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Melanie Valencia

Dr. Dwyer
EELB 532

EELB 532 Stories about Science


General information about student demographics in your classroom
Grade: 5th
Age Range: 10 – 11 years old
Total # of male students: 16
Total # of female students: 13
Total # of students: 29
Area in which students live: Suburban
Ethnicity of students (with numbers): 26 Hispanic; 2 Caucasian; 1 African American
Language Proficiency, Special Needs, Gifted: 13 ELL’s; 2 on I.E.P. for ELA resource;
No Gifted

 Briefly describe the class, including: areas in which it’s located, grade level, general
information about student demographics (5pts)
The 5th grade class is at a public school located in Indio CA. It is in a suburban area

where many students walk to school because there are surrounding housing areas. Most

of the students are Hispanic and there are two Caucasian and 1 African American student.

Moreover, many students in this class, and at the school, come from lower income homes.

They also deal with some difficult situations such as parent separation and parent

incarceration. In general, they are a happy and energetic group of children who value their

peers more than academics. Most of them perform below grade level in ELA and MATH.

There isn’t a great deal of science taught within the classroom, but my resident teacher

does at least one STEM or STEAM challenge with them a month. Out of everything they

do, those challenges are their favorite and it is the only time they are all completely

engaged. Often, they are curious and excited, so they are motivated during the mini-

lesson before the challenge when scientific information and vocabulary is introduced and

explained. Currently, they are about to start working on designing a kite that will stay in the

sky.
Melanie Valencia
Dr. Dwyer
EELB 532

 What are their ideas about scientists AND science? (5pts)


I conducted a class discussion about their ideas about science and scientists. Most of

the students expressed that science is about finding out how the world works and that

scientists are the ones who gives answers about how the world works. They also

expressed that science is “cool” because you can do experiments and science projects. In

this class they are familiar with STEM projects and it is their favorite thing to do. They’ve

expressed they wish all subjects could be as fun as science. There were other students

who realized that science was apart of creating new medicines that could help many

people in the world.

 What resources do they have at home that can be used to support their science learning?
(5pts)
Students have expressed that most of them have computers or cellphones at home in

which they can conduct research. I also made a list of items and had students raise their

hands to count how many students had each item. With these they can conduct

experiments as well as various STEM and STEAM projects that I could make available for

them. Below is the list with the number of students who have these items at home:

1. egg cartons (15)


2. magnets (12)
3. compass (1)
4. batteries (22)
5. wire (10)
6. nails (19)
7. paper clips (10)
8. rubber bands (14)
9. paper (25)
10. sponges (26)
11. foil (23)
Melanie Valencia
Dr. Dwyer
EELB 532

12. scale (22)


13. measuring cups (17)
14. funnels (7)
15. coffee filters (18)
16. tissue paper (11)
17. paper towels (22)
18. hand-held fan (4)
19. balloons (3)
20. soda cans (20)
21. plastic containers with lids (28)
22. resealable plastic bags (14)
23. magnifying glass (4)
24. flashlights (19)
25. thermometers (12)
26. tongs (10)
27. rubber gloves (7)
28. stop watch (27)
29. string (17)
30. pipe cleaners (3)
31. marbles (5)
 What experiences do they have that you can use to teach science (make science relevant and
accessible to them)? (5pts)
They have their STEM and STEAM challenges that they have done this year where

they’ve used the engineering design process to record their progress. They are familiar

with the process of working with a team/partner because two(or more) heads can

sometimes be better than one when designing. Moreover, they have experience with using

their chrome books to conduct research. I could share video links with to reinforce topics

and add to their background knowledge. Also, I could give them surveys with different

projects and have them choose which ones they are interested in and why.
Melanie Valencia
Dr. Dwyer
EELB 532

 What challenges do they have that you need to pay special attention to in science teaching?
(5pts)
One of the challenges I need to pay special attention to regarding teaching science is

the academic vocabulary. Sometimes certain concepts are difficult to comprehend so it’s

important I make accessible. For example, I could bring in realia and give them hands-on

examples to explain concepts. Instead of just telling them what a word means, I need to

show them and have them experience it themselves to better make that connection and

understanding. Also, some of the required reading in the science text books might be hard

for some of my lower readers. Thus, I will need to rephrase some of the wording and

include visuals such as videos and pictures that will help them comprehend the text.

Lastly, I may need to pay attention to how they respond if they fail a STEM challenge

because I want them to know that scientists make mistakes all the time and learn from

them to better the outcome. Science challenges can teach important life skills along with

enriching and important content.

Photos (5pts) STEM PROJECT: Create a boat that will float for at least 1 min. given certain
weights (unifix cubes).