Hi all, I wanted to repost about the Grade 5 Science MSP Practice Kit. My post from last year is below. I have received lots of good feedback from multiple schools, districts, and teachers regarding this resource so please give it a look and share.
Tom Hathorn of the Bethel School District (here in Washington state) has created a brilliant resource for 5th grade teachers: the 5th Grade Science MSP Practice Kit. This toolkit assembles and modifies many science assessment resources from OSPI into an organized and useable form that pushes beyond “drill and kill” test prep.
Clarification: The intent of this toolkit is NOT to promote abandoning authentic science instruction for test prep. The purpose of the kit is to provide:
- 5th grade students some familiarity with a scenario-based test structure
- a structure for teachers to engage students with science assessment items
- students with an opportunity to talk about their science ideas and to revise their thinking
- teachers and students with formative opportunities focused on science standards
The 5th Grade Science MSP toolkit contains:
- An overview of the 5th grade Science MSP
- A lesson structure for students to take a set of test items and then engage in discourse and revised thinking
- Teacher tracking tools and suggested calendars for planning
- Student-friendly scoring rubrics and student work samples- These are intentionally NOT identical to the OSPI rubrics. For example- the Writing a Conclusion rubric is based on Claims, Evidence, and Reasoning rather than Conclusive Statement, High/Low Data, and Explanatory Language.
- Survey tools for checking student confidence during the course of the practice
Download a copy of the MSP Practice Kit Gr 5 (2012) and feel free to share. I’m hoping this will be a useful tool for several districts, schools, and teachers. Please SHARE BACK any improvements, modification, etc that you make to these materials.
Next week I will start teaching K-8 Science Methods courses to three different groups of preservice teachers. In my state, this is typically the ONE science education related course that elementary educators receive. It always feels like a huge responsibility… that in just a matter of hours over the couse of 10 weeks I am charged with conveying all of the necessary habits of mind, pedagogy, knowledge and beliefs necessary to be a successful teacher of elementary science.
So on that note, I’m asking all of you to help me out. What would you like to share with this group of emerging elementary teachers regarding science education? Perhaps a bit of advice, a quote, a tip, or a word of encouragement. What do you wish someone would have shared with you? Please leave some thoughts in the comments and I will pass it on. Thanks.
Doug Haller posted a piece on SmartBlog on Education titled Early Childhood STEM: Less Talk More Action. The post is well written and makes some important points about the overwhelming focus on literacy and mathematics in K-5 education… a focus that tends to marginalize the importance of science (not to mention social studies, health, and the arts.) Check out the post HERE.
STEM-IT is a math science partnership project in Washington state involving ESD 123, ESD 189, and multiple partners. A requirement of the grant is to provide developed resources online. The STEM-IT site currently contains resources for K-5 STEM education that connect STEM literacy, science standards, English/Language Arts standards, and Design Challenges with some common elementary science instructional materials.
The site contains tools for providing professional development on the STEM-IT resources.
The Design Challenges include:
Design Process Graphic 2011 Link to Design Process Graphic
Saving Gaveo City from Flash Flooding Link to STEM It 2012 Land and Water Design Challenge
Electric Circuits STEM Enhancement Link to Electric Circuits STEM Enhancement
Ecosystems STEM Design Challenge Link to Ecosystems STEM Design Challenge
Vandalism at _________Elementary Link to Rocks and Minerals STEM Enhancement
Another great set of STEM materials to add to your bookmarks.
This month the various NSTA journals will be sharing an excellent article by Philip Bell (et al) titled- Exploring the Science Framework: Engaging learners in scientific practices related to obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.
This article provides some much needed clarity on the 8th practice of science and engineering- obtaining, evaluating, and communication information. You will find examples of what this practice looks like when engaged in by students in pre-K, grade 5, middle school, and high school life science. This article could be very useful for any teacher seeking depth of understanding of the new practices or district administrators, professional development providers and informal science providers who support teachers. Click HERE to download the article. This article could also be used to make some connections with Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts.
This is a post for Washington state teachers only: OSPI just posted new released items for the Science MSP at grades 5 and 8. These are the first actual released items for these assessment- previous Science MSP scenarios and items were samples, not actual released items. You will find two systems scenarios in the grade 5 set and one inquiry scenario in grade 8.
OSPI and Washington State LASER received a grant to create supplemental lessons to teach Environmental & Sustainability standards within some common elementary science instructional materials. Click HERE to view the page on WA State LASER’s site. The lessons are linked to the following kits:
New Plants (FOSS)
Structures of Life (FOSS)
Land and Water (STC)
Native American Story Connections- You will find video, audio, and a lesson plan
FOSS science kits are a core elementary science material for many districts in Washington state. Several resources have recently been developed that help teachers to use the kits to more effectively teach our Washington Science EALRs. These resources have tended to stay regional but I know that all of the creators of these tools and resources very much want them to be shared and used.
ESD 114 has developed new curriculum guides for each FOSS kit they support. The guides provide a week by week scope and sequence that identifies WA Science Standards and Math CCSS; Focus Questions/PE tasks; and Critical Assessments/Hinge Questions.
You will also find curriculum resources such as learning progressions, rubrics, supplemental assessments, rubrics and other support links.
Click HERE to see the kits that ESD 114 supports.
You will also find a video describing the Science Kit Resources.
Northwest ESD has posted resources from their Assessing with Learning Progressions in Science (ALPS). This project generated:
- Instructional tools for a variety of FOSS and STC kits: these documents provide a learning progression for each kit, plus a variety of student tasks, and resources for checking student understanding across the progression. Click HERE to see an example for the FOSS kit Variables
- Classroom videos of using learning progressions for formative assessment in science
The Science & Math Education Resource Center (SMERC) at ESD 112 has developed a variety of key elementary science resources including:
For some Friday fun heading into Labor Day weekend I thought I would share this teacher-created song/video about variables and controlled experiments- You Know All Your Variables. Could be a nice addition to some elementary science instruction this fall. Enjoy! Thanks to Sue Selle for taking the time to make and share this.
Caine’s Arcade is the incredible story of a 9 year old boy who designs and builds an arcade using cardboard boxes and other “found” materials. The site is pretty amazing and you can see the touching short film about Caine (embedded below). The film has so many connections to STEM, social media, and just humanity in general… You can also donate to the Caine’s Arcade Scholarship fund if you choose as well as learn about the Cardboard Challenge. A great example for elementary students of the technological design process (engineering) in action. Highly recommended!