OK, let me start by saying, I am a huge science buff. My major subject area for my teaching degree was Biology. I started college with the dream of becoming a doctor, but I had always wanted to be a teacher, even as a child, and knew that if I wanted to spend time with a family, that was the path I should pursue. I also enjoy teaching science. The kids always seem to love that subject no matter their strengths or weaknesses. Who doesn't love a mystery? Science is full of mysteries.
HOWEVER...in my professional opinion, 3rd graders are simply too young for science fair projects. First of all, there is not time in our day to help 20 some-odd students work on their projects. We don't have the time, the resources, or the sanity. They are home projects. Both of my older two children had to do projects. They were 100% done at home....each and every time. Guess who ends up having to do most of the work? Yep, parents and/or older siblings. Now, don't get me wrong. Kids should be held responsible for certain tasks. There are things they can do. And there are things I have taught them at school. But they will need so much guidance, and ultimately, the pressure is on the families of these children. In my district, it is mandatory that all 3rd and 4th graders do a science project as part of their grade. So, if they have to do one, then I have to grade it according to the rubric. That in itself is no small task.
Our projects are due this coming Tuesday. My son is a 4th Grader at my school. Guess what our weekend is filled with?! YAY, me!!
By the way, in the future I will be sending home this packet to all my parents when science fair time rolls around. Click on the words "this packet" in the previous sentence. It's a pdf. I wish I had found it sooner. It's fabulous! You will love it if you find yourself needing some help for yourself or parents!
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