* The following unit "Home Connections" have been taken directly from the Science 21 Curriculum written by Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES.
Science 21 Home Connection – Grade 1 Unit 1-Earth's Systems - Patterns and Cycles
"As a part of the curriculum for first grade, your child will be learning fundamental science core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts that will enhance their understanding of the natural and designed worlds. We hope you will support their curiosity about the world around them at home. In the first unit, your child will learn about astronomy: the Sun, Moon, and stars. The students will be making observations and predicting the movement and patterns of the Sun, Moon, and stars. The students will be engaged in multiple experiments during this unit, and some of these will continue over the course of the school year. You can help and reinforce this learning at home by asking questions, making predictions and observations about the Sun, Moon, and stars. Taking a walk during the daylight hours and again in the evening or when the Sun is setting would be a perfect way to observe the changes and differences in light, shadows, and even what is observable at that time of day or night (the stars). Developmentally, a first-grade student is still a “concrete” learner. To support this, your child will be working with and designing many hands-on materials/experiments, recording these findings, and experiencing many authentic learning opportunities. A first-grade student is also becoming more abstract in their learning too. He or she will be making predictions, discussing and elaborating on their experiments and exploring the “why” of each lesson. These science lessons are active and engaging. Your student will become a first-grade astronomer, and you will be amazed at all their learning!"
Science 21 Home Connection - Grade 1 Unit 2 - Waves: Light and Sound
"Your little scientist is getting ready to explore the world of physical science in our next unit, “Ride the Waves!”. Your child will learn fundamental core ideas about waves, technology, and communication using sound and light. They will develop and use science and engineering practices in their investigations, and apply what they have learned to make sense of the interdisciplinary (crosscutting) concepts of science and their understanding of the world around them. In this unit, your child will learn about sound and light. Students will be exploring how sound and light allow us to see, hear and communicate. They will be engaged in multiple observations and experiments during this unit. You can help to reinforce this learning at home by asking questions and having your child make predictions and/or observations about sound and light. You can provide your child with many opportunities to make materials vibrate to create sound. An example may include giving them different materials to strike against each other to create sounds. Another activity could include using everyday recycled materials to make musical instruments. Guide them to the understanding of the phenomenon that sound makes material vibrate and vibrating materials make sound. For light, give your child the opportunity to explore dark spaces with a light source, such as a flashlight, or glow stick. Reinforce the concept that objects can only be seen when illuminated or lit. Have fun being scientists together! As part of the next two units, your child will be engineering and building materials during their science lessons. If you can send in some clean and dry recycled materials, it would help us turn “junk” into building materials. Thank you for your support in promoting science learning and encouraging the next generation of scientists."
Science 21 Home Connection – Grade 1 Unit 3 - Structure, Function & Information Processing
"Your child has learned so much this year about how scientists work! We are ready to launch our final science unit of the school year: Unit 3, Nature at Work. In this Unit, your child is going to be actively engaged in the processes of science to learn about plants and animals and how they survive.
We will be:
Asking Questions and Defining Problems
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Developing and Using Models
As we begin our exploration, you can help your child by asking them what parts of plants and animals help them to move, protect themselves, and get food and water. Also, have them think about how animals meet the needs of their young. At the end of the unit, your child will be creating a project based on a plant or animal part."