Thematic Unit of Study
Grand Canyon University
EED-364 Curriculum, Assessment
And Methods: Science and Mathematics
January 20, 2012
Thematic Unit of Study
During my practicum I observed a 5th grade science class that was studying the solar system. The class began with the teacher asking the students what they know about the solar system. Many students raised their hands and responded to the question when called on. After a few minutes of inquiring the teacher proceeded to show the students the solar system using the Solar System Scope on the Smart board. The classroom environment was filled with anticipation of actually getting to see what the solar system looks like. The students enjoyed seeing and feeling the effect of being in space where they could get a closer look at the planets. It was great to see a lot of enthusiastic and eager students. After showing the students how the solar system looks and asking questions, hands were flying and questions were being answered. Students were curious to know more so the teacher instructed the students to write their questions on a piece of paper and place them in the jar to be used for random discussions throughout the class period. Much of the science lesson had other subjects that were being incorporated into the lesson plan. What I observed was the teacher integrating content areas into the study such as Reading; the students read from their textbook and discussed what was read. Writing was used for completing the worksheets that students worked on the day before and writing in their journals. Math was also integrated because students needed to determine how far the moon and the sun were from the planets and to determine the depth and height during an experiment. Technology, being the most popular by far, was also integrated, students were allowed to use a computer and view the solar system with the website provided by the teacher. (http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/eyes). This website is a must see, it lets you navigate what planet to look at up close, the destination, rate and speed. This even lets you find the current location of the sun. During the week of my observation I notice the teacher interacted with all students and was always encouraging them to participate. I do believe the Science Teaching Standards were used through assessments, observation and participation of students, as well as textbooks, worksheets and videos that were used to their fullest in the science classroom. The students watched a video about the solar system. They learned about the sun, planets and small bodies including comets and asteroids. Students were given a handout that was to be used for labeling the nine planets in order. The students were then to cut and glue the planets creating their own solar system that will be displayed around the classroom. During an experiment, the students attentively observed the teacher while she used flour and a ruler to demonstrate how to measure the height and depth. The students were then asked to interpret what they observed and transfer their data onto a data chart. The teacher made sure the data that was transferred into the chart was accurate.
At the end of the daily assignment the students were given formative assessments with questions taken from the book or worksheets. This allows a student as well as the teacher to see how much information the student can recall. The students are given a certain amount of time to answer the questions. When time is up the teacher then shares the correct answers with the students giving them a chance to correct their paper and see where they answered wrong. These can later be used to review for a test or look back when unsure of what they studied. Students also participate in what the teacher calls “Odd” Day (Open Daily Discussion). This is a great way for the teacher to evaluate the students’ learning and whether or not they are ready for their...