Teaching Science in the Elementary School

Course Details

Course Number: EDUC 4102  Section Number: 102

Spring 2011

Location: Off-Campus

Classroom Number: IC Evans Room 29

Days & Times:

Tuesday and Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 2:20 p.m.

Course Attachments

EDUC 4102 Science Methods Syllabus Spring 2011  EDUC4102 Science Syllabus Spring 2011.rtf


Teaching Science as Inquiry, 11th Ed.  ISBN: 0130212849

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Phillip Jeffrey Blacklock   
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Course Objectives

Conceptual Framework Overview

The outcomes for graduates of professional programs are based upon knowledge, skills, and dispositions in the following elements:

  • Learning Environment – Graduates of West College of Education (GWCOE) create challenging, supportive, and learner-centered environments in diverse settings
  • Individual Development - GWCOE demonstrate knowledge of individual differences in growth and development
  • Diverse Learners - GWCOE recognize the value and challenges of individual differences:
  • Reflection - GWCOE engage in individual and group reflection to improve practice.
  • Collaboration, Ethics, Relationships - GWCOE develop positive relationships, use collaborative processes, and behave ethically.
  • Communication - GWCOE communicate effectively both verbally and nonverbally through listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  • Professional Development - GWCOE actively engage in continuous learning and professional development.
  • Strategies and Methods - GWCOE use a variety of instructional strategies aligned with content to actively engage diverse learners.
  • Content Knowledge - GWCOE demonstrate mastery of the content area(s) and remain current in their teaching fields.
  • Planning Process - GWCOE demonstrate effective planning as part of the instructional cycle.
  • Assessment - GWCOE demonstrate formative and summative techniques to plan, modify, and evaluate instruction.

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/units 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

One measure of your success in the course will be determined by your success in demonstrating your knowledge of the skills and tools necessary to be an effective educator. 

As you complete the assignments for this class, you will demonstrate skills from the following five categories:

  • Planning and Preparation- demonstrate knowledge of content and pedagogy; demonstrate knowledge of students; select instructional goals; demonstrate knowledge of resources; design coherent instruction; assess student learning
  • Classroom Environment- establish a culture for learning
  • Instruction- communicate clearly and accurately; use questioning and discussion techniques; engage students in learning; provide feedback to students; demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness
  • Professional Development- Reflect on teaching; show professionalism; contribute to the school and/or
  • Technology Integration- demonstrate the use of technology in the learning/teaching process.

These are specific course requirements which are aligned to the preceding general categories.

Lesson Plan and Reflection

  • 1 teaching lesson plan
  • 1 reflection

Class projects, assignments, etc.(650 points)

  • Science Scope and Sequence
  • Class Teaching Lesson
  • Lesson Presentation Reflection
  • Class Participation (Present & actively participating displaying a professional disposition)
  • Quizzes
  • Final

Other including technology

  • Option: Instructional PowerPoint or other as determined by candidate and professor)
  • Peer Review


  • Mentor feedback
  • Instructor observation

Grading Standards

Lesson Plan and Reflection (130 points)

  • 1 teaching lesson plan (100 points)
  • 1 reflection (30 points)

Class projects, assignments, etc.(650 points)

  • Science Scope and Sequence (150 points)
  • Class Teaching Lesson (140 points)
  • Lesson Presentation Reflection (30 points)
  • Class Participation (150 points) (Present & actively participating displaying a professional disposition)
  • Quizzes (80 points)
  • Final (100 points)

Other including technology(120 points)

  • Option: Instructional PowerPoint or other as determined by candidate and professor (70 points)
  • Peer Review (50 points) 

Internship (100 points)

  • Mentor feedback (10 points)
  • Instructor observation (90 points)

Total Points (1000 points)


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

Submission Format Policy

Most assignments are submitted through a hard copy; however, there are a limited number of assignments turned in through WebCT.  These are specifically identified by the professor during class.

Note: 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.

Late Paper Policy

Note: A quiz or major test missed will be made up with the points from the next assessment of similar point value. There will be no assessment made up and if it is the last quiz of the semester the option is zero points or a 1 page referenced paper on the topic assessed.

There is a ten percent point reduction in assignment grade for each class period an assignment is late.

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.  Three late arrivals to class or internship will constitute one absence. Candidates will receive no reduction for the 1st absence; a reduction of 30 points from the final grade for the 2nd absence; and an additional reduction of 80 points from the final grade for the 3rd absence.  Any absences beyond 3 will demonstrate the candidate’s lack of professional responsibility and may result in the candidate being dropped from the course.  It is the candidate’s responsibility to make up any missed work.  An absence during internship will follow the same criteria and will also be made up on another day that works with your mentor’s schedule.

Other Policies

Professionalism /Disposition

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 Burkburnett Independent School District.

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.

Disability Support

As the faculty of the West College of Education, we are dedicated to helping meet the needs of our students with disabilities and are eager to provide the accommodations to which such students are entitled.  If you have a documented disability and are registered with the Office of Disability, please let your instructor know to expect a letter from that office describing the accommodations to which you are entitled.  If you have a documented disability but are not registered with the Office of Disability, please contact that office immediately to register.

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.