Habits of the Mind: Science in the Elementary Grades
From the time a child is born, their desire to explore, question, and investigate introduces them to the skills of science. Their natural curiosity leads them to observe, ask a million questions, try different ways of doing something and seek to learn about the phenomena of the natural and designed world. When this child goes to school in Lexington, a carefully designed curriculum in K-5 provides opportunities for students to pose questions and problems, learn by doing, interact with one another and build their scientific skills and understanding over time.The K-5 Science Units of Inquiry engage students in the science and engineering practices to build understanding of core concepts in all disciplines: life, earth and space, physical science, and technology/engineering. At first, children are guided by the teacher in making careful observations, collecting and analyzing data, and sharing their findings. As children progress through the grades, they eventually become able to ask the question and conduct an experiment independently. A variety of informational text supports each unit. Student conversations, their writing and their reading play an important role in learning science and provide authentic integration opportunities across the content areas. The Lexington elementary science program provides rich hands-on experiences that develop problem-solving skills that will empower students to participate in our increasingly scientific and technological world.