Re: Topics for discussion-Science

From: Stephanie Wong <>
Subject: Re: Topics for discussion-Science
Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 22:37:15 -0700 (MST)

In elementary, science is usually read-out-from-the-textbook work.  From my
experience, it is not really stressed in the classroom, but I believe this
is where students should be exposed to all the components of science through
different activites.

Middle school science is quite different.  Lots of writing work is stressed.
Scientific method is taught over and over again, which is too much.  Once
the basic principle is learned, it is enough.  Notes that summarize the
text, I think, is better on many reasons:
1. Definitions can be put into one section for easy reference and studying.
2. It's hard to read 200 pages and remember all the details!!
3. Not all things in the text are important.

Microscopes are rarely (maybe twice in my schooling) used.  Telescopes?  Not
even once.  Middle school does use a lot of chemicals and apparatus.
Experiments are abundant, but try not to do too many, especially if the
outcome is obvious (wouldn't want to injure the student by doing too many

Graphs- yes, knowing what are the manipulated, responding, control, X and Y
variables.  Used occasionally.

What did you use for reqirements to get into Music at university?  Do you
think 10th grade piano is enough?


At 04:57  22/12/97 +0100, you wrote:
>I am interested in all three topics that you listed.  As a home school
>mother who has a bachelor's in music/English, and Masters in Ed (Music),
>I am new to teaching science.  Since that is one of my son's favorite
>subjects, and I can't find a tutor for him, I would like to get ideas
>for teaching science. (Grade 5/6, "higher level thinking")  What do the
>experts do? Technical writings?  How much graph work? How much in the
>line of "experiments"?  Does this age group generally have access to a
>high powered microscope?  telescope?  ideas for astonomy, palentology,
>aerodynamics?  I could use a lot of ideas.  (We do Science by Mail with
>a small science club, JASON--when they get their curriculum ready for
>this year, a 5th grade Silver-Burdett text, plus a lot of supplements.
>Have done AMES 1st project in grade 5-and-up book (last year).  He's not
>real crazy about the record keeping or writing.  Of course, I know
>that's important.  How much do you folks recommend in that department? 
>He does very well with whatever the task is.  L. Donahue