Teaching Elementary and Middle School Science – EDUC 324

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

An analysis of trends and practices of teaching science in the elementary school. Emphasis will be made on how to transfer theory into practice through the development of instructional planning for fundamental concepts in science - including physical, life, and earth and space sciences and other related areas appropriate for the elementary classroom.

Prerequisites

EDUC 318 and EDUC 319 and EDUC 322 (may be taken concurrently) and EDUC 323 (may be taken concurrently)

Note: Admission to Educator Preparation Program

Rationale

This course is designed to provide teacher candidates with the knowledge, skills, and practices of the four core science disciplines of Earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics in order to provide a sound foundation for teaching science in the elementary grades.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss the greatness of God’s creation through His science.
  2. Understand the nature of science and scientific inquiry within the four core science disciplines of Earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics.
  3. Design an age-appropriate science experiment to engage students and implement safety rules and procedures.
  4. Select appropriate science teaching materials and strategies while adapting instruction to diverse learners using a variety of techniques.
  5. Articulate the need for interdisciplinary connections to organize key science content into meaningful units of instruction that actively engage students in learning.
  6. Review current literature and apply concepts to the classroom.
  7. Review current technologies and literature connections to engage science learners in a meaningful, practical manner.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 200 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to two other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 50 words. (MLO: A, B, C, F)

Who Are Scientists?

The candidate will research a variety of historical and contemporary scientists and create a plan to display 10 images of a variety of scientists to a classroom.  The scientists must include a mix of genders and types of scientists (e.g., environmentalists, astronauts, microbiologists, and physicists).  The candidate will complete a template to identify the 10 scientists and create a plan to introduce the scientists to the classroom with justification on how these scientists will improve the teaching and learning within the classroom after reading a third grade classroom scenario.  Candidates will support the justification with citations from the textbook.  (MLO: A, B, D, E, F)

Article Reviews (2)

The candidate will choose an article to review, which must relate to the specific assigned topic for that Module/Week from varying professional journals. Additionally, all articles must be current (published within the last 5 years). The review will include an introduction and conclusion with 3 main sections: a summary, an analysis, and a personal application. Each review will be limited to five paragraphs and each paragraph should have at least five sentences. The Article Review must follow the template provided.  (MLO: F)

Science Experiment Mini-Lesson Plan

The candidate will design and conduct an experiment to determine the effect of a chosen variable (or variables) based on Virginia Science Standards of Learning in one of the four core science areas: Earth science, biology, chemistry, or physics.  The experiment must be grade-level appropriate and include a title, short introduction, full description of the experimental design, a hypothesis, a listing of all variables, a log of observations, a graph of results, a conclusion based on the candidate’s observations and how they relate to the candidate’s hypothesis, and at least 10 photos of the experiment.  In addition, the candidate will create or locate a worksheet on the Scientific Method that is grade-level appropriate to assist students in completing the experiment in class.  The candidate will identify how the experiment and instruction would be adapted to address the needs of diverse learners.  (MLO: B, C, D, E)

Science Resource Chart

Candidates will create a Science Resource Chart with science websites, virtual science simulations, YouTube videos, Science Fair Project ideas, and children’s literature books connected to science topics designed to make science more engaging.  Candidates will complete this assignment in two parts and utilize the Science Resource Chart Part One Template for the first submission and the Science Resource Chart Part Two Template for the second submission.  Each part must include at least 5 different science education topics (i.e. human body, simple machines, Earth, heat energy, electricity, light, weather, animals) and at least 3 different grade levels.  (MLO: D, G)

Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Review

The candidate will review the provided science lesson plans.  The candidate will select three lesson plans and for each lesson plan create a way to incorporate one other discipline into the lesson and technology.  Each lesson must incorporate one of the core disciplines (math, history/social science, or English).  The candidate will explain how to integrate the additional discipline into the lesson, assess for understanding and adjust for the needs of diverse learners.  The candidate will use the Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Template.  (MLO: B, D, E)

Quizzes (4)

There will be four quizzes throughout the term.  Each quiz will be comprised of 25 multiple-choice questions that will cover the previous week’s and current week’s textbook readings.  The quizzes will have a 2 hour time limit and will be open-book and open-note.  Each quiz may be taken twice, and the highest score will count.  (MLO: B, D, E, G)