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Launching Learners in Science, PreK-5
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Launching Learners in Science, PreK-5
How to Design Standards-Based Experiences and Engage Students in Classroom Conversations



December 2006 | 240 pages | Corwin
Teaching science is as much about learning what it means to do science as it is about the pedagogy of teaching. Launching Learners in Science provides both theoretical and practical ideas surrounding the teaching and learning of science. Providing opportunities for teachers to observe, share, experiment, organize, and hypothesize about science content, this resource also focuses on the students and the kind of science instruction they receive.

Kerry C. Williams and George E. Veomett describe the principles of and requirements for the active learning of science and identify key ingredients for students and their development as young scientists. Educators will find examples, questions, and stories inviting them to construct meaning from the text. Based largely on the High/Scope preschool project as adapted for primary students, the book connects to research on cognitive and neural development and motivational theory from the work of Piaget and Vygotsky, and from the teaching experiences of the authors.

Based on the perspective that the teaching of science is about three things: knowing content, knowing children, and teachers knowing themselves as teachers and learners, this handbook invites educators to think about what it means to teach science in a way that will make a lasting difference in children's lives.


 
Preface
 
Acknowledgements
 
About the Authors
 
Part I. Welcome to 'Launching Learners in Science'
 
1. Origin of 'Launching Learners in Science'
Knowing Science

 
Knowing Children and How They Learn

 
Knowing Structures That Facilitate Learning and Teaching Science

 
Changing Emphases

 
Outline of the NSES Science Content Standards

 
I. Unifying Concepts and Processes

 
IIA. Science as Inquiry

 
IIIB. Physical Science Content Standards

 
IIIC. Life Science Standards

 
IVD. Earth and Space Science

 
VE. Science and Technology

 
VIF. Science in Personal and Social Perspective

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
2. The Nature of Science
What Is the Nature of Science?

 
Science as a Body of Knowledge

 
Sciences as Process

 
Elements of the Scientific Process

 
A Historical Example

 
Science as Process in Elementary School

 
Reviewing the Nature of Science in Elementary Education

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
3. Prior Beliefs, Efficacy, and Teaching Science
Influence of Experiences and Beliefs on Practice

 
Efficacy

 
Reflecting on the Walls of Teaching Science

 
Getting Around the Walls

 
Wall #1: I Do Not Know Enough Science Content

 
Wall #2: Students Need to Know the "Right Answers"

 
Wall #3: I Don't Have Time to Teach Science

 
@all #4: Active Science Lessons Disrupt My Classroom Management

 
Reflecting on Your Own Science Walls

 
Conversations Starters

 
 
Part II. Construction Ahead! Influences on Learning
 
4. Maturation and Learning
Constructing Knowledge

 
Piaget: The Interaction of Maturation and Experience

 
Assimilation and Accommodation

 
Equilibrium / Disequilibrium

 
Stages of Cogitive Development

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
5. Social Interaction and Learning
Vygotsky and Social Interaction

 
Language

 
Culture

 
The Teacher's Role: Personal Educator

 
Optimum Learning: The Zone of Proximal Development

 
Identifying Students' Zones of Proximal Development

 
Scaffolding: Stretching Without Pulling

 
The Right Amount of Interaction

 
The Controlling Guide

 
The Dispassionate Guide

 
The Effective Guide

 
Social Interaction With Peers

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
6. Active Learning
Active Learning: Hands-On, Minds-On

 
The Emotional Side of Active Learning

 
The Ingredients for Active Learning

 
Materials

 
Manipulation

 
Choice

 
Language

 
Adult Support

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
Part III. Classroom Experiences
 
7. Key Science Experiences
The Key Science Experiences

 
A Wheel of Key Science Experiences

 
Observing

 
Representing

 
Organizing

 
Detecting Patterns and Questioning

 
Experimenting

 
Sharing

 
Putting It All together

 
The Key Science Experiences and Maturation

 
Scaffolding for the Teacher

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
8. Thinking Routines
Getting "In To" the Learning in the Classroom

 
Staying Active in the Learning

 
Going Deeper Within the Learning

 
Why Use Thinking Routines?

 
Maturation and Thinking Routines

 
Scaffolding Within Thinking Routines

 
Scaffolding With Language

 
Scaffolding With Tools

 
Scaffolding With the Environment

 
Gathering Your Balloons

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
9. Planning Science Workshops
What Is a Science Workshop?

 
Whole-Group Instruction

 
Thinking About Creating Workshops

 
A Sample Workshop Unit

 
Scaffolding Within Workshops

 
Scaffolding Content

 
Scaffolding for Student Needs: Differentiation

 
Scaffolding the Key Science Experiences

 
Tips for Getting Started With Workshops

 
Why Workshops?

 
Creating Your Own Workshops -- A Checklist

 
Before a Unit

 
Before a Workshop

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
Part IV. Science Is a Community Affair
 
10. Assessment
Formative Assessment

 
Features of Formative Assessment

 
Formative Assessment and Motivation

 
Task Orientation and Ego Involment

 
Tools of Formative Assessment

 
Helping Students Self-Assess

 
Questioning as a Type of Formative Assessment

 
Anecdotal Note Taking

 
Student Journals

 
Rubrics

 
Portfolios

 
Summative Assessments

 
The Why of Assessing

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
11. Access to Science in a Classroom
Science Studios

 
Access to Science

 
Access to Materials

 
Types of Materials

 
Collecting and Organizing Materials

 
Why Is Access to Materials Important?

 
Supporting Students' Work With Materials

 
Access to Science Spaces

 
Physical Space

 
Emotional Safety

 
Adequate Time for Investigation

 
Celebrations of Accomplishments

 
Access to People

 
Support From Teachers

 
Collaboration With Peers

 
Family Involvement

 
Community Resources

 
Access to the World

 
Technology

 
Field Trips

 
The Great Outdoors

 
The Best of Both Worlds: Laboratories and Studios for Children

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
12. Connections to Curriculum
Your Foundation: The Science Curriculum

 
Study Your District Objectives

 
Plan Units Around the Objectives

 
The Next Layer: Integration

 
Making the Curriculum Your Own

 
Conversation Starters

 
 
Part V. Resources
 
Resource A: Safety
Safety in the Classroom

 
Safety and Active Learning

 
Some "Absolute Musts"

 
 
Resource B: Literature
Children's Literature

 
 
References
 
Index

"Expertly describes how educators can plan a science curriculum that facilitates primary students’ understandings, skills, and affective development of science, preparing them for careers requiring any level of scientific knowledge and giving them science literacy to make decisions that benefit society and the world."

Robert D. Sweetland, Professor
Wayne State College

"Has a brilliantly effective, yet conversational style that engages the reader, offers content that is easy to grasp, and makes sense to all beginning and veteran teachers seeking to understand constructive pedagogy. Not a how to do book, rather a how to think book that provides solid information about thought processes and approaches to learning."

Rae Johnson Brown, Learning Community Facilitator, Secondary Education
Wayne State College
Key features

Marketing Features

 

  • Packed on every page with thought provoking ideas and examples
  • Explains a 4 Step system --Choice, Planning, Doing, Reviewing-- that has great research results for student self regulation and learning across all subjects
  • Shows teachers how to incorporate inquiry and science workshops into primary classrooms
  • Helps teachers give students a strong start in science achievement

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