Teaching Science in the Elementary School

Course Details

Course Number: 4202  Fall 2012

Days & Times:

The Monday/Wednesday class meets at Cunningham Elementary from 8:00-2:20.

The Tuesday/Thursday class meets at I.C. Evans Elementary from 8:00-2:20.

Course Attachments


Teaching Science as Inquiry  ISBN: ISBN-13:978-0131599499

MSU Faculty Member
Tommye Hutson   
view Profile »

Course Objectives

Course Objectives

  • Learners are able to describe learning and thinking in elementary and middle school science.
  • Learners will be able to develop curriculum and use effective instructional planning skills.
  • Learners will be able to develop appropriate assessment tools to assess students learning.
  • Learners will be able to use assessment data to design appropriate learning activities.
  • Learners will be able to develop lesson plans that involve students in an active learning environment.
  • Learners will be able to develop and implement effective teaching strategies.
  • Learners will be able to develop lesson plans/units that incorporate national standards in science and technology applications.
  • Learners will be able to develop lesson plans/units that incorporate state standards in science and technology applications.
  • Learners will be able to develop and implement learning environments that utilize various teaching/learning strategies.
  • Learners will be able to develop learning activities that involve the infusion of technology.

Course Expectations


As part of your preparation for becoming a teacher, you will be expected to act in a professional manner.  This includes:

Internship Experience: Throughout your internship experience ask your mentor teacher to give you some constructive feedback to lessons taught and/or planned. Use this information to make changes in the remaining lessons. Always conduct yourself in a professional manner. Any missed field experience days will be made up on a different day of the week and will be coordinated with the mentor teacher.

Participation: It's not just enough to show up! Be prepared. Participate in class discussions and activities by making meaningful, thoughtful contributions. Be sure you don't monopolize discussions; actively include other class members. You must read all readings when assigned.

Attitude: Demonstrate the following dispositions essential for learning: 

  • curiosity (ask questions, look for additional information, probe, reflect); 
  • flexibility (take alternate points of view, venture new ideas; be open-minded and playful);
  • organization (plan ahead); 
  • patience (take time to reason, be persistent in efforts); 
  • risk-taking (try things beyond current repertoire);
  • care/passion (invest in ideas/process/product).

Be aware of how your attitude is conveyed to others (body language, conversation, neatness and completeness of work, willingness to assist and contribute, etc.). A sense of humor and ability to be flexible are crucial!

Preparation: Complete all assigned readings before class and be ready to fully participate in class activities. Complete written assignments on time.

Respect: Be considerate of others. Do not talk while others are talking; do not use foul language; behave in an ethical manner. Remember we are guests in the Wichita Falls and Burkburnett Independent School Districts.

Professional Development: Remember that teaching requires a commitment to continual learning.  Demonstrate your eagerness to learn outside of the classroom by reading professional journals and attending professional meetings when possible.

Grading Standards

Grades will be determined by:

Surveys 50 points

       2 Surveys (pre- and post- 25 points each)

Lesson Plans from Field Experience 200 points

       2 Science Lesson Plans (100 points each)

Feedback/Reflection to 2 Colleagues on Lesson Plans 100 Points

2 Feedback/Reflection Pieces (50 points each)

 Reflections on 2 professional articles 100 Points

       2 Reflections (150 word minimum – 50 points each)

 In-class Science Lesson Presentation – 100 points

       Group 5E lesson (100 points)

 Class Participation, Disposition and Attendance – 100 points

      (Present & actively participating displaying a professional disposition)

 Technology Integration – 100 points

  • Instructional power point
  • Internet Streaming Video
  • Other – Must be approved by professor

 Quizzes over assigned readings (9 Chapters) – 100 points

 Final – 150 points

 Total – 1000 points

Final Grade Possibilities

  • 900-1000 Points       A
  • 800-899 Points         B
  • 700-799 Points         C
  • 600-699 Points         D
  • 599 or less Points    F


Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements


Professional teachers are dependable, reliable, and responsible. Therefore, candidates are expected to be on time and in attendance at every class, and to stay for the entire class. Tardiness, leaving early, and absences are considered evidence of lack of dependability, and are taken seriously.

Course grades will be affected by each absence. Daily grades are given for class participation and in-class assignments. Daily work cannot be made up. We will only take responsibility for having handouts and materials at class on the day initially provided. If you have to be absent, be sure you have arranged for a peer to obtain materials for you. Call or email the appropriate professor/mentor teacher if you are going to be late or absent for lecture or internship.

Absences will cost you 20 points per class. Any absences beyond 3 will demonstrate the candidate’s lack of professional responsibility and may result in the candidate being dropped from the course or issued a fitness alert. It is the candidate’s responsibility to make up any missed work.  

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.