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Elementary School Science Curriculum

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Do your elementary school kids have science every day, or do they "cover science" through themes? 

I'm really frustrated that 5 months into the school year, I still haven't seen a single science topic covered. According to the school's curriculum, science and social studies are covered through "themes" throughout the school year.  I am just not seeing anything coming home that shows that they even discussed a science theme much less actually learned something scientific.  The school test scores in science (tested in 5th grade, 8th grade, and 10th grade) are atrocious.  It just seems that a major portion of the problem is their lack of science curriculum in the elementary school years.  The kids spend more time in music (a 30 minute class everyday) than they do in science, and it seems backwards to me. 

by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 1:45 PM
Replies (11-20):
by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 8:23 PM

Don't forget the big push to do cross-curricular activities.  So, even if they aren't always having a separate time, they are covering some of it in other ways.  But, our kids do science all the time at my school.  Plus, they have science fair every year and every grade participates.  They have an after school group called science encounters where the kids get to do experiments.  Our 3rd graders do science olympics.  Maybe it's going on, you just aren't seeing it in homework.  Have you asked your kids?

by Silver Member on Feb. 1, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Dd is in 1st grade.  They have 3-4 major science topics over the year - reptiles, healthy body, rocks and weather, I think.  She has learned a ton in the first two unit so far. 

by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 10:23 PM

I think its awesome you ahve music every day.. a thematic curriculum works to include all the core areas ... what grade is your child?

by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:45 PM

DD is in kinder, and she has set science class time 4 days a week.  But you wouldn't know she gets that much from what she brings home...their science is more hand on, doing things like growing plants, taking the temperature, experimenting with water evaporating,  so there aren't as many take home papers as there are for writing or math.

by on Feb. 2, 2013 at 4:38 AM

At DS' school he has cross-curricular instruction, but he also has dedicated science time each week (One week it's three days a week, the next week two days, they alternate with social studies/history). So far this year he has covered energy (types, how it works, etc.), the solar system and the universe, superficial geology, and life cycles of plants and animals. The superficial geology and life cycles is currently what they are working through. Next week they are taking a field trip to a local ecological preserve as a part of it. They also have time separately from this, where they work in the school garden, and learn about the things that grow there. 

I teach science as a subject in my class. It is also integrated with other things, but I also specifically devote time to it.  

by Bronze Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 7:34 AM
Thanks for the information. My daughter LOVES science, so I would hear about it if they were covering it. She came home last night talking about how to make shadows yesterday. Apparently they tried to make shadows from different materials yesterday (something clear, something thin and opaque, objects, etc.).

Having said that, the school science test scores are still terrible, and I still don't think they're doing enough to incorporate science into their thematic curriculum. My daughter is only in kindergarten, but I don't want her to miss out on an essential subject.
by on Feb. 2, 2013 at 2:20 PM

 DD is in K and already doing a lot of science related things.

by Emerald Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Our school starts actual science curriculum in first grade.  The students have science books and a science grade on their report cards from that point forward.  In kindergarten, they do different science type activities that are science related, like planting seeds, tracing shadows, collecting fall leaves to identify and make rubbings of, etc.

Have you taken your concerns to the teacher, guidence counselor, or director of curriculum for the district?

by Gold Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 5:48 PM

My 4th grader does units for science and social studies. They are now doing magnetism and electricity.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM

My son is now in 3rd and they have science. Nothing much before this year. They had 40 minutes for about 1/3 of the year. It would cycle with Social Studies and Health. Ridiculous.

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