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 Kindergarten
Organisms: Their Needs & Their Habitats (Life Science)
- What do plants and animals need to live and grow?
- How do plants and animals change the Earth?
- What impacts do humans have on the environment and how can people reduce their impact?
Weather: Predicting, Patterns, & Preparing (Earth & Space Science)
- What are patterns in our local weather?
- What do weather forecasters do?
- How do people prepare for severe weather?
- What are some effects of sunlight on earth’s surface?
Force & Motion: Pushes & Pulls (Physical Science)
- How does pushing or pulling an object change the speed or direction of its motion?
- How do objects change motion when they touch or collide?
Helping your student learn outside of school:
- Look for everyday opportunities to have your child 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 Parent Resources:
- How has the Focus of Science Education Changed? [Short article]
← Looking back
How These Ideas Grow
Looking Forward →
|Thinking about caring for a pet and what they need||Organisms: Their needs & their Habitats (Life Science)||In Grade 1 students analyze traits passed down from parents to offspring|
|Observations of daily weather conditions||Weather: Predicting, Patterns, & Preparing
(Earth & Space Science)
|In Grade 3 students analyze patterns across national weather trends and global climates|
|How challenging it can be when pushing or pulling something heavy||Force & Motion: Pushes & Pulls
|In Grade 3 students investigate the impact of various forces the motion of an object|