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Best Practices in Elementary Science

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Lisa Mayen

on 19 January 2015

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Transcript of Best Practices in Elementary Science

Best Practices in Elementary Science Teaching
There are several best practices in teaching science that promote student learning and growth. This presentation will highlight three of the most important practices. These include hands-on investigation and analysis, emphasis on underlying concepts, and appropriate evaluation techniques.
Emphasis on Underlying Concepts
In conclusion, there are a variety of best practices in teaching science. Three of the essential best practices include student participation in hands-on investigation and analysis, emphasis on key underlying concepts, and appropriate evaluation techniques. Through these methods, students are active participants in constructing and evaluating their own knowledge and develop into young scientists.
Lisa Mayen
Hands-on Investigation and Analysis....
of science questions by guiding students in active and extended scientific inquiry and discussion
Learn Through Experiences
Students learn through their own experiences in an inquiry manner instead of rote memorization of facts.

Students are allowed to grapple with questions and create their own knowledge.
Role of Teacher
Teacher is facilitator and guide instead of disseminator of knowledge
Class Discussions
Students become metacognitive by planning their own investigations and discussing the process and results with the other students and the teacher.
Guided Inquiry
Teacher or written instructions usually give students steps to follow. During investigation, students decide what data is important to document and how to interpret findings.
Open Inquiry
Students make most of the decisions. They decide what question to investigate, then design the investigation procedure, collect relevant data, and decide how to interpret the data.
Structured Inquiry
Students are provided with a question to investigate, but they must design the procedure for the investigation. Students also will decide what data to record and how to interpret that data.
Types of Inquiry
Emphasize Big Ideas
Activities emphasize big ideas in science and tie knowledge together from different domains.

Example: Students learn about sound waves in science and then apply it to music.
Learning Addresses Real Life Experiences
Students engage in activities that are relevant to their lives and address contemporary and social issues

Examples: Students learn about how the food they eat effects their health

Students investigate the water quality of a local river
Respect of Natural World
Through lessons and activities, students learn that living creatures should be treated with respect and care.

Example: Class raises butterflies from larval stage. Students learn about the insect's life cycle and as a result, they learn to value and respect insects.
Lessons explain natural phenomena and how they relate to personal and social experiences.
Evaluation focuses on scientific processes and attitudes through authentic tasks and attention to varied learning styles and needs

Focus of learning is on problem solving and application of knowledge
Expectations are clear including what standards are being addressed and what key concepts are being covered
Students are given input and choice in assignment and activities
Formative assessments are key to student learning. Teachers give students ongoing feedback to help them refine and demonstrate their knowledge.
Students take part in evaluation through choosing the method to demonstrate their learning and may even help design rubrics to evaluate the learning. Students evaluate their own projects and projects of their peers.

Allen, R. (2006). Priorities in practice: The essentials of

science, grades K-6 : effective curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
“Best Practices of Teaching Science”. Retrieved from: http://
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