Research shows that young students work well in a cooperative learning environment by actively exploring phenomena in the natural world posing questions and seeking answers as they arise. They develop simple skills of observation, measurement and number sense as they actively participate in simple investigations. During investigations, students must have the opportunity to use tools such as magnifiers, thermometers, rulers, or balances to gather data and extend their senses. They must have ample time to talk about their observations and compare their observations with those of others. They should be encouraged to employ oral language, drawings and models to communicate results and explanations of investigations and experiments. In a cooperative learning environment, students learn that when people give different descriptions of the same thing, it is better to make new observations instead of debating about who is correct. They must always use appropriate safety procedures, including listening skills, when conducting simple investigations.
As students progress through the grade levels, their strategies for finding solutions to questions improve as they gain experience conducting simple investigations and working in small groups. They are capable of asking questions and making predictions that can be tested. Students must be encouraged to make more careful observations and measure things with increasing accuracy. During investigations, students must have the opportunity to use more advanced tools such as calculators, computers, graduated cylinders, scales and meter sticks to gather data and extend their senses. They must keep accurate records and run enough trials to be confident of their results to test a prediction. They must have experiences that allow them to recognize patterns in data and use data to create reasonable explanations of results of an experiment or investigation. They should be encouraged to employ more sophisticated language, drawings, models, charts and graphs to communicate results and explanations. Students must always use appropriate safety procedures, including listening skills, when conducting simple investigations.
CMS Science Units
The CMS Science Units were developed by elementary teachers within the district to ensure students have access to standards aligned instruction.
Elementary Science Specialist