|Online Museum:||Collaborative Project:||
The Exploratorium (http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/snackintro.html)
This is a wonderful site for teachers who are looking to supplement their science curriculum. This year we updated our science standards, benchmarks, and body of knowledge to reflect a true scope and sequence of instruction. Our current program, FOSS, doesn't allow us to meet all of the benchmarks.
To assist teachers, I will be combining activities from this site into clusters to help them teach all of our benchmarks. The amount of time for each unit will vary, but should be approximately two to three weeks. Additionally, the science clerk will assemble the materials necessary to complete snacks. The materials will be sent to teachers on their request.
Assessment for the units will be through observational checklists and performance tasks. Students will be assessed using our district performance definitions, advanced, profieient, basic, novice.
The Global Sun/Temperature Project (http://www.k12science.org/curriculum/tempproj/index.html)
Interviews with fifth grade teachers across the district have shown that they don't think that the FOSS Solar Energy module has enough material to be effective. This collaborative project would enhance the module. Students will measure the temperature, record the number of minutes of sunlight per day over a predetermined week, and determine global coordinates. They will then post this information to the project web site and compare and contrast the results with classes from all over the world. All components of this project will be used.
The entire project would take approximately three weeks of science class time. This would be completed concurrently with the FOSS module, giving the teachers enough material to last a full nine weeks.
Prior to the start of the project, teachers should explain to students what the project is about, how they will participate in it, and also how their performance will be assessed. Students will be assessed using a four point scale (Advanced, Proficient, Basic, Novice) that is consistent with our district rubric. The work would be assessed in language arts, math, and science. See their example for more information.
Out of This World! A third grade science webquest. (http://www.memphis-schools.k12.tn.us/admin/tlapages/wright-quest.htm)
After analyzing our ISAT results, we found a district wide weakness in the area of space science. This occurs primarily because our current system doesn't offer units of instruction in this area. It is imperative that we provide instruction to allow our students to be successful on the ISAT. For this reason, I would recommend that third grade teachers use this entire webquest in their classrooms. It asks students to choose a planet to explore via internet sites. Additionally, I would have the students research from traditional print resources as well as the internet. The students are directed to get key information (name, picture, position in the solar system, etc.) about their planet and then create a Power Point slide show to demonstrate their knowledge. The next step is to create an imaginary planet and describe it in the same way they did their original planet.
Currently our science standards reflect what our teachers are able to teach and assess with the materials they have available. However, the standards and benchmarks have been revised to include areas in which we were lacking. These standards have been used to select the programs our district is piloting in the fall of 2001. Under our new standards, third grade students are expected to know the planets and facts about each.
In addition to science, this webquest incorporates technology, math and language arts benchmarks. This will allow a teacher to be flexible in scheduling the activities. I would anticipate this webquest taking a week of class time, off and on. The students will need to be working in stations in order to allow all students access to the internet.
This webquest includes a rubric that is consistent with the four point scale used in our district. In addition to using the ready made rubric, I would informally assess as the students were working on their task.