In science we are using a program called Amplify Science. This is a new program that will align with the new standards next year. The new standards are called Next Generation Standards. Here is a little summary of Amplify Science designed their program to meet with the new standards that will be implemented in 2020.
Designed for the Next Generation Science Standards The Next Generation Science Standards raise the bar for science education. Moving the focus of instruction away from memorization and toward active engagement and critical thinking, the standards teach students to think like scientists and engineers and grapple with core scientific principles, in addition to supporting deep learning of concepts that cut across domains. Amplify Science for grades K–5 was built to meet 100 percent of the Next Generation Science Standards and respond to the instructional shifts called for by the National Research Council’s framework for K–12 science education (2012). Each unit of Amplify Science asks students to take on the role of a scientist or engineer in order to investigate 21st-century scientific or engineering problems, engaging them in real-world applications and problem-based deep dives. Students develop models, design solutions, and construct arguments to build on and demonstrate their understanding of science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. Structured around the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Do, Talk, Read, Write, Visualize approach and phenomena-based learning, Amplify Science was designed to provide the compelling content and experiences that will inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and curious citizens.
In first grade, Students take on the role of a certain type of scientist or engineer in each unit as they work to solve that unit’s real-world problem. They are introduced to their role in the first lesson of the unit, and remain in that role for the duration of the unit. Some examples from the program include: • In the Spinning Earth (grade 1) unit, students work as space scientists to figure out an explanation for why it is never the same time of day for a grandmother, who lives in Asia, as it is for her grandson in the United States when she calls him. Students record, organize, and analyze observations of the sun and other objects in the sky as they look for patterns and make sense of the cycle of daytime and nighttime.
Unit 1: Animal and Plant Defenses
Spruce the Sea Turtle lives in an aquarium and will soon be released back into the ocean, where she will survive despite ocean predators. Students play the role of marine scientists. In their role, students apply their understanding of plant and animal defense structures to explain to aquarium visitors how a sea turtle and her offspring can defend themselves from ocean predators when they are released into the wild.
Unit 2: Light and Sound
A puppet show company uses light and sound to depict realistic scenes in puppet shows. Students take on the role of light and sound engineers for a puppet show company as they investigate cause and effect relationships to learn about the nature of light and sound. They apply what they learn to design shadow scenery and sound effects for a puppet show.
Unit 3: Investigating Patterns in the Sky
The sky looks different to Sai and his grandma when they talk on the phone. As sky scientists, students explain why a boy living in a place near them sees different things in the sky than his grandma when he talks to her on the phone. Students record, organize, and analyze observations of the sun and other sky objects as they look for patterns and make sense of the cycle of daytime and nighttime.