Field Elementary School is using the California Science curriculum published by Houghton Mifflin. This publisher also offers afree website to our students that allows them to practice skills they are learning in school. Below is a summary of the topics our students encounter on their journey from Kindergarten through 5th grade. More specific and detailed information about science content for each grade level can be found in the content standards published on the California State Board of Educationwebsite.
Kindergarten students explore physical science as they sort, describe, and classify objects based on the material that they are made of. Through a study of life science the children understand that different plants and animals live on the earth. They can describe the common structures of plants as well as compare and contrast plants and animals. The survey of earth science allows the children to recognizes and describe local landforms, identify weather across the seasons, and describe some natural resources we use every day.
By the end of the year in first grade, our children understand the properties of the three different forms or states of matter -- solid, liquid, and gas. They also understand that substances change when they are heated, cooled, or mixed. First graders expand their knowledge of life science as they begin to understand that plants and animals meet their needs in different ways and live in different environments. They can infer what an animal eats based on the shape of its teeth and begin to understand the function of roots and leaves for making food. Earth science for this grade level explores how weather can be observed, measured, and described.
In second grade students begin to understand that the motion of objects can be observed and measured. They realize that objects will begin motion when given a push or a pulls. They realize that magnets can move some objects with out touching them. Life science during the second grade year brings the understanding that plants and animals have predictable life cycles. As they explore earth science the children learn that the earth is made up of different materials that provide resources for human activity.
Third grade students learn that energy and mater have many forms. They realize that the sun provides much of the energy on the planet. They realize that energy can be stored in different ways -- food, fuel, and batteries and that stored energy can be converted to motion or heat. They can identify the three forms of matter: solid, liquid, and gas. As they continue to explore life science the students understand that plants and animal have physical or behavioral adaptations that help them to survive. Earth science moves beyond our planet and into the sky. Third graders learn that objects in the sky move in a predictable pattern and that Earth is one of several planets orbiting the sun.
By the end of the year fourth grade students understand that electricity and magnetics are related. They understand how to build simple series and parallel circuits as well as how to build a simple compass. Fourth grade students understand that all plants and animals need energy and matter to grow. They begin to explore and understand the food chain. They understand that rocks and minerals reflect the processes that formed them and can identify the how the forces of erosion shape and reshape the earth.
Fifth grade students understand that all matter is made from atoms which combine to form molecules. They know that each element is made from one kind of atom and is organized on the periodic table. They recognize that elements and their combinations account for all matter on this earth. As the students study Life Science they learn about the different structures plants and animals use for respiration, digestion, waste disposal, and the transport of materials. The study of earth science at this grade level focuses on the water cycle.