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We believe the main focus of science instruction has shifted from “learning about” to “figuring out.At the anchor of every science unit, students are exploring puzzling phenomena and observable events in their world that lead them to discover relevant scientific ideas. 

In MMUUSD, students are actively developing their science and engineering practices across units. They are not just constructing understanding of core concepts, they are also developing the habits that all scientists use. These science and engineering practices are lifelong skills that endure inside and beyond school.

  • Investigating puzzling questions about our world through Inquiry
  • Modeling to describe the way things work
  • Communicating ideas supported with evidence
  • Engineering to design solutions to problems

This way of teaching science enables students to:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of science beyond memorizing facts, 
  • Connect science ideas to their everyday life and interests
  • Experience engineering as they plan and test their solutions to problems 
     

Big Science Questions Explored in Grade 1

Organisms: Parents, Offspring, & Traits
(Life Science)

  • How do offspring look similar and different than their parents?
  • How do parent organisms care for their offspring?
  • How can humans mimic nature when designing solutions to problems?
     

Patterns in the Day and Night Sky
(Earth & Space Science)

  • How do the sun, moon, and stars look different across a day?
  • What are patterns we can observe in the sky about sunlight and moonlight?
     

Investigating Sound & Light
(Physical Science)

  • How is sound made? How might we see the effects of sound?
  • How does light interact with various objects?
  • How can we see an object in the dark?
  • How can we solve communication challenges using light?
     

Helping your student learn outside of school:

  • Look for everyday opportunities to have your child to ask questions about their world.
  • Help your child make connections between what they are learning in school and everyday life.
  • Point out where you are curious about science in your everyday life.
  • When your child asks a puzzling question, start by responding “what could we do to figure out more about that?”
  • Praise your child when they make an effort and share in the excitement when they solve a problem or understand something for the first time.
  • Read more about supporting your child’s inner-scientist here
     

Questions you can ask your student:

  • What do you notice? What do you wonder?
  • How do you think that works? Why do you think that?
  • How is that idea like something else you know about?
     

Links to MMUUSD Parent Resources: 

Looking back
These ideas are built upon...

How These Ideas Grow
Across the Grades

Looking Forward 
These ideas are next explored

Thinking about how baby animals look like one or both parents Organisms:
Parents, Offspring, & Traits
In Grade 3 students analyze advantages traits
can have and which parent they came from
Observations of how dark it is in the afternoon in the winter Patterns in the
 Day and Night Sky
In Grade 5 students develop models for the movement of the
sun, earth, and moon
Playing with shadows and musical instruments Investigating Sound & Light In Grade 4 students investigate how waves can be
used when developing technologies