Today I wore the hat of the science teacher. I had a lovely day out of the classroom with fellow elementary science teachers looking at Books! Our district teaches science through the Foss science kits. A hands on approach to science.
Foss has been adding reading materials along the way but we are now looking at what is missing, what links do we need to make to be sure our state standards are addressed and how do we bring science into the language arts workshop. I was looking at where and how do we make links across the curriculum. Our days in the classroom are short and the material we need to cover is wide.
The conversation and the reading materials were wonderful. We sat in a sunny room with a fireplace, snow melting outside and bins and bins of books. What more can a teacher ask for.
As the day came to a close we reviewed our work and talked about where we make connections between our reading workshop and science class. What I loved as we talked was the realization for many teachers around our table that the overlap that helped us connect was writing. When we ask students to write in science we push them to read for more information, we ask them to read what other scientist have written or what they are doing.
Writing is one of the common threads between science and literacy workshop. There are so many processes that we use in science and reading – asking questions, predicting, linking of prior knowledge and more. It is writing that helps us to bring these worlds together.
It was wonderful to end my day putting the hat of the writing teacher back on.
( a good elementary text for teachers wanting to know more about linking writing and science is Writing in Science in Action: Strategies, Tools, and Classroom Video by Betsy Rupp Fulwiler)