Shannon E. Oneto
As a teacher new to the third grade at John C. Daniels School, I have spent much time this year acclimating myself to the curriculum and expectations of this grade level. Besides the obvious challenges of changing grade levels, I am also feeling a big push to incorporate more science into the curriculum, as students will soon be tested in this area on the Connecticut Mastery Test. Science fascinates me, although my background knowledge of specific topics is often limited to teacher guides or library books. It would certainly be empowering, then, to feel well versed on specific science topics I am teaching my students. One major goal of this unit is to do just that. This confidence would help me to push my students to find out more and ask more questions - to really become "scientists."
Science also naturally stimulates curiosity. On any given day, you can see a majority of my third graders choosing texts from the non-fiction and science book bins during independent reading time. They are eager to find out more, share the interesting facts they have just learned, and always have several questions they want addressed immediately. Of course, as a teacher, nothing delights me more than to see my students genuinely interested in learning more about a subject. A second goal, then, is to tap into this curiosity in order to integrate two important topics in our science curriculum: concepts of good nutrition and plants.