Welcome to a new school year at the East Boston Early Education Center School, as well as to the Young STEAM Inventors blog! My name is Alicia Carroll, and I am the Director of Science, Technology, and Engineering for the East Boston EEC. I have been teaching in Boston Public Schools as an early childhood educator for almost 20 years. I created Young STEAM Inventors to display cultural and student-centered explorations of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics in my urban early childhood classroom. The school year has just started, and Young STEAM Inventors is already busy! We recently exhibited as part of the Boston Public Schools’ BPS Makers booth at the Boston Mini-Maker Faire on September 16.
— Rhianon E. Gutierrez (@RhianonElan) September 17, 2017
As I do at every start of the school year, I’d like to provide you with a breakdown of the curriculum that your students will be exploring.
Before I go into detail about student learning this year, I wish to dedicate this blog post to Alex Brynn Hartley, a young woman who worked with many local STEAM groups – including my previous KinderSTEAM blog and with the Shaw School – as a member of the Boston Teacher Residency Program. It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of her passing, but I am hopeful due to the work she accomplished in spite of her condition and the legacy that she left behind. I send my sincerest condolences to her family.
Grade 1 Science
The first unit will be on simple organisms. Students will develop an understanding of and sensitivity to living things through hands-on experiences. 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, and in a final lesson, students will explore 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 differences of a variety of common solids and liquids by first describing them and then testing them out. They will learn through these investigations how various liquids look and feel, their fluidity, how they mix with water, and their degree of absorption.
The last 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 and record 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.
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.
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 and 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 objects and compare them, observe and describe the effects of sunlight, 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.