7. Our Nearest Neighbor: The Moon.
http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=2094
Scope and Sequence Papers Due on Blackboard. Moon Journals Due.
Bring to class!
No Class
Reading:
Other readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.
View video: http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1728
Assessment-Driven Instruction (reading). Professional organization
website reflection due on Blackboard.
Reading: Chapter 8: Your Science Classroom
Other readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.
View video: Is This Going to Count? Embedded Assessment
http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid= 1035
Historical Figures in Science presentation (round table).
Other readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class
Please read Chapter 9, 10 & 11: Your Science Classroom
Video: http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1043
Readings listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.. Out of
class video:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided/etc/view.ht
ml
After viewing, reflect on this video in the course discussion on
Blackboard.
Reading: Listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class.
Video: Adaptations – Elementary life science video clip:
5
Ap.
22
Ap.
29
Project Learning
Tree.
Content Focus Biology/Ecology:
Project Learning
Tree.
Class Wrap-Up
EDU 537 – Spring 2014
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciu9xFTvELQ
Reading: Listed on Blackboard in modules related to this class. Unit Plan
Presentations.
Unit Plan Presentations and Unit Plan Due. Disposition and
participation reflections due on Blackboard.
6
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EDU 537: Science in the Elementary School

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