Internship: Course Rationale

Overview

The title of the class is fourth grade science and it is taught two days a week for thirty to forty minutes. Practical problems which are addressed with the learning are about analyzing data, making key observations, and practicing the scientific method. There is a distinct range of the characteristics of the learners in the class. Two students in the process of receiving an IEP, multiple ELLs and students who are performing below grade low, and several students who would be considered as high-achieving. The value in which this science class serves towards learning is an emphasis on becoming scientists. Students are encouraged to engage in the scientific process and think as scientists would. The subject matter is organized into multiple experiments pertaining to elements of water. Students will discover through experiments and investigations these elements of water.

Sample Unit

The title of the unit is “water observations”. The central focus is for students to be able make predictions, observation the experiment, and record data based upon their prior knowledge and observations throughout the experiment. This particular unit contains three lessons, but due to the time constraints on the district curriculum the unit was taught in two days. The instructional practice used in the unit is direct instruction. Students are given a brief introduction connecting the experiment with their personal lives. Students are also instructed on the procedures to complete the experiments. Afterwards, the instructional practice turns into a discovery type unit. Assessment is done in several ways throughout the unit as well as at the end. Assessment is done throughout the unit through their recording on the data sheets. Assessment is done at the end of the unit through an exit-slip where students must identify the key concepts they have learned.

Sample Lesson

The title of the lesson is called “surface tension”. The learning target is for students to learn about the surface tension of water. Additionally, students will learn about other properties that can affect the surface tension of water. This learning target relates to the central focus because it requires students to make predictions, observe throughout the experiment, and record their findings or data. The primary learning activity supports the learning target because students are completing an experiment where they must put drops of water on a penny. Students must predict the number of drops that will fit on the penny. Through inquiry, students will realize that “surface tension” causes the beads of water to stick together and form a dome shape. The learning target of the lesson is assessed through their data sheets. Students are required to make predictions, record their observations, and make inferences on what their data is saying. The students are the ones that will come to the conclusion of the key concept of surface tension.

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