Today I’m going to take a bit of time to discuss science teaching that I have been doing. I am now entering my third month of full time student teaching. I am finishing out my time in the science/math fourth grade class before transitioning back to ELA.
For our teacher prep program we are expected to create and teach a unit–no big deal right? Well most of my cohort is teaching social studies. In our placement district, social studies can only be taught at the end of the third marking period and fourth marking period, so they have a bit more time to plan and carry out their units. I however, am in the midst of finishing up my science unit! I spent a good portion of my winter break planning and prepping this unit and boy, is it a relief to be almost finished.
My unit is on weather and climate and my students are rocking this unit! I started out the unit with a pre-test to gain some baseline data about what they did or did not know about weather. I will give the same test–with a few added questions–at the end of the unit (aka THIS FIRDAY!).
Topics we have covered include:
- What is the difference between weather and climate?
- What do climatologists and meteorologists do?
- Where are different storms (tornadoes, hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, and blizzards) found, what are the dangers, and how are they formed?
- Land vs Sea Breezes
- Convection Tube Investigations
- Water Cycle
- Hurricane Katrina
All we have left is a guest visit from a local meteorologist, our mini lesson on Hurricane Katrina, a review day, and the final assessment!
*PAUSE for a hot second*
My students were not alive for Hurricane Katrina. This is insane to me. The were all born a year later.
I am so impressed with my students. This unit had a great deal of group work with our investigations and my students were able to work well with their assigned science groups and with randomized groups. I think that they enjoyed some of the things we worked on, especially the punk stick inquiries where we were able to view the convection process happening, playing catch with the world to show the ratio of water to land that covers Earth, creating a weather forecast and presenting to the class, and finally making clouds out of cotton balls. When we finished our cotton ball cloud activity I had two students who normally don’t participate in class or stay engaged for even half a lesson come up to me and say thank you for planning such a fun activity. I took a look at their clouds after school, and it was some of their best work!
I really hope that when I gain a permanent teaching position I am able to teach a weather unit!
Do you have a favorite unit to teach? It doesn’t have to be science related. Comment below! Sorry this post was basically me rambling…but I hope you enjoyed!