“Individually, we are one drop. Together we are an ocean.” –Ryunosuke Satoro
Hello, families! As many of you may already know, my name is Alicia Carroll and I am the Director of Science, Technology, and Engineering for the East Boston Early Education Center School. I have been teaching in Boston Public Schools as an early childhood educator for the past 17 years. I have worked as a new teacher developer, supporting and mentoring new teachers in the district for the last 8 years. I’m looking forward to working with all of the classrooms, as well as and meeting and collaborating with families. Here’s a quick snapshot of what we will be exploring in science for the 2016-2017 school year!
Grade 1 Science
This year, science students will be engaged in active learning. Grade 1 students’ first unit will be on organisms, where they will study simple organisms at a deeper level. This unit provides hands-on experiences that help students develop an understanding of and sensitivity to living things. Students create and maintain a woodland habitat containing pine seedlings, moss, pill bugs, and bess beetles or millipedes. They also set up and observe a freshwater habitat into which they introduce Elodea and Cabomba plants, pond snails and guppies. With both plants and animals in each habitat, students have the opportunity to observe how these organisms coexist. Through studying the needs and characteristics of a variety of organisms, students are able to draw conclusions about how plants and animals are similar and different. In a final lesson, students apply to humans what they have learned about organisms – meaning they will be exploring how human beings are similar to and different from other living things.
The second unit students will study is solids and liquids. Students investigate the
similarities and liquids in a variety of common solids and liquids. First, they observe, describe, and compare a collection of solid objects, focusing on such properties as color, shape, texture and hardness. They also perform tests to determine whether the objects roll or stack and float, or sink, as well as whether they are attracted to a magnet. Investigations of liquids center on how various liquids look and feel, their fluidity, how they mix with water, and their degree of absorption. In the final lesson, students compare the properties of solids and liquids and identify if they are similar or different.
The last unit is weather. This unit introduces students to the concept of weather and how it affects their lives. Using a variety of tools, students observe, discuss, measure, and record data on cloud cover, precipitation, wind and temperature. They learn how to read a thermometer and construct a rain gage to measure precipitation. They also study cloud formations, and use a wind scale to estimate the speed of wind. To apply their new skills and knowledge, students compare their own weather predictions with actual forecasts and use the weather data they have collected to form generalization about the weather in their location. Students will be recording their experiments and observations in their science journals. We will also be reading many nonfiction books that relate to the topics we are studying.
Our first unit is “Animals Two by Two”. Students will observe and describe the structures and behaviors of an organism and then compare the organism to a similar one; guppies and goldfish, land snails and water snails and earth worms and night crawlers. Science concepts are animal behavior, aquarium, habitat, living and non-living things.
The second unit is “Wood and Paper”. Students observe, compare, and describe natural and synthetic materials such as wood, paper and fabric. They find out what happens when these materials interact with other materials. Students discover applications for the materials in the real world. Students will be recording their learning in their science journals. We will also be reading many nonfiction books that relate to the topics we are studying.
The science for the K0/K1 is integrated into the Opening the World of Learning curriculum (OWL). In the first unit, “Family,” students will explore materials and objects in the environment and observe and identify the characteristics and basic requirements of living things.
In the second unit, “Friends,” students will observe, explore, and ask questions about materials and objects in the environment and explore the properties and behaviors of many kinds of materials. In the third unit, “Wind and Water,” students will investigate and describe states of matter, explore and discuss what air is an does, record observations by drawing, make predictions, and use simple measurement tools.
In the fourth unit, “The World of Color,” students will describe properties of and compare objects, observe and describe the effects of sunlight, investigate the dates of matter, and explore the properties of plants. In the fifth unit, “Shadows and Reflections,” students will learn about the characteristics and interactions of animals and continue to explore materials.
In the sixth unit, “Things that Grow,” students will be exploring the life cycle of a plant and making their own gardens.