Critique Assignments Essay, Research Paper
Teaching science in the elementary schools is an important subject that should begin being taught an early age. There are many articles on science in the elementary schools. I have chosen four articles that I feel have high levels of importance to the topic. The first article I read was, “What’s the Buzz?” by Laurie A. Hinman. This article was written by a student teacher of a second grade classroom. She needed to teach the children about beehive. Hinman made the classroom into a beehive and walked into the classroom dressed as a beekeeper to get the students’ attention. The student teacher started the topic with lessons on what body parts a bee has and read them books on insects. She then began to give out jobs to each student and taught the class what each position was supposed to do. Each child was very excited to receive responsibilities and have to act them out for the class. She made the cooperating teacher act as the queen bee to emphasize the actual importance of the queen’s role to the rest of the bees in the hive. I think that this is an amazing way to get children excited and involved in a science lesson. Each day the students would do their jobs and she taught them different lessons on the queen’s rapid production of eggs and how bees collect pollen and nectar. Hinman used different color jellybeans to represent eggs, pollen and nectar. The children began to realize the beehive was becoming overpopulated and this is when she taught them that that was when the bees would swarm from the beehive and build a new one. This is when the children realized that all the bees’ hard work was left for the new bees and they had to do it all over again. The way she receive feedback was by having them all sit in the hive and talk about the lesson and then she handed out job applications for building a new hive. This had all the jobs listed and they had to choose one that they didn’t have and describe everything they had to do and what would happen if they did not do their job. The follows up lessons described were to visit an actual beekeeper or a museum about insects. I think that the wok done in this article is very important for younger children. It is a very thorough and dependable lesson. The author describes how she went through each step with books and lessons. This activity is very time consuming and I feel that because of everything being hands-on that the length is a positive thing. I feel that this information could be taught in many ways and this is an awesome way to teach. I think the author’s intent was to show readers how essential it is to have children act out simulations in the classroom and have so many hands- on projects. She definitely accomplished her goal and these children will always remember this unique form of teaching. The second article was concerned with educational research in elementary science education. The name of it was “Embracing he Essency of Inquiry: New Roles Science Teachers,” by Barbara A. Crawford. This study was to see if a teachers actions and way of teaching can help the children achieve higher levels of thinking. The study was done in a science classroom in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The main data for this study was secretly videotaped during nine separate lessons being given. The conversations between the students and the teacher were closely taped. This was done to see if the six key characteristics of a teacher’s inquiry based classroom were being acted upon. The six ways are (1) situating instruction in problems, (2) grappling with data, (3) cooperation between students and the teacher, (4) connection with society, (5) teacher modeling behaviors of a scientist, and (6) development of student ownership. I think these are excellent ways to achieve the goal of this research. I feel that the way the study was being performed is the best way to receive truthful feedback. The results were made up of ways that the six characteristics were being fulfilled, (1) the children were in a lab setting, (2) and (3) the children were in groups and were able to help each other, (4) everything they did was in their town and school-grounds, (5) the teacher definitely behaved as a scientist and in an appropriate situation, (6) the children were confident in what they were learning because they were able to help each other while working in groups. I think that this study is important because children should learn from an early age how to communicate with others and help them selves by having a higher level of thinking. The actual study was very thorough by describing each section of the study and explaining the research to the readers. I also feel that the work done was very dependable because the research was done through an actual viewing of the teacher’s actions and conversations with the students. The research definitely did reach the goal of the study. The teacher used each of the six instructions and the students were very happy with their new way of learning.
“The Effectiveness of Schoolyards as Sites for Elementary Science Instruction”, by Linda L. Cronin-Jones was the third article I read. This study was designed to contribute to the knowledge from the effectiveness of schoolyards as sites for outdoor elementary science instruction. The study was made up of a control, classroom treatment and schoolyard treatment groups. It included 285 third and fourth grade students. The study was mainly done to investigate two major questions, do elementary students receiving outdoor schoolyard- based instruction learn more about basic ecological concepts than students receiving no formal instruction? The second question was do elementary students receiving outdoor schoolyard-based instruction develop more positive attitudes toward natural settings and their inhabitants than students receiving no formal instruction or traditional classroom-based instruction? This study as done over a three-week period it consisted of a 10-day unit on plant and animal ecology from the science textbook. The indoor group used textbooks, indoor labs, lectures and demonstrations. The outdoor group used lessons including outdoor labs, role-playing activities, and field observations. The results were that the children learned much more about ecological science through outside classroom activities. I think that this study is very important and useful for science teachers. The children will definitely love to learn about science by actually being included in hands-on activities. This article is very thorough and offers other studies to read to further your knowledge on this subject. The author accomplishes the goal of the study in that proving an outdoor atmosphere is a better way to learn about science. I would love to teach science outside and actually show the children plants and other scientific ideas in person. The last article that I read for this assignment was “Second Grade Soil Scientists,” by Lori Gibb. This article is about a second grade teacher who wanted to make the students actually make a connection between the importance of what they were learning and the outside real world. The first thing the teacher did was invite a professional soil scientist to class to discuss her profession. The students learned a great deal of information from the scientist. The children then made their own germination bags and observed the growth of seeds. During this the students also kept a science journal. They documented all of their experiences and made predictions about their experiments. These journals benefited both the teacher and the students. The children got to see exactly everything that went on step by step. The teacher got to see the excitement from the children and receive feedback by reading each journal. This article gave me a lesson that I will definitely use in my classroom. I think that this type of hands-on experiment will help children learn more about science. This lesson is very dependable because the children will be constantly learning throughout the entire lesson. The author accomplished their goal in having the children use higher levels of thinking in this experiment and connect with their surrounding world. I think that all of these articles will come into great use throughout my years of teaching elementary level science classes. I see myself using these lessons in my classrooms. There are so many sources where teachers can read about science education and this assignment opened my eyes to many new journals to research science lessons.Bibliography1. Laurie A. Hinman. What’s the Buzz? Science and Children. Volume #38, February, 2000. Pages 24-27.2. Barbara A. Crawford. Embracing the Essency of Inquiry: New Roles for Science Teachers. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Volume #37 No. 9 June 12, 2000. Pages 916-937.3. Lori Gibb. Second-Grade Soil Scientists. Science and Children, Volume #37, December, 1999, pages 24-28.4. Linda L. Cronin-Jones. The Effectiveness of Schoolyards as Sites for Elementary Science Instruction. School Science and Mathematics, Volume 100(4), April 2000, pages 203-209.5.