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Dr. Eric Bull

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EDTE 316 :: syllabus

EDTE 316

Science Curriculum and Instruction for the Diverse K-8 Classroom.

Course Information

Monday: San Juan PDS @ Kingswood Elem. 8:30-11:20

Wednesday: Placer PDS @ Sierra Gardens Elem. 1:00-3:50

Required Texts

You can purchase books through the Hornet Bookstore. Check their Online Textbook Sales page at http://www.foundation.csus.edu/bookstore/textbooks/ for ordering information.

-AIMS Magazine (provided)

-Science Framework for California Public Schools, 2003

or download Parts 1-3 & 6-7 (195 pp) from


Course Objectives:

This course is designed for teacher candidates pursuing an Elementary Education Credential in the CSUS Department of Teacher Education. The course reflects a developmental approach to science instruction congruent with the California Science Framework. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Candidate understands state-adopted science academic content
    standards (TPE Standard 1A.11 Specific Pedagogical Skills for Multiple Subject Teaching Assignments-Science).
  • Candidate balances between information, concepts, and investigations (TPE Standard 1A.12 Specific Pedagogical Skills for Multiple Subject Teaching Assignments-Science).
  • Candidate emphasizes importance of accuracy, precision, and estimation (TPE Standard 1A.13 Specific Pedagogical Skills for Multiple Subject Teaching Assignments-Science).
  • Candidates will explain the nature of science, define its parts, and explain why it is important to teach science in the elementary classroom. (TPE Standard 1A.13 Specific Pedagogical Skills for Multiple Subject Teaching Assignments-Science).
  • Candidates will demonstrate that they understand and can apply each of the science process skills in actual elementary school science lesson plans. (TPE Standard 1A.13 Specific Pedagogical Skills for Multiple Subject Teaching Assignments-Science).
  • Candidates will demonstrate their ability to plan for science instruction by developing a unit of study that meets the needs of English Learners and Special Populations in the General Education Classroom. (TPE Standard 1A.13 Specific Pedagogical Skills for Multiple Subject Teaching Assignments-Science); (Standard 13 Preparation to Teach English Learners); and (Standard 14 Preparation to Teach).
  • Candidates will adapt science lessons for students with special needs and diverse students including English Learners
    (Standard 13 ELL and 14 Preparation to Teach Special Populations in the General Education Classroom).
  • Candidates will design performance assessment s to appropriately and equitably measure achievement of all students
  • Candidates will use multimedia, online communication, web resources and other appropriate technology to enhance the learning of science for a diverse population of students
  • Candidates will participate and develop strategies effectively as a member of a cooperative group.

Course Description

This course will examine effective approaches and strategies for content instruction in science, grades K-6. We will investigate and practice instructional strategies which are most appropriate to teaching, learning and enjoying science. We will look at some of the major conceptual themes of the sciences, along with the essential purposes and goals of science in the elementary schools.

 Content Outline

A. General science content may include (per California state-adopted
content standards):

  • Animals
  • The Earth
  • Friction and Machines
  • The Human Body (health, healthy lifestyle, motor skills, etc.)
  • Light
  • Magnetism and Electricity
  • Plants
  • Sound
  • Solar System and Space
  • Water, Weather and Climate

B. Science teaching strategies may include:

    • Model Formation
    • Guided Discovery
    • Constructivist Approach Science Instruction
    • Adaptations for the Special Child
    • Science in a Multicultural Classroom.
    • Using computers, calculators, and other appropriate technology for science instruction of all students.

   Signature Assignment:

 As part of a major assignment for EDTE 316, Science Curriculum and Instruction for the Diverse K-8 Classroom., you will complete a teaching and learning plan for a sustained period of instruction that aims to teach particular learners (those whom you will be student teaching science to) about science. Your plan needs to be consonant with the California Science Content Standards, incorporate multiple methods of assessment, and include strategies differentiated for English Language Learners and learners with special needs.

Specifically, the following elements need to be addressed in the plan:

Learning Goals: Learning goals are clearly defined and focuses on key concepts, higher order skills and deep understandings.

Objectives: The objectives are directly connected to the standards identified and are achievable within the unit.

Rationale: The rationale for the unit is well developed and connects the unit with the course as a whole, the real world and students’ interests

Central Concepts: The central concepts are phrased as big ideas that are enduring beyond the unit and reside at the heart of the discipline.

Essential Questions: The essential questions are provocative and engaging for students. They are central to the discipline and require genuine inquiry. They are considered throughout the unit.

Knowledge and Skills: The knowledge and skills clearly support the essential questions and the unit goals and are clear and accurate.

Assessment: There are clear criteria for assessing student understanding and performance that are related to student outcomes and are used to diagnose prior knowledge, check for understanding, monitor progress, adapt teaching, evaluate learning and serve as opportunities for ongoing, shared feedback to students for revisions of work.

Calendar: The elements of the plan are coherent and well put together and the activities build on one another, with the scope, sequence and pacing appropriate and realistic for systematic development of learning.

Lesson Plans: Accompanying standards-based lesson plans include the standards addressed by the lesson, context of lesson in relation to unit, instructional objectives, procedures/learning activities, adaptations/differentiated instruction, assessment, & reflection. (Refer to template/guide provided).

Minimum University Facilities:

The campus, library, computer labs, and department have the material resources (space, media, software, library holdings, etc.) to support the course. Library contains major periodicals and texts related to the area of study. Additionally, the mathematics laboratory room (ED 329), science laboratory equipment, and occasional access to the computer laboratory in Ed 211 have the necessary resources needed to support the course.

    Course Purposes

The ultimate and ideal purpose of this course would be to empower students with knowledge, confidence and tools to allow for the enjoyment and integration of teaching science in the elementary classroom. I conceive the objectives of this course in the following terms:

  • To acquaint students with what they will need to learn for teaching science.
  • To enlighten students with a variety of resources available to them.
  • To start novice teachers on their learning path in such a way that they can direct their own future learning in science.
  • To provide students with some basic strategies for teaching science: enough that they and their students both survive the first few years of teaching intact, and learn that a few good things may happen along the way.
  • To enlist students to envision all children as capable learners – it is the strategy and methodology which must adapt to the child-not vice versa.
  • To involve students in at least one concrete example of the how-to’s and benefits of integrating subject areas in their teaching.
  • To encourage students to take chances and try new ideas in order to engage their pupils and enrich their own personal growth.
  • To strengthen students in realizing that teaching is a ‘work in progress’. We learn best by doing and reflecting on our experiences.

Method of Evaluation of Student Attainment of Course Objectives

Students will submit several written projects (Lesson plans and units, portfolio) and demonstrations for graded evaluation. Lastly, course attendance, conduct, and participation will determine final course grade.

Daily Reflections

At the end of each class you will reflect on what was accomplished and what you thought of the session. The Daily Reflection is one piece of evidence that you attended and participated in class.


You must cite any and all resources used when creating your unit, lesson plans and other written works.

If in doubt regarding format, please refer to: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5 th ed.). (2001). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Plagiarism is a serious offense. Please refer to CSUS University Policy: http://www.csus.edu/admbus/umanual/find.htm


Missing more than one class may result in an incomplete grade for this class.

Extra Credit Options

Options for extra credit may be offered periodically as an enticement to broaden and enrich your science experience. They will require extra effort and may include attendance at off campus venues. Reflections are an expected element of each option selected.

***Considerations: Any assignments may be turned in prior to the due date. Late papers/assignments will receive reductions in scoring.

 Personal Notes

I wish to include persons with disabilities in this course. Please let me know if there are accommodations I can make in the curriculum or instruction to facilitate your full participation. I w ill make every attempt to maintain confidentiality.

Should you need to have a cell phone/beeper turned on…please turn it to vibrate, silent or off. Do not bring children to class. Feel free to bring munchies to consume in class.

Tentative Syllabus:

Portions of this syllabus may change during the semester to better meet the needs of students, speakers, or the instructor.





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