Science Matters

Science learning in school, has evolved into such that most schools have the freedom to teach freely in any topics they decide, within the Upper and Lower Blocks topics. While this diversity is welcomed, it has been a headache for most parents who are finding it a headache to source for a suitable tuition class. A decade ago, it is possible that most schools start and end on the same page, but as the years go by, the game has changed.

With this, I need to be flexible and play along. My way is to keep revisiting the topics periodically, coming back to the same topics, but using different activities. Let’s take a look at the breakdown below:

Before:

Lower Block:

  • Diversity, Living & Non-living things
  • Diversity, Materials
  • Systems: Digestive System, Muscular System, Skeletal System
  • Interactions: Magnets
  • Cycles: Life Cycles, 3 States Of Matter
  • Energy: Heat, Light

This is a sample of what a school will typically teach a decade ago. For P3, Diversity, Systems, Interactions. Fast forward to now, a p3 child could be learning 3 States of Matter, Heat, or Light. A p4 child could be learning Digestive System and Magnets. This happens to my p4 nephew. There is no longer a fixed structure but is now a fluid choice of topics, within the Lower/Upper Block. Likewise for Upper Block, which I will not go into details, the concept is similar to what I have shared from above.

Thus, my lessons, for small groups, I will get my students to log in every week in their Science journals,  what their schools are teaching them. I will take a look and decide on the majority of the topics. Usually I will split 2 topics back to back, then reinforce over a few lessons. In this way, at any time, topics are repeatedly covered in a cycle, which is good, as schools always test them back on previous topics.

A Science lesson cannot be without experiments, thus, I have compiled my own Investigative Tasks Books, for both levels. More details can be found in the Science Fun category list. Again, I am a believer of merging fun with learning. Life as a student is stressful enough, why still pile them with boring, routine work? In my lessons, I break the momentum by using experiments to draw out key points for each lesson. Many of the process skills based questions can be drawn from experiments, which gives me the advantage to help me steer my students towards textbook learning, which is realistically needed at the end of the day.

Come nearing exam period, there will be exam sitting conditions with past year exam questions as well. Time management and answering techniques will be enforced during this time.

Below are a few fun shots on what I did with my students. Their work is fantastic and I believe when children take ownership of their work, they will take pride in what they do, and most importantly, willing to learn and study. That’s the result I am looking at.