I am currently the science teacher for both 4th and 5th grade and it is absolutely one of my favorite subjects to teach! This will now be my 5th year teaching for both grades, and I have done two years in the past with 3rd grade as well. This year I will be incorporating some new ideas, activities and lessons to further student growth in science. Here is what you can expect for your child this year in science:
1. I will continue to use the FOSS program but it will be more spread out through the year with mini lessons and other units in between (this will help give students more background information on the topics they will be learning about)
- 4th FOSS modules include: Landforms and the Human Body
- 5th FOSS modules include: Water Planet, Mixture & Solutions, and Environments
2. Students will have science labs this year- these will include 4 center rotations. The rotations include a problem solving station, a narrative station, a science skills station, and an assessment station. All activities and lessons before the lab will help students to prepare for the upcoming labs. Labs are meant to be challenging to help students really use their critical thinking skills and the resources given to them to complete a task. Students will also learn skills in how to follow specific directions given for each station, and how to work with a team.
- Tentative lab dates will be posted in advance so parents and students are aware of when they will occur.
3. Students will be completing an interactive notebook, taking daily notes, and doing daily interactive notebook activities. Their notebook will be a great tool in organizing their thoughts, helping with homework assignments, studying for upcoming tests and preparing for upcoming labs.
4. Last year students normally had a FOSS exam every other week. FOSS tests will not be as frequent and tests will vary this year, and will be posted in advance. Most points and assessments will come from the students interactive notebooks, and lab work. Lab work is so hands on, it will be a big resource in assessing student understanding throughout the year. I try to keep most things as in-class work so students are not taking a ton of work home every night, but any unfinished work will be assigned to be completed by the next day.
*Interactive notebooks will be a great tool in helping with homework, labs and tests. At times students will be allowed to use their notebooks on an assessment.
5. Students will have homework from time to time but usually it will be a small task that should take no longer than 10-20 minutes.