What do science lessons have to do with English language arts or math? The right answer, as every teacher knows, is: Everything.
To that end, teachers from across the region gathered at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Monday for a Science 21 workshop on how to integrate Common
Core ELA and math standards into the science curriculum.
Drafted in 2010 by a national panel of educators, the Common Core standards challenge teachers to think differently about lesson planning and to integrate literacy and math skills in all subject areas.
“Many of you are already doing this,” said Rick Reuschle, the BOCES’ consultant conducting the workshop.
For example, he said, kindergartners tasting lemons as part of a science lesson on the five senses could also be working toward literacy if they were asked to describe the taste through pictures or words. Those kinds of small tweaks to lesson plans were just what the audience of teachers wanted to hear.
Science 21 is a K-6, hands-on, inquiry-based science curriculum offered through BOCES. In addition to user-friendly teacher manuals, participating instructors receive
materials kits with which classes can conduct activities at each grade level.
“Right now, the concentration is on the ELA and math standards,” said Mark Wick, a science teacher from Haldane. “I am hoping to gain some insight into how they
apply to what I’m doing in the classroom so that I’m on the same page as everyone else.”
Similarly, fourth grade co-teachers from Ossining, Veronica Campos and Eileen Kanganis, said they hoped to leave the workshop with the ability “to be more aware and
purposeful in meeting the Common Core standards.”