Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Help integrate science & literacy for Brooklyn 2nd graders!

Thanks to those who contributed to my BloggersChoose Challenge! We've already raised $210 towards my goal of $4000. And one of the proposals I selected has been fully funded, in part through this challenge.

Last weekend, I highlighted a proposal from a teacher whose kindergarten class was left out of the science rotation. I've written about the lack of elementary science education many times before. Students enter sixth grade having had anything from no science at all, to science only in fourth grade (the year science is tested), to science every day throughout elementary school. I realize that students who are behind in reading and math need to focus on those subjects in order to catch up, but I think that neglecting science altogether is criminal and shortsighted. A small amount of hands-on science (say, 3 hours per week) can go a long way, especially when science topics are also integrated into reading lessons. Students who struggle to read might get hooked on a topic like electricity or the water cycle as a result of hands-on projects, increasing their motivation to read in order to find out more.

And that is exactly what this Brooklyn 2nd grade teacher is trying to do:
I teach second grade in Brooklyn, New York. About ninety-five percent of the students receive free lunch, and many are English Language Learners. The majority of our day is devoted to literacy, which means that science is not as much of a focus as I would like it to be. Another problem is that I do not have many of the books and supplies necessary to give my students hands-on experiences.

I am asking you to help my students by generously providing funding to purchase 8 science activity tubs. These tubs include books, hands-on activities and supplies for exploring science in many areas. The activities target standards in the characteristics of living things, anatomy and space science, properties of matter and energy, earth’s properties and weather systems, as well as creative and informative writing.

These science kits will allow me to share the excitement of hands on science with my students. They will also provide books that my students can read during our literacy time. This means that I will be able to integrate what we are learning in science into our learning during the rest of our day.

This proposal has already been partially funded by other donors - please help this teacher help his or her students by contributing to the challenge. If everyone gives just $10, it would only take 41 readers to fully fund this proposal. (Geez, I sound like I'm on one of those public television fundraising drives...).

I'd love to see the "edusphere" (or whatever we're calling ourselves) adopt this challenge, stick buttons up all over our blogs, and send these kids some science supplies! (You can get script for buttons from the bottom of the Challenge page). Let's show the rest of the web what we're capable of!


Blogger Stewart Cauley said...

What a lovely blog. And, as a parent of two kinds in NYC public schools, a delight to read a teacher who _really_ cares about science education.

Yes, the Musuem of the American Indian as a treasure. It's too bad it's not going to be in NY forever. (I think they've already moved the bulk of the collection, which used to be way uptown, to DC.) And, the Skyscraper museum is worth a visit, when you have the time. It's best to go when they've arranged an open house/tour of some noteworthy skyscraper.

Here's a question: Do you know of any great science stores in NYC? Something better than, say, the Scholastic Store or Toy R Us and more wallet friendly than, say, the Evolution Store? A place that might carry, say, a Moh's hardness kit, a big Period Table chart, and an assortment of field microsopes? I've been looking around but other than the gift shops at the Natural History museum, I haven't found a great science store in NYC.

1:58 PM  
Blogger ms. frizzle said...


You're probably better off ordering from one of the science supply companies... Carolina Biological Supply is good, and there are many others.

7:28 PM  
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