Last month the 1-3 grammar classes studied the Scientific Method. This sounds like a lofty concept but, in reality, we've all been using the scientific method since we were infants.
(Question) Is this pot really hot? (Hypothesis) I believe my mother is overprotective and a bit paranoid so I do NOT believe this pot is really hot. (Experiment) I touch the pot with my hand. (Collect Data) OUCH! Mommy! (Conclusion) The pot is very hot and I should not touch it anymore.
In class we have used the scientific method to answer several questions.
Can animals survive when frozen in ice?
Are girls stronger than boys?
Are boys smarter than girls?
Is fire made of matter?
Why do bodies float in water?
I am only teaching the children to identify these steps in a formal process. I encourage you let them try an experiment around the house. This is not as time-consuming or costly as you might think. Here is a link that will show normal this is. http://biotech.biology.arizona.edu/Scientific_Method/method_light.html
As a teacher and a parent, I tend to see the television as tool rather than a foe. Guided television watching can be more powerful than any school lesson or textbook. Pressing the pause button on your DVR and discussing what you just saw takes television watching from a passive to a interactive experience. I know because this is the method I use in the classroom as well in my home and my students/children become completely involved in the subject matter.
The Parent Resource Center on the right has a link to two of the shows I like to watch with my children. One is called Nova Science Now, hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He's an African-American astrophysist and a great role-model in a world that is short on African-American scientists in media.
The second is for a show called Mythbusters. It's a great show that confronts urban myths and wives tales with the scientific method to see if they are true. One of my favorite episodes asks; What is the best way to fight off a shark? Again, these are excellent and fun ways to introduce the scientific method in an approachable way.
Don't forget, Science Fair is coming up in April!
-- Mr. Raines