Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2

by Bernard J. Nebel Ph.D.

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This is The most comprehensive science curriculum for beginning learners that you will find anywhere

* Here are 41 lesson plans that cover all major areas of science.

* Lessons are laid out as stepping stones that build knowledge and understanding logically and systematically.

* Child-centered, hands-on activities at the core of all lessons bring children to observe, think, and reason.

* Interest is maintained and learning is solidified by constantly connecting lessons with children's real-world experience

* Skills of inquiry become habits of mind as they are used throughout.

* Lessons integrate reading, writing, geography, and other subjects.

* Standards, including developing a broader, supportive community of science learners come about as natural by-products of learning science in an organized way.

Particular background or experience is not required. Instructions include guiding students to question, observe, think, interpret, and draw rational conclusions in addition to performing the activity. Teachers can learn along with their students and be exceptional role models in doing so. Need for special materials is minimized. Personal, on line, support is available free of charge (see front matter).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781432706104
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 11/19/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 535,671
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.00(d)

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Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had the privilege of field-testing Dr. Nebel's manuscript with my two children. What a rewarding and eye-opening experience! As a home-school parent, I always thought that science would be a challenge to teach but it wasn't until I began working through Dr. Nebel's lessons that I realized my own basic scientific understanding was seriously flawed and had significant gaps. Even with a college degree, I had a great deal to learn in the field of science before teaching it to someone else. Fortunately, Dr. Nebel's lessons are like a start-from-scratch formula that lays down a solid scientific foundation and then builds on that through associations and interconnections. There wasn't a page in this information-packed compilation where I didn't learn something new, brilliant, and utterly amazing. From the very first chapter the pieces of the scientific puzzle began fitting together for me and the gaps starting filling in. By utilizing this comprehensive groundwork I gained a newfound confidence enabling me to pass the information on to my children. Plus, I discovered that I really love science! But for all of Dr Nebel's brilliance, wisdom, and originality, his most amazing gift is that he hasn't lost touch with the inquisitive nature of a small child. His examples and experiments captivate the young mind, seamlessly planting knowledge in the pupil's brain without struggle. And his lessons really work. People are more than impressed by my children's grasp of science... they're blown away by it!
J_Fabrizi More than 1 year ago
I am homeschooling two children in the k-2 age group. I am also trained as a scientist and science teacher and I think that this book stands head and shoulders above other available science curricula and textbooks. The program is a thorough and systematic coverage of the science that one ought to learn to be considered a scientifically-literate citizen. The program is designed to teach scientific concepts incrementally, continually building on previous concepts. Writing and critical thinking skills are also developed. Misconceptions abound in most peoples' scientific understanding. Dr. Nebel anticipates and addresses several of the possible misconceptions that may arise in the mind of young (and old) students. There are 41 lesson plans, many of which may be split into 2 or more parts. Each lesson can naturally be expounded throughout the rest of the week, truly integrating scientific understanding into everyday life. Each detailed lesson is well organized in its presentation. Dr. Nebel writes and teaches science in such a manner that is intellectually stimulating yet easily accessible. He neither condescends the reader nor dumbs down the material. I suggest that this curriculum be used to over a span of 2 or 3 years if you are using it with students in the intended age group (Kindergarten to grade 2). I would also recommend this program for an older child who does not have a strong background in science, in which case one year may suffice to cover all of the topics. (Please note, Dr. Nebel is publishing a sequel to this book, addressed to students in grades 3 to 5.) Without a doubt this is a respectable and rigorous science program, but I think the most important selling feature is that the kids love it. In each lesson we've covered so far my kids have literally squealed with glee when they reached the a-ha moment! Science is quickly becoming everyone's favourite topic in our home thanks to Dr. Nebel. Enjoy!
ACeballos More than 1 year ago
This is absolutely the best value for a science curriculum. It's exactly what I was looking for. It challenges my children to think and discuss our observations. It also has variety in 4 threads that build on one another. We have access to the Professor and the support of a yahoo group, FB, Pinterest, and now website. We are loving it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Learning science in kindergarten is a privilege that most public school students do not enjoy. Teachers have enough to do teaching them to read and do math and stand in line and answer to bells and wait their turn to speak and print their names properly and wait for paste and line up their crayons in a row. Ironically, the kids probably get more science education in preschool when they do themed unit weeks like weather week or ocean week than they do in the early elementary grades. That's the kind of science little kids get, when they do get it: topical stuff. Let's learn about fish. Let's learn about plants. We'll learn about fish this week and plants next week, but we're not going to learn about what connects fish to plants or how the sun is connected to both fish and plants, because little kids don't typically get trusted with that kind of information. They aren't asked to see the big picture, draw lines between their thematic units, understand science as a whole, as a system of interconnected disciplines. A privileged first-grader who's getting a bigger-than-average helping of science is going to know the names of the planets and how bees make honey and that their eyes allow them to see, but that's where it stops. I can't honestly say that I've ever seen a whole-world approach to teaching science to young children until I saw Dr. Nebel's books. His first book was a how-to manual addressing all aspects of elementary education, not just science. As an elementary level homeschool curriculum, it doesn't provide a box of workbooks, but teaches a philosophy of teaching and learning. It's called 'Nebel's Elementary Education: Creating a Tapestry of Learning.' Here's a summary, from the web site: ***This single book '8 1/2 x 11, 450 pages' contains approaches and actual subject matter for delivering the entirety of a superior K-5 education. It describes not only WHAT to teach, but also HOW to teach it using hundreds of hands-on activities, and much more. Most distinctive is the organization. Typical elementary curricula consist of an array of stand-alone units, which kids readily forget, confuse, and from which they never gain a full picture. In sharp contrast, Nebel lays out each subject 'K-5' as a seamless continuum of lessons integrating different subjects along the way. Simultaneously, Nebel shows you how to guide your children along this pathway in a way that builds logically and systematically toward a broad, comprehensive, holistic understanding. The result is achievement of knowledge, skills, understanding, and problem-solving ability that will provide a solid foundation for all further learning. The book is in total harmony with modern research concerning the most effective and efficient teaching techniques that bring children to become joyful, self-motivated learners. In short, this book may be considered a breakthrough in translating theory-what leads to the most effective and efficient learning-into a practical curriculum addressing all subjects.*** His new book focuses just on science, and is called Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding: A Science Curriculum for K-2. I can't think of a reason why five-year-olds cannot begin to learn and understand science in context, just like they can start learning history at this age, not that they get that in public school either. Homeschoolers have a special opportunity to start their children on the right path in science education, and Dr. Nebel can help.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding is a newly released collection of 41 thorough, brilliantly organized, and fascinating lesson plans, covering scientific ideas appropriate for grades K-2. It is suitable for classrooms, learning co-ops, homeschooling, and more. I am using it as a tool in homeschooling my 7 year old twin daughters. I think this book is best described to homeschoolers as a living book about how to teach science. Dr. Nebel 'who has a long career in teaching college level environmental science' is clearly passionate about his subject - science is his life's work. It seems that the goal of this curriculum is not just to have the child read a book and pass a test, but to encourage people to become scientists - thinkers who actually use scientific knowledge in their own lives. Dr. Nebel's approach is systematic, yet flexible. He compares science to math - Just as you would generally introduce addition before calculus, BFSU introduces foundational ideas first. This allows the child 'and the parent, at least in my case!' to develop a good appreciation for and understanding of the terminology involved, as well as encouraging them to relate to how the concept fits into the real world. At the same time, there is flexibility built in to the lesson plans. The 41 lessons are divided into 4 different threads: * The Nature of Matter * Life Science * Physical Science * Earth and Space Science. Each thread is carefully developed in a logical manner, with every lesson building on the foundation laid by the ones that came before. Unlike many homeschool science curricula, however, with BFSU you do not concentrate on a single thread at a time, but rather you can interweave the threads as appropriate. This way of organizing gives you flexibility within a framework. At any given time you can select a thread to work on based on student interests, weather or seasonal conditions, etc. At the same time, however, lesson notes alert you if there are any topics from other threads that should be completed before attempting the new lesson. This ensures that you have maximum flexibility to select your lessons, while also ensuring that you and your children will have the necessary background experience to fully understand and relate to each new lesson. The book begins with two introductory chapters that explore in depth the educational approach that BFSU uses. * Chapter 1: Teaching According to How Children Learn * Chapter 2: Guiding Students to Think These chapters highlight the deficiencies of the 'teach, test, forget' approach. They also explore the limitations of the purely 'hands on' approach that provides many activities to perform, yet does not adequately convey how or why the concepts actually work. Instead, BFSU argues that it is better for long term understanding and retention if we provide context for what is being learned, if we build on what was learned previously, if we encourage reflection on what we do or do not know, 'encouraging asking questions to fill in the gaps', and if we connect the learning to real life. These chapters also explore how to find joy in learning, and how to encourage self-motivated learning, as well as how to use guided questioning and discussion as tools to assist children in constructing a firm understanding of the concepts introduced. After that, the 41 lessons are presented. Each lesson has details about: * exactly what concepts the lesson addresses * how much time the activities and discussions will likely entail * if there is any required background from other threads * materials needed * 'teachable moments'- suggestions for introducing the lesson in a natural way that sparks the child's interest * methods and procedures for conducting the lesson * questions/discussion/activities for reviewing, reinforcing, expanding, and assessing the learning * notes to parents on integrating each lesson's concepts into everyday life. * connections