Sunday, August 26, 2012

Science curriculum

I am researching quite extensively to find the best 1st grade curriculum to homeschool my son. I have been asking professionals and browsing on the Internet. This weekend I worked on the Science curriculum, where I planned the methodology of my teaching based on the requirements of the Standard Common Core of Illinois State. The Illinois State has all the information about  homeschooling and the learning standards -

I summarised the learning standards given by the Illinois State just for 1st graders. The following are the requirements described by them for the Science subject: 

STATE GOAL 11:  Understand the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design to investigate questions, conduct experiments, and solve problems.
Why This Goal Is Important: The inquiry process prepares learners to engage in science and apply methods of technological design.  This understanding will enable students to pose questions, use models to enhance understanding, make predictions, gather and work with data, use appropriate measurement methods, analyze results, draw conclusions based on evidence, communicate their methods and results, and think about the implications of scientific research and technological problem solving.

A.  Know and apply the concepts, principles and processes of scien­tific inquiry.

11.A.1a  Describe an observed event.
11.A.1b  Develop questions on scientific topics.
11.A.1c  Collect data for investigations using measuring instruments and technologies.
11.A.1d  Record and store data using available technologies.
11.A.1e  Arrange data into logical patterns and describe the patterns.
11.A.1f  Compare observations
 of individual and group results.


B.  Know and apply the concepts, principles and processes of tech­nological design.

11.B.1a  Given a simple design problem, formulate possible solutions.
11.B.1b  Design a device that will be useful in solving the problem.
11.B.1c  Build the device using the materials and tools provided.
11.B.1d  Test the device and record results using given instruments, techniques and measure­ment methods.
11.B.1e  Report the design of the device, the test process and the results in solving a given problem.

STATE GOAL 12:  Understand the fundamental concepts, principles and interconnections of the life, physical and earth/space sciences.
Why This Goal Is Important:  This goal is comprised of key concepts and principles in the life, physical and earth/space sciences that have considerable explanatory and predictive power for scientists and non-scientists alike.  These ideas have been thoroughly studied and have stood the test of time.  Knowing and being able to apply these concepts, principles and processes help students understand what they observe in nature and through scientific experimentation.  A working knowledge of these concepts and principles allows students to relate new subject matter to material previously learned and to create deeper and more meaningful levels of understanding.

A.  Know and apply concepts that explain how living things func­tion, adapt and change.

12.A.1a  Identify and describe the component parts of living things (e.g., birds have feathers; people have bones, blood, hair, skin) and their major functions.
12.A.1b  Categorize living organisms using a variety of observable features (e.g., size, color, shape, backbone).

B.  Know and apply concepts that describe how living things interact with each other and with their environ­ment.

12.B.1a  Describe and compare characteristics of living things in relationship to their environments.
12.B.1b  Describe how living things depend on one another for survival.

C.  Know and apply concepts that describe properties of matter and energy and the interactions between them.

12.C.1a  Identify and compare sources of energy (e.g., batteries, the sun).
12.C.1b  Compare large-scale physical pro­perties of matter (e.g., size, shape, color, texture, odour).

D.  Know and apply concepts that describe force and motion and the principles that explain them.

12.D.1a  Identify examples of motion (e.g., moving in a straight line, vibrating, rotating).
12.D.1b  Identify observable forces in nature (e.g., pushes, pulls, gravity, magnetism).
E.  Know and apply concepts that describe the features and processes of the Earth and its resources.

12.E.1a  Identify components and describe diverse features of the Earth’s land, water and atmospheric systems.
12.E.1b  Identify and describe patterns of weather and seasonal change.
12.E.1c  Identify renewable and nonrenewable natural resources.

F.  Know and apply concepts that explain the composition and struc­ture of the universe and Earth’s place in it.

12.F.1a  Identify and describe characteristics of the sun, Earth and moon as familiar objects in the solar system.
12.F.1b  Identify daily, seasonal and annual patterns related to the Earth’s rotation and revolution.

STATE GOAL 13:  Understand the relationships among science, technology and society in historical and contemporary contexts.
Why This Goal Is Important:  Understanding the nature and practices of science such as ensuring the validity and replicability of results, building upon the work of others and recognizing risks involved in experimentation gives learners a useful sense of the scientific enterprise.  In addition, the relationships among science, technology and society give humans the ability to change and improve their surroundings.  Learners who understand this relationship will be able to appreciate the efforts and effects of scientific discovery and applications of technology on their own lives and on the society in which we live.

A.  Know and apply the accepted practices of science.

13.A.1a  Use basic safety practices (e.g., not tasting materials without permission, “stop/drop/roll”).
13.A.1b  Explain why similar results are expected when procedures are done the same way.
13.A.1c  Explain how knowledge can be gained by careful observation.

B.  Know and apply concepts that describe the interaction between science, technology and society.

13.B.1a  Explain the uses of common scientific instruments (e.g., ruler, thermometer, balance, probe, computer).
13.B.1b  Explain how using measuring tools improves the accuracy of estimates.
13.B.1c  Describe contributions men and women have made to science and technology.
13.B.1d  Identify and describe ways that science and technology affect people’s everyday lives (e.g., transportation, medicine, agriculture, sanitation, communication occupations).
13.B.1e  Demonstrate ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials.

Based on what was described aforementioned, I will promote an environment where my son understands the history of the subject in context prior to learning the subject. To develop that matter I will provide the component parts, and provide him with a thinking platform about the materials that where presented to him in order to begin his investigation.
I will also follow the hermeneutical principles, which, is the art and science of text interpretation. I will have a sequence of teaching trying to start from the beginning of the creation to make him able to comprehend the reasons of the way the facts are, and explain it from the scientific and biblical perspective. Trips to the main Chicago museums will also be included in my plan.

Below are some examples of topics I will develop to cover the objectives aforesaid to meet the  learning standards requirements:

               Seasons lesson.
               Plants life cycle.
               Parts of plants activities.
               Thunderstorm analyses and comprehension. 
               Understand weather and it's effect on the earth (people, animals, and plants).
       Understand the seasons and the weather that each usually produces. Consider teaching about hurricane season as well.
               Animals’ cycle of life.
               Basic needs of animals.
               Animals’ habitats.
               Animals' behaviour.   
               Oceans and sea life: Waves, currents, coral reefs, sea animals, and sea plants.
               The human body: The systems that make up the body — circulatory, muscular, skeletal, nervous, and digestive — and how to take care of the body. 
               Recite the five senses and discuss each in detail.
               Using thermometer.
               Understand the steps of investigation.
               Understand some scientific terminology such as hypothesis and observation.
                Identify the three principals of matter (solid, liquid, gas).     
               Understand the concept of motion.
               Identify living and nonliving thing.
              Compare and contrast rocks.
               Rock cycle.
               Compare and contrast land (mountains, volcanoes, valleys, etc.)
             Understand machines and how they make life easier. Compare this to a time when there were no machines.
               Have a good grasp on recycling and why it is important.
              Introduction to electricity and magnetism: Electric currents and circuits. Learns how batteries work and the push and pull of magnets.
               Sound: Vibrating objects produce sound, and sound travels.

Books I will use and would like to recommend:

    I.   The Body Book: Easy-to-Make Hands-on Models That Teach [Paperback] Donald M. Silver, Patricia J. Wynne.
  II.   The Human Body for Every Kid: Easy Activities that Make Learning Science Fun [Paperback] Janice VanCleave.
 IV.   Read and Understand Science, Grades 1-2 [Paperback], Evan-Moor Educational Publishers.
  V.   First Nature Encyclopedia (DK First Reference).
 VI.   First Animal Encyclopedia (DK First Reference Series).
VII.   First Science Encyclopedia.
VIII.   The Planets in Our Solar System (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2) [Paperback].
 IX.   The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You! (Everything Kids Series) [Paperback], Tom Robinson.
  X.   Smart Lab You Track It Weather Lab, by Smart Lab.
 XI.   Handbook of Nature Study, by Anna Botsford Comstock.
XIII.   My Five Senses (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Aliki.
XIV.   Planets: A Solar System Stickerbook by Ellen Hasbrouck and Scott McDougall 
XV.   Teaching the Fun of Scienc by Janice Pratt VanCleave

XVI.   Oceans for Every Kid, by Janice Pratt VanCleave

After designing my curriculum for all the subjects I will put it on a monthly plan which I will post as soon as I finish. I would love to hear from you giving me any suggestion or comment about this matter in order to improve my methodology. Thanks :).

No comments:

Post a Comment