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simplegirl
simplegirl asks:
Q:

My daughter is in public school first grade and science is not being taught.  Is that typical?

In Topics: Helping my child with school work and home work, Helping my child with science
> 60 days ago

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Expert

BarbK
Sep 28, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Most public schools have a science curriculum for all grade levels.  I would set up a conference with the teacher to answer the question.  Answers could vary from not having enough time to teach science, to not having supplies to do the experiments, to not sure what or how to teach it.  

If science is not being taught, ask if you can help make that happen for the class.  Education.com has several lesson/activities that are appropriate for this age level.  If you are able and game, offer to volunteer in your daughter's classroom a few times a month and do some of these lessons for the students.  If the teacher needs supplies, organize the parents to get them so the teacher can do experiences.

If for some reason the school does not have a science program for first grade, then do these activities at home.  Make it fun by dressing up in white lab coat (an old white shirt with a pocket would do), gather materials, follow the directions, observe what happens, and then discuss your findings.  It doesn't have to be long involved experiments,.  Through the discussion, you can use science vocabulary and explain scientific theory (in kid friendly terms).

I would also go to your local library and check out nonfiction books on topics that interest your daughter.  The librarian will be able to point you in the right direction.

Anytime you are out and about in the really world, help your daughter make connections about what she has learned to what is happening.  For example, if you had learned about the water cycle, you could make connections to this when you see a rainbow, notice a puddle getting smaller, are out in the rain, etc.

Hope this has given you some ideas.

Barb K
www.lessonpop.com
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Additional Answers (3)

pigtoria
pigtoria writes:
Hi Simplegirl,

I am not certain whether science is part of first grade curriculum.  I only can share whatâs the case at my second graderâs school. My son goes to a public school too.

There are four first grade classes at my sonâs school.  Last year, my son did quite a bit of science in his class including experiment on air resistance (with a parachute), observing the different types of clouds, wind direction, liquid flow rate, matter (liquid, solid, gas), plant growth, and growing a butterfly are the things that come to mind.  They did quite a bit more than what Iâve listed.

However, the other three classes did not do as much.  The only thing I heard that the other classes did was growing butterfly, observing clouds, and plant growth.  I did have an opportunity to ask my sonâs first grade teacher about the science curriculum and she informed me that she does a bit more than most teacher because she feels that science is important.  She also mentioned that the science curriculum at first grade is very minimal.

If you want to supplement science into your childâs learning, you can try doing some simple but really fun science fair project for elementary kids.  These projects are very similar to the ones my sonâs first grader teacher used.  Check out the link below.
 
Hope this helps!

Vicki
> 60 days ago

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chemteacher
chemteacher writes:
My children had a similar experience in their school. I volunteered to set up and run a once a week science program for the students. I found other Mom's (I was a stay at home at the time), and we talked to the teacher to find out what else was going on in the classroom. We found science experiments that fit (they read a story about wind and rain, and we did a thing about vortexes using a glass jar and Monopoly pieces), then they talked about colors of the rainbow (we did a chromatography experiment where they separated the colors of ink using coffee filters and water). Each of our lessons took about 30-40 minutes. The teacher let us run the show, but stayed in the room (she got her paperwork done, so she loved the break). It was such a hit, we recruited more parents and expanded it to higher grades. We even found an engineer to come in to the 4th graders and explain about gears. The key was to start small, keep the experiments simple for us, but have enough info to keep the students interested. Also, the teacher's started using some of the vocab words on spelling tests, and we found a way to incorporate basic math (word problems) based on the experiment of the week. If the lack of science bothers you, try it. You may get more out of the experience than the students do!
> 60 days ago

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Karenmom
Karenmom writes:
To my experience, they do not have a Science book in 1st grade, but Science is covered.  There were class projects and there is a Science center in the class room.  Weather is taught along with tornadoes, volcanoes, rain, etc.  Also, animals is covered, owls, bats, life cycles of sunflowers, birds, etc.  It is an age appropriate approach to beginning Science.  Keep in your mind your first grader, may be doing Science, but just don't know that it is Science, speak with your teacher, I think you'll find that Science is being covered.  Look on this site and you will find activities and worksheets that you can cover with your child in 1st grade science.
> 60 days ago

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