What’s new this year in Science?
What’s new in Gillispie science this year? Plenty! First of all, science has relocated from the Bungalow to south campus, rooms 12 and 16. Secondly, Mr. Edwards is joined by Mr. Belsha, as a secondary science teacher, allowing us to extend the program’s reach all the way down to Kindergarten!
Mr. Belsha, Science grades K-2:
The year has started off on a positive and exciting note, with enthusiastic and inquisitive students driving what will be a fun year in Science. All grade levels have explored general science concepts which include: defining science, exploring the job of a scientist and practicing using scientists’ most important tools, their five senses. Kindergarteners have moved on to learning about the weather. First grade is diving into a unit on sound and light waves, while second grade explores the varying states and properties of matter. Our work in these areas sets the stage for further investigation in subsequent grades with Mr. Edwards.
Along with covering important science standards and content during our time together, we are also working on developing important “Habits of Mind.” Through thought-provoking critical thinking activities, students practice effective communication and collaborative skills that will be essential in working in groups throughout the year, not only in specialty classes but in their homerooms as well.
During the first week of school, all grade levels practiced how to effectively and kindly communicate with classmates, listen to other’s ideas, and work together to successfully carry out a plan developed by the group. We celebrated failures and learned from mistakes but ultimately we were all successful in these fun team building activities.
Mr. Edwards, Science grades 3-6:
So far, the year is going splendidly and we’ve dived right into topics ranging from light and vision for 3rd graders and electrical circuits for 4th, to matter and genetics for 5th and 6th graders, respectively.
I’m reminded of how a physical space can inform what goes on in it. Room 16’s larger footprint offers students more clearance as they move around carrying full vials to the sink, getting the triple beam balances out from the cabinet, or assembling an assigned circuit. Having the animal enclosures in the same room allows students to examine them upon entering the room, or during cleanup and free moments, leading to interesting connections and discussions. As for me, I find myself teaching concepts in new ways, partly because of the many differences in my new space. A new way to do something keeps me excited and engaged, which, I think, translates into student enthusiasm.
Watch this space to see what we get up to in science this year, or set up a time to come in and chat.