The science program is a process inquiry-based program. Students have ample opportunities for hands-on learning preceding abstract lessons. The basic processes taught are observing, communicating, comparing, organizing, relating, measuring, predicting, and inferring. Integrated processes taught include controlling variables, interpreting data, formulating hypotheses, defining operations, and experimenting.
Grade Level Skills
First grade students explore the idea of change over time, beginning the year with a study on weather and seasons. Collecting and analyzing weather data for changes and patterns ignites student thinking regarding the changes they observe around them. Students will use the processes of exploring, observing, measuring, describing, and classifying through a unit on the properties of solids and liquids. Students also look at how living things have basic needs, which can change over time, and how these needs are provided through habitats.
Second grade students study the overarching theme of inquiry as patterns of change. Students use the process skills of observing, describing, recording and communicating changes in structure, patterns, and behavior of insects. Students compare different insect structures and behaviors in order to reach generalizations related to structures and lifestyles of insects and animals. Students also look at the patterns in the sky by studying our earth, moon, and sun and identifying patterns through observations and analysis. Through inquiring about patterns of change, students are exposed to the concepts of light and sound and how these properties produce patterns. In all units of study, students identify observations that support an inference and describe and use methods for collecting, organizing, and displaying data.
Third grade students study the theme of systems and relationships, asking the over-riding question, “How do parts of a system work together?” Students start with an introduction to ecosystems, focusing on prairie
ecosystems and the roles of organisms within that system. Students also study earth’s neighbors in space by observing planets and comparing them to our earth. Measurement concepts continue to be introduced and used. In addition, students analyze data and use inquiry to create investigations with pushes and pulls as an introduction to force and motion and simple machines.
Fourth grade students extend their understanding of systems and change by investigating change and consistency, and asking whether changes are predictable. Students use inquiry to analyze whether things change in steady, repetitive, or irregular ways – or sometimes in more than one way at the same time. Students conduct investigations to determine what factors change the earth’s features by looking at our land and water. Students also study changes and consistencies in life science through diverse ecosystems. In addition, students observe, measure force of attraction, test for conductivity and record observations in electrical interactions of matter. Measurement concepts are refined and in all units, students observe, organize, compare, and record data using measurements in both the metric and standard systems.
Fifth grade students continue to refine their understanding of the big ideas/ themes by investigating systems and interactions. By observing microorganisms in our environment, students generate questions about the roles
of microorganisms within ecosystems and how they are impacted, both positively and negatively, by the systems in which they live. Students study human body systems, how these systems work together influencing one another, and also investigate factors that may influence these systems. In addition, students investigate variables associated with force and motion
and the relationship between them. Students will extend their knowledge gained from previous study of forces as pushes and pulls by describing/ demonstrating the causal relationship and variability of forces in terms of actions/reactions and relationships to systems.
The focus of health education is to promote healthy life styles and guide students toward optimal health as they mature. We believe that promoting health and wellness in our classrooms are foundation for students to achieve success, as defined by the Barrington 220 Social - Emotional Learning Team: “A successful Barrington 220 student demonstrates strong character, independence and resiliency, thinks critically and creatively, solves problems and collaborates effectively
The health curriculum goals for students include:
- To apply basic health understanding to prevent disease and stay healthy.
- To analyze the positive and negative influences that affect health practices and behavior.
- To evaluate information about products and services to achieve health literacy.
- To use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid health risks.
- To apply decision making skills to enhance health and to establish personal health goals.
- To adopt and maintain healthy behaviors.
- To advocate for personal, family, and community health.