Both our elementary and middle schools use a high-quality Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) curriculum. The NGSS sets the expectations for what students should know and be able to do using a three-dimensional approach: (1) crosscutting concepts, (2) science and engineering practice, and (3) disciplinary core ideas. These three distinct but equally important dimensions work together to help students to build and develop a cohesive understanding of science over time.
Every module in Twig Science is centered around a Module Anchor Phenomenon that drives students learning. To name a few, first-grade students will create their museum of Leafology where they learn how plants are similar and different. Third-grade students investigate the forces of push and pull by designing the ultimate playground, and fourth-grade students learn about what happens to energy when objects collide through building and testing egg racers. As they journey through each module, students work to definite, investigate, and explain a real-world phenomenon relevant to the topic of the module.
Our Science pilot teachers have thoroughly field-tested and deeply evaluated 6 programs
over the past 3 years, searching for the high-quality program that OpenSciEd provides!
OpenSciEd has been designed from the ground up with the intent of guiding students to
become life-long learners of science and to develop critical thinking skills that transcend
the classroom and are applied to their daily lives. OpenSciEd has been evaluated by the EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science and is listed on the NGSS website as a high-quality NGSS designed curriculum. We hope that you will take some time to look into this exciting program.
What is a scientist?... We give the name scientist to the type of man who has felt experiment to be a means guiding him to search out the deep truth of life, to lift a veil from its fascinating secrets, and who, in this pursuit, has felt arising within him a love for the mysteries of nature, so passionate as to annihilate the thought of himself. ~Maria Montessori
During this period in development, students often ask sensorially-based questions when they encounter something in their environment such as "What is it called? or How does it feel or smell?". Students in this age group are encouraged to explore the world around them with their senses. As they continue to develop, students can then move to more abstract concepts such as the parts of a butterfly or different shapes of leaves or how to care for plants. To aid in vocabulary development and to increase their understanding of their world, students are exposed to nomenclature materials such as 3-part cards and informational charts.
Lower Elementary (1-3)
When children move into the lower elementary grades, they begin to ask questions such "How and What if" as they transition from the absorbent mind to the reasoning mind. During this plane of development, children begin to form abstract thoughts and see what may be. This is the beginning of the development of scientific thought. In the lower elementary classrooms, The Five Great Lessons are introduced:
1. First Great Lesson - Coming of the Universe and the Earth
2. Second Great Lesson - Coming of Life
3. Third Great Lesson - Coming of Human Beings
4. Fourth Great Lesson - Communication in Signs
5. Fifth Great Lesson - The Story of Number
These lessons are meant to provide a framework where the child is introduced to an overall concept (e.g., the Universe) and how the smaller ideas (e.g., life cycle of a plant) fit within it. In the lower elementary classrooms, students are exposed to a wide range of scientific concepts covering areas in zoology, botany, physics, meteorology, chemistry and geology.
Upper Elementary (4-6)
In the Montessori classroom, ideas and concepts from The Five Great Lessons are developed further to allow for continued development of scientific reasoning. Students conduct experiments using the scientific method including generating hypotheses, collecting and understanding data, and presenting results to others. As with lower elementary, students are exposed to a wide range of scientific concepts (e.g., plant life cycle) but now more depth is introduced (e.g., the process of photosynthesis).