Electricity, A Better Understanding

4th Grade 

This particular unit will focus only on one component of the physical science content covered in fourth grade. The basis of this unit will be electricity and the misconceptions students have regarding it. The unit was designed using the New York State Core Curriculum, as well as National Standards. The topic was selected after analyzing previous New York State Assessments from an inner city school setting. 

After analyzing the three components of the summative assessment and the data collected, it was found that questions as well as tasks regarding electricity hindered the students’ success. Action research was conducted based on current success of the topic, materials being used and previous knowledge. The vision was set, identifying exactly what it was that they must know in order to succeed on this summative assessment (NYS) as well as conceptual grasp the concept pertaing to their own lives. Previous research was sought out for guidance in regards to instructional technique, assembly of the unit, content, as well as the overall approach and delivery.

Key Components to the unit, "Misconceptions of Electricity"

-Assess current knowledge of the subject  

-2 month duration of instruction based on science schedule time in this specific setting

-Fifteen lessons which include laboratory experiments and practicals using materials

-A continuum of formative assessments

-Two summative assessments (not including the NYS Assessment)

The fourth grade science program emphasizes a hands-on and minds-on approach to learning. This allows students to learn effectively when they are engaged in discovering their own learning. The inquiry process gives students an opportunity to work independently as well as in collaborative situations.

The goal is not just to teach science content, but to make that direct personal connection to the student’s life. When doing this, they develop positive attitudes towards the subject matter as well as oneself while developing problem solving skills. It is necessary to allow a student’s curiosity to be the vehicle that drives them to discovering the natural world around them by utilizing lab materials, common objects, and their own living environments.



Student's Goals

-Develop explanations of electricity in a continuing relative process

-Ask "why" to establish connections

-Observe and record observations 

-Develop relationships/connections among observations

-Use conventional and invented methods to test explanations

-Interpret organized observations and simple patterns, sequence, and relationships

-Students will state their findings orally and in writing based on the data collected






                                                                                        Created By Nicholas J. Robson

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