Reason #162 that I am a Nerd



If only our lab on Friday could turn out this beautifully!


I got to start teaching science yesterday.

I love teaching elementary science. They have so many questions. Crazy no-one-has-stopped-them-from-dreaming-big questions. They are insatiable. I think too often no one gives them the time to ask their questions. The good discussions become the casualties of a curriculum-driven classroom, either out of misguided allegiance to the textbook, or maybe fear of what they might ask.

Bring it, I say.

I do use our science textbook, because I think it is fairly well-written, and largely because it looks too difficult for 4th graders, but it’s not… when you know how to relate it to the class. I can justify teaching really cool stuff, because “it’s in the book.”  The book jumps right in to Life Science with what makes a living thing, and what distinguishes it from non-living things.  Yesterday we discussed those ‘life processes,’ and today we talked about cells- plant vs. animal, and parts of each. We created really good similes for all the cell parts, and I got to answer some awesome questions. I honestly get a little science high from it (that’s like a runner’s high, but way less cool).  The class did stump me today though, so I have to find out what happens at a cellular level when you get goosebumps.

These are things I wasn’t exposed to until middle school and really not until high school. But my kids get it. Mostly. I did have a keep-a-straight-face-or-die moment yesterday… I had walked the class to lunch after we finished our lesson, and looking for real-world application I asked, “What life process are you all about to perform?”

They got excited and all raised their hands, so I called on one especially wiggly boy who replied, “Eating!”

“Yes,” I said, “and what is our new science term for that?”

Two other boys blurted out in unison, “reproducing!”


“Close. That is one of our life process words, but that is the one that means ‘to make more living things of the same kind’. Does anyone remember which life process meant the same thing as ‘eating’?”

I selected a hand a little more carefully the second time, so I could emphasize that YES the answer was ‘taking in nutrients’.

Glad we got that cleared up.

Otherwise, man I think I would have gotten a pretty angry note from the cafeteria ladies this afternoon.


~ by Lindsey on October 13, 2010.

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