I am currently teaching at East Rock Global Magnet School. I am a certified Special Education teacher. For the past five years, I have taught in a co-teaching fifth grade classroom. We collaborate on all subjects. My partner and I share the content areas of study. The Science curriculum has been revised to meet the needs of testing standards. We are currently gearing lessons to the inquiry-based method of learning. Science is an area that children need more knowledge of and exposure to. Using all modalities of learning helps children gain and retain knowledge. Hands-on exposure is something they’ll remember throughout their school years. Mathematics is a critical piece to learning as well as language arts.
The New Haven School District and the State of Connecticut have implemented standards that measure a student’s performance. Teaching methodologies have been challenged. What once was the ideal method has become almost obsolete. All students are required to take the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT). There are standards and objectives that must be covered and taught in the fifth grade. Unfortunately, what has occurred quite frequently, we score below State Standards. Students need the opportunity of being exposed to different places, people and many facets of learning. Knowledge of the world around them will minimize the gaps of learning and application.
My unit will focus on the aquatic environment and the fisheries. The unit will address ‘Fishing Advisories’ that are in place to protect individual fish species. The various fishing methods and aquaculture will be explored. The children will research and design experiments dealing with the current health risks that Mercury presents to the health of both fish and humans. They will have a long term project cultivating and growing sea animals. Field trips will also be a part of their study and research. This year my class visited the Northeastern Fisheries Science Center in Milford, CT. The research projects and general information were quite impressive. Next year, I will take my class there on a field trip. I will also modify the information acquired during our seminar to teach to my students.
During our culminating activity, our students will present with confidence their findings to their parents during our “What Will Happen If We Don’t Start Preserving Planet Earth?” They will present their projects as well as address possible solutions to the problem they investigated.
The following standards will be covered: