Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Curriculum Overview for Science Grades 1-12

The following is a draft of the Science Curriculum Overview narrative. The purpose of this document is to supply a brief but comprehensive statement of an articulated K-12 (vertical) science education narrative for all interested stakeholders. A final version of this narrative will be due in the early part of 2009.

For the primary grades, a longer introduction to each area of science was implemented, beginning in first grade and culminating in fifth grade. Each new school year will begin by reviewing the previous grade’s end-of-year content and expanding and enhancing the prior year’s knowledge. This format enables each student to benefit from a sixth month period of intensive focus on each of the three science content areas: earth science, physical science, and life science. The fifth grade curriculum will culminate with earth science, thereby best preparing students for their sixth grade coursework.

The curriculum vision for MYP IB science entails a scaffolding approach, complimenting students’ scientific and mathematical skills which will advance each year. Based upon their fifth grade preparation, the sixth grade course will focus on Earth science to enhance their previous knowledge. The seventh grade will focus exclusively on Life sciences. The eighth grade will focus on Physical science and incorporate their Algebra 1 skills in solving complex formulas and problems.

The ninth grade focus area of Environmental science, will present new challenges and experiences in exploring global environmental issues. These global concerns will challenge students to utilize their ever-evolving critical thinking skills. The tenth grade focus of Biology will equip students with necessary scientific inquiry skills needed for the IB Diploma program. Eleventh grade students will focus on Chemistry, in either an IB or college-prep curriculum. The twelfth grade year will allow students to explore, in-depth, a content area of particular interest to them. These choices include: physics, robotics or forensic science.

picture: A rare conjunction of the cresent moon and the planets Jupiter (top) and Venus (bottom) are just to the west of the Hoboken rail station- photo taken from Pier A at twilight on December 1, 2008.

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