Science Courses at Suffield High School
Science uses instructional strategies and resources to promote thinking about the content, and students are encouraged to critically discuss ideas, seek information and validate explanations.
Concepts: The overall instructional strategy for teaching science skills and concepts is that of learning by doing. Abstract concepts in science are explained in class through the use of diagrams, models, simulations, and a variety of media. Students take notes in class, and participate in class discussions. There are questions asked of the students daily, both written and oral, that ask them to explain concepts and relate behavior to real life phenomena. The teacher models the use of quantitative and qualitative analysis through some problem solving strategies in class, which the students then practice, both in groups and individually.
Labs: In each unit of study, students participate in laboratory investigations at least once a week. The lab investigations are sometimes set procedures in which the students practice the skills of observation, measurement, and data analysis. Many other lab experiences ask the students to design their own safe experiment: formulating hypothesis, controlling variables, and communicating and explaining their results and conclusions. The lab experiences directly relate to the concepts as well as show real life applications of science concepts. Students explore phenomena and collect empirical evidence to support their own explanations
Real Life: Students apply the knowledge they have learned by using science concepts to make decisions about current issues in each unit. They write persuasive essays, conduct collaborative and independent research, and participate in forums and debates. The students are expected to synthesize information from various resources and construct carefully reasoned opinions about the issue There are case studies and simulations that require students to learn and apply their science knowledge and make judgments.
The emphasis in all the instructional activities is to promote higher order thinking skills and making connections. Students learn how to use resources, rather than memorizing many facts, and apply their laboratory experiences to other situations.
Current Textbook: Science Holt
Powerpoint lectures/ transparencies
Supplemental Tutorials (CD-ROMS)
Measuring tools, chemicals, labware
Technology: LabPro probes:
with graphing calculator/computers
Science Forums VideoDisc: Chemicals in Drinking Water etc…
ChemCom Resources: Water, Materials, Petroleum, Air, Industry, Atoms, Food
ChemCases.com: 12 case studies in products
Living by Science (Lawrence Hall of Science) Conceptual Science
Chem Matters magazine