Elementary Science 3-5
The achievement of scientific literacy for all students is the goal of the Cranford Public Schools’ science program. All students engage in science experiences that promote the ability to ask, find, or determine answers to questions derived from natural curiosity about everyday things and occurrences. Through problem solving, decision making, and critical thinking, students gain the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes necessary for that literacy.
The program focuses on the four major strands of science: physical, life, earth, and health. These strands are vertically articulated throughout the grade levels to help students build upon concepts and processes previously learned. Further embedded in the program are the belief and practice that students must experience science and scientific processes, such as planning, predicting, observing, classifying, measuring, comparing, interpreting, analyzing, and communicating their ideas. Students explore the scientific process through the scientific method and the experience of conducting experiments and investigations. The premise being that science is experienced as an active process in which inquiry is central to learning and in which students engage in observation, inference, and experimentation on an ongoing basis, rather than as an isolated a process. This experience is enhanced by providing a strong contextual background to the experiments, complete with appropriate content delivered in a multimedia fashion through the use of textbooks, equipment kits, videos, and DVD’s, CD-ROMS, interactive web sites, graphic organizers, transparencies, and timelines.
In keeping with a focus on context, science is presented in connection to other subject disciplines and in an authentic environment. Research shows that it is beneficial to utilize authentic pieces of literature to integrate science and literacy instruction. Students will be led to examine the world around them and to come to understand how science is an active part of that world, including the prevalence of scientific careers that will be open to them in the future.
It is our belief that as students explore, discover, and come to understand science fully, it becomes for them an exciting and engaging subject area relevant to all areas of their lives.