Earth - The Water Planet
This interdisciplinary course is the first of two science content courses specifically designed for elementary education majors (K-5). It is team-taught by two science faculty from Geoscience, Physics, Chemistry, and/or Biology. The course is structured similar to how the students' future elementary classrooms will be structured: all course activities that help students learn content are inquiry based and constructed with commonly available materials that they will have access to in their future classrooms. The science content is taught around the common theme of water, another material that the students' will have access to in their future classrooms. The course is assessed primarily through metacognitive reflective essays, concept maps, and larger projects.
For Dr. Anderson's reflections on the course and its design, see Earth - The Water Planet: Role in the Program.
- Make connections between the macroscopic and microscopic worlds.
- Construct a model illustrating how water impacts the Earth (what and where is water; how does water affect the Earth; how do things affect water).
- Design and construct a simple experiment that can be completed in an elementary classroom.
- Synthesize diverse information to draw reasonable scientific conclusions and to support those conclusions with evidence and scientific reasoning.
- Solve simple mathematical problems.
- Read, interpret, and make graphs and diagrams.
- Design, implement, and assess the effectiveness of science activities for elementary school children.
In addition, students will recognize that they are able "to do" science, will become more enthusiastic about science, and will start to see science all around them.
Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 144kB May7 07)
There are no exams or homework sets in this class. Rather, students are required to complete metacognitive reflective essays for each activity (or small group of activities) that they complete in class. These essays include the lesson plan for the activity they performed as well as a more personal response to the activity that includes what they learned, when they learned it, any changes they would make for future classroom use, and connections they identify from this activity to their world, to other activities, etc. Activities include large group projects like creating a concept map about water that links all of their course experiences and smaller activities.
Rubric for assessing metacognitive reflections (Acrobat (PDF) 146kB May7 07)
Assessment Rubric for Earth: The Water Planet (Acrobat (PDF) 23kB May11 07)