My students need hands-on experience in Life Science with live specimens, shrimp, worms and crayfish, that we can observe and use for inquiry in our classroom.
Kids are naturally drawn to learning that has them doing what scientists do: experiment, observe, gather data, infer, predict, classify, and question. An exciting and natural way to bring science to life is by using live specimens.
Our Florida school is located in a lower and middle class suburban area but pulls 50% of our students from an urban, low income pocket that come from trailer parks and apartments.
We have a 50% poverty rate with 40% of our students at some place in the continuum of learning English as their second language. My fifth grade students are a group of 24 sweet kids: 12 boys and 12 girls. Our racial background is 40% white, 8% black, 8% Indian, 44% Hispanic.
I am hoping to offer my students exciting, hands-on experiences with live specimens as we learn about animal life. The animals I would like to offer my students are crayfish, brine shrimp and night crawlers. I would also need the habitats to house these animals. This living science would give my students a chance to put inquiry into practice by asking questions they have about animal life, variations, habitats, instinct and learned behaviors. These experiences would definitely enhance our heavy curriculum and aid the learning process.
If we want students to embrace the Sciences, we have to give them positive, emotional and active experiences "doing" that Science.
Brian J. Foley, a professor from California State University said, in his research study of hands-on science verses textbook science, "The motivational aspect of the hands-on curriculum may be an important component in increasing the number of students who study science in high school and college." I hope my kids can have the experience of doing Life Science.
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