oakchan1
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:00 am
Occupation: science fair organizer/parent

Realistic report standards for 3rd and 4th graders

Postby oakchan1 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:45 am

Hi, I have started a science fair at our school. There are concerns from parents that having 3rd and 4th graders present a written report is "to advanced" since they have not learned this in class. They also don't seem to be learning the Scientific Method yet.
I set up the Science Fair, so that they would begin to learn what the Scientific Method is and begin using it as well as how to present their findings to others. I know 3rd graders will have fewer sentences and a more simplified report. However, I was thinking that they are great learners and to start off without learning these things would be a disservice to them in the future.

Any thought on this?

drowningfish
Former Expert
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Occupation: Student: College Third Year

Re: Realistic report standards for 3rd and 4th graders

Postby drowningfish » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:04 pm

I do not think it is "too advanced" at all. It is a good idea to expose students to these ideas early on so that it will just get easier for them as they learn more about it later on. In my opinion, writing reports are one of the most important skills in life. Even if the concept is confusing or difficult for some students, it is not like they will be severely punished for not being able to understand it right away. I don't understand why some parents will want their children to learn less... And children are very fast learners. I am sure it will be a good learning experience.

oakchan1
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:00 am
Occupation: science fair organizer/parent

Re: Realistic report standards for 3rd and 4th graders

Postby oakchan1 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:39 pm

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I know if parents aren't happy sometimes they can make it not a fun experience or don't encourage their kids to try again.

scibuddyAK
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Re: Realistic report standards for 3rd and 4th graders

Postby scibuddyAK » Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:05 pm

Hi,

I wholeheartedly agree with drowningfish - learning the Scientific Method and how to write a report are invaluable skills that are not too advanced for a 3rd or 4th grader. In my elementary school, science fairs and the Scientific Method were a key part of our curriculum since kindergarten, and learning these topics early helped me immensely to this day. If the students are participating in the science fair, a short lesson or two on the Scientific Method will help them clarify their projects and present it more logically with greater confidence if they feel they understand their work. The Scientific Method lessons do not have to be too complicated - a simple explanation of the steps ("Big" Question, Hypothesis, Methods, Results, and Conclusions) will be simple enough for the students to understand, and they can then use these steps as the broad headings for their written reports. Formulating and writing a report about a project - it doesn't have to be complicated at all - often is the part of the work that helps the students most as they "digest" and analyze the work they have done. Perhaps simplifying the process may help the students and parents feel less overwhelmed - an idea would be to give the students a worksheet where they can write a sentence or two about each of the categories (or something so they can break up the work into parts and discuss it), rather than giving them a whole report at once.

Hope this helps!


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