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Science - 5th Grade
Standard 1 Objective 3
These activities will help students learn how to read and comprehend science text.
For any science topic to be taught, accomplished teachers have acquired pedagogical content knowledge. They know the science content at a deeper level than basic understanding of the standards and objectives. For example, students learn that electricity and magnetism share some common features (e.g., attraction and repulsion), whereas teachers should know that electricity and magnetism are both part of the same force, called electromagnetism. One important feature of electromagnetism is that when wires and magnets move relative to each other, this motion causes electricity to flow in the wires. High voltage electricity is produced in power stations in exactly this way.
Perhaps one of the biggest ideas of science is that all of science works together to explain reality. Deep pedagogical content knowledge also includes an ability to recognize the big ideas associated with a topic, and to make meaningful connections across different topics and fields of science. The more students experience the connections in science, the greater the likelihood that they will understand, remember, and enjoy what they have been taught.
Teachers also understand the difficulties that students experience in mastering the science content, and they use a variety of tools to effectively explain the content in ways that match the needs of different students. This pedagogical content knowledge also includes skills in increasing students abilities to learn when they read science texts. At a basic level, this generally involves assigning literacy strategies for students to use before, during, and/or after they read. At a more advanced level, this involves fostering metacognition, helping students to become aware of what is going in their minds as they read and try to make sense of a text. Successful readers monitor their understanding, become aware of difficulties they may be having, and seamlessly apply literacy strategies to comprehend what they are reading.
1. Understand Science Concepts and Principles
Invitation to Learn
What should you know when you have symptoms of a disease? What should a doctor know about your symptoms?
Heller, J.I. Daehler, K.R., Shinohara, M., & Kaskowitz, S.R. (April 20, 2004). Fostering pedagogical content knowledge about electrical circuits through case-based professional development. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research on Science Teaching, from http://www.wested.org/cs/we/print/docs/sc/narst.html
Pedagogical content knowledge refers to understanding what makes the learning of specific topics difficult to learn, and knowledge about ways to make that subject matter comprehensible to learners. This paper focuses on teachers knowledge of electrical circuits.
Craig, M.T., & Yore, L.D. (1992). Middle school students metacognitive knowledge about science reading and science text: An interview study. ERIC Source (ED356135 ). Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov
The simplest definition of metacognition is thinking about thinking, and being aware of ones own thinking processes. Many reading strategies ultimately aim at fostering metacognition. Skillful readers effectively utilize metacognition, monitoring and improving their understanding as they read.