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on 3 August 2014

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Transcript of SCIENCE FOR YEAR 2

Science Inquiry Skills, Science as a Human Endeavour and Science Understanding are all strands explored during Year 2 (ACARA, n.d.)
This presentation will focus on the Science Understanding strand and in particular the Earth and space sciences which explores the Earth's resources, including water and how these resources are used in a variety of ways (ACSSU032) (ACARA, n.d.)
Science for Year 2 Level
Cross-curriculum priorities
The Melbourne Declaration identified three key areas that need to be addressed for the benefit of both individuals and Australia as a whole, these have become cross-curriculum priorities within the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, n.d.).
An understanding of the general capabilities and associated cross-curriculum priorities can only enhance planning. By recognising knowledge is developed over multiple learning areas, the curriculum as a whole enriches and adds depth and richness to student learning. It also assists with planning as many themes and learning areas can be intertwined within one lesson plan which allows the student to see one single concept from many angles. This produces an integrated form of curriculum that breaks down subject barriers and encourages student-focused teaching strategies which in turn provides a role for students to be active in their own construction of knowledge and skills (Dowden, 2013).
How does this affect the Science Curriculum?
The Australian Curriculum has identified seven general capabilities which work in unison with cross-curriculum content.

Science is Knowledge
Critical and creative thinking
Personal and social capability
Ethical understanding
Intercultural understanding
Information and communication technology (ICT) capability
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia
Numeracy & Sustainability
Measurement and the collection, representation and interpretation of data features heavily in the Science Curriculum. This assists students to become numerate across not only the science learning area but across all learning areas.
Numeracy also can be seen in the cross-curriculum priority of sustainability through investigating relationships including cycles and cause and effect thus using numeracy skills to explore and investigate more sustainable patterns of living.
The elaborations for the Earth and Space Sciences covers identifying the Earth's resources and how they are used in the school. Describing how a resources is transferred from it source to point of use. Considering the consequences to humans if a familiar available resource was to change. Identify actions at school that can conserve resources by separating rubbish from recyclable items.
Alternative content descriptions for Earth and space sciences Year 2 -

Explore the Earth's resources locally and discover the wonders of water.
Work and live in harmony with the Earth's natural resources including waterways to maintain sustainability.
Achievement Standards
Year 2 Level achievement standards tie in closely with earth and space sciences as they specifically focus on the way the student describes and identifies certain resources and how they are used in daily life. It also focuses on observations and investigations which align with earth and space sciences through the observation, recording and representation of the use of resources such as the way water can be used to create electricity. Informal measurements could be taken from these experiments and used to compare observations which is a component of the achievement standard for Year 2.
AusVELS and the Australian Curriculum
Victorian curriculum and assessment authority at Level 2 describes earth and space sciences precisely as that of the Australian Curriculum - Earth's resources, including water, are used in a variety of ways (AusVELS, 2012). The information is set out in a table format which makes it easier to read and establish the links between the class/year levels, although the Australian Curriculum codes were not evident. The AusVELS also provided a brief description on the curriculum focus as awareness of self and the local world and described how this is implement into the curriculum which was set out in a clear and logical format. The Australian Curriculum provided clear assessment criteria and student work examples which is beneficial to an educator where this was not evident on the AusVELS site. It was clear to see that AusVELS had taken substantial time to position the Science content clearly and logically in their curriculum and coherently tie it in with the Australian Curriculum.
Digital teaching resources have the potential to transform education by providing access to innovative curriculum, simulations and hands-on resources (Hanson & Carlson, 2005).
FUSE is a Department of Education and Early Childhood Development digital repository and sharing site for parents, educators and students alike.
In the area of Earth and Space Sciences there are numerous resources covering water, soil and day and night.
Digital resources used in conjunction with digital hardware such as interactive whiteboards are likely to make a difference to student learning outcomes (Maher, Phelps, Urane & Lee, 2012).
"Water Series"
Digital Resource
Earth and Space Science for Year 2 explores the earth resources including water. This interactive digital resource allows students to move a Frog down a river in a boat stopping at four locations: a creek, a waterfall, a river mouth and a bay. Using scientific equipment Frog can check the water at each location for temperature, salinity, clarity and current speed. At the end of the journey, students meet four different animals and predict the habitats in which they live. This allows the student to explore the quality of water in different aquatic habitats and associate aquatic animals with their habitats according to water types.
"Water Series"
Digital Resource
This resource allows students to explore and compare water qualities from a range of locations, associate aquatic animals with their habitat according to water types and identify origins of water samples by comparing salinity and turbidity.
This resource directly relates to the achievement standards set out in the Australian Curriculum of being able to describes changes, to predict outcomes as well as record and represent their observations.
This is an example of technology that has developed an engaging and powerful learning experience with interactive content and targeted feedback (Office of Educational Technology, 2013)
National Digital Learning Resources Network
The National Digital Learning Resources Network is a technical infrastructure that connects Australian schools to enable the distribution and sharing of digital resources through education portals. The digital resources are aligned to the Australian, State and Territory curriculums. The selection of digital resources are designed to assist educators to find, use and adapt teaching and learning materials that are aligned to the science subject area of the Australian curriculum.
AusVELS and the Australian Curriculum
AusVELS and the Australian Curriculum
Definition of Earth and Space sciences
Australian Curriculum
Clear table format
suitable for comparing
age groups and year
Australian curriculum codes evident
Clear assessment
criteria including
student examples
Positioned clearly
and logically within
Provides curriculum
focus as awareness of
self and the local world
"Soil Series"
Digital Resource
The soil series from the National Digital Learning Resources Network allows students to explore the properties of natural soil environments and the interactions between the living and non-living components that contribute to healthy soil.
Students explore how soil is formed, the environmental needs of plants and how environmental conditions affect plant growth.
Digital resources such as the soil series provide a new way to engage students and help provide a platform to infuse student-focused equitable pedagogy (Hanson et al., 2005).
The Australian Curriculum
Educators gather and analyse information on student achievement through assessment (Duchesne, McMaugh, Bochner Krause, 2010). An integral part of effective teaching practice is assessment as it can establish if what is being taught is the same as what is being learnt and not only provides information on students but also the educator (Duchesne et al., 2010).
Effective Assessment Strategies
Sharing can be used as an effective assessment strategy for Earth and space sciences in Year 2. In this strategy the educator clarifies, shares and insures the goals for learning and the criteria for success are understood with the students (NCTM, 2007).
Giving students time to talk about what would count as quality work and how their work was to be evaluated reduced the achievement gap amongst students (NCTM, 2007).
Many of the areas covered in the Science curriculum could be quite challenging for students and thus ensuring they have all the knowledge possible through sharing could be advantageous in the area of assessment. Primary aged children are capable of engaging in effective collaboration that promotes academic achievement (Watkins, 2009).
Effective Assessment Strategies
The formative use of summative assessment is another effective assessment strategy for the Science curriculum. This form of assessment provides information that can be used for learning before, during and after the task, (Duchesne, 2010).
With a focus on water, students could be assessed on their understanding of wise water usage and ways to reduce water usage. As the area of Earth and space science is quite broad and extensive, students would not be able to grasp the full concept in one go and thus multiple themes which are taught over a period of time can be intertwined into one assessment.
Summative assessments can provide critical information about students' overall learning as well as an indication of the quality of classroom instruction (Johnson & Jenkins, 2009).
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