Elementary science schedulesPosted: May 11, 2011
I taught fifth grade and third grade when I was a classroom teacher. Both grade-levels were departmentalized, so I taught science and another subject to two or three sections. I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way (still can’t), and often stated that if I were forced to be self-contained I might quit.
Mary Bigelow, a.k.a. Ms. Mentor, looks at the pros and cons of teaching science in both self-contained and departmentalized scenarios. There are compelling arguments to be made for both sides, I will admit. What are your thoughts?
Many elementary teachers feel the nurturing and intimacy of a self-contained classroom is important. They get to know the students better and can focus on their needs throughout the day. … However, science can be overlooked, especially in an environment under pressure for students to perform well on reading and math tests. …
Departmentalized teachers may feel that the upper elementary students are ready for a different learning environment. The students get regular experiences in science, and the teachers can focus on one or two subjects in their planning. … However, having several teachers with different styles and personalities can be challenging for some students.