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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Teaching Primary Science: Chemistry. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsSARAH DAGNELL: On a sunny day, as your ice lolly is melting faster than you can eat it, have you ever questioned why one type of ice lolly melts faster than another?

Skip to 0 minutes and 16 secondsKAREN BRUNYEE: Or have you ever wondered where the water in a puddle goes?

Skip to 0 minutes and 19 secondsRACHEL JACKSON: These little curiosities of everyday life should be embraced. They're rooted in science and help develop our understanding of the world around us.

Skip to 0 minutes and 28 secondsSARAH DAGNELL: As a primary school teacher, it can seem impossible to be a subject expert in all that we teach. We know that to teach effective lessons, we need to have an understanding of the concepts we are introducing to our children. But for many of us, answering questions, such as the above, can seem overwhelming.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsKAREN BRUNYEE: Teaching primary science includes the areas of chemistry, biology, and physics. There is a wealth of working knowledge that's required to teach this. But with a good personal understanding, we can unpick children's misconceptions and teach science effectively.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsRACHEL JACKSON: This three week course will develop your primary chemistry subject knowledge and enable you to tackle misconceptions in the primary classroom.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 secondsSARAH DAGNELL: This week, you will gain an understanding of everyday materials and the properties. You will guided through some common misconceptions children may have and discover how to elicit these misconceptions. You'll reflect on the subject knowledge underpinning key ideas and find out how to reconstruct your pupils' learning to address their misconceptions. As you progress through the course, you may find it beneficial to make your own glossary of the technical vocabulary that you will come across. It will be a great tool to reflect on and help you with future lesson planning. To start with we'd like you to introduce yourself in the comments section below.

Build your subject knowledge

Welcome to Teaching Primary Science: Chemistry. This is a professional development course from the National STEM Learning Centre for primary teachers trainee teachers for primary education and teaching assistants.

To teach primary science effectively teachers must have sound subject knowledge. However, many primary teachers are not science subject experts. This course will examine key subject knowledge within the chemistry elements of the primary science curriculum, demonstrate common misconceptions children may have and show how to identify and overcome them. In this course, you will develop your primary chemistry subject knowledge and plan to tackle misconceptions in the primary classroom. You will develop your understanding of everyday materials and their properties.You will be guided through some common misconceptions children may have and discover how to elicit these misconceptions. You will reflect on the subject knowledge underpinning key ideas and find out how to reconstruct your pupils’ learning to address their misconceptions.

Course support

To get the most out of this course, you’ll collaborate with other teachers, both in your workplace and with others online, to take the ideas from this course into practice.

We encourage you to use a reflection grid to capture your learning through the course. You’ll then be able to refer back to reflection grids you complete each week. Download the reflection grid template or copy a Google Doc version to complete each week.

All courses from the National STEM Learning Centre are supported by expert educators and mentors. We’ll be supporting your professional development between 4th May - 29th May 2020 in the discussions throughout the course. There is also a question and answer opportunity with Sarah Dagnell, post your questions before 29th May 2020.

Self-audit of your understanding of curriculum design

This self-audit task is for teachers and educators, to help you review your current practice and thinking on teaching chemistry. Setting a development goal and being able to assess your own development is a crucial part of professional practice, so we will be revisiting your responses to the self-audit later. It does not affect completion of the course on FutureLearn.

When completing the self-audit, there are no right or wrong answers. Answer honestly about where you are now, not where you want to be. Your answers will help you to identify what areas of practice you need to focus on the most as you progress through the course.

Self-audit task

  1. Access the self-audit task and complete it.
  2. At the end of the self-audit, click My responses.
  3. Click Download as PDF.
  4. Save the PDF where you will be able to retrieve it to review at the end of the course and acts as a record of your professional development

GDPR statement: STEM Learning will be the data controller for any personal data submitted, not FutureLearn. Choosing not to complete the self-audit does not affect your course completion status on FutureLearn. Further details on the opening page of the self-audit task.

Introductions and goals

After completing the self-audit task, in the comments below:

  • Introduce yourself to the rest of the group, saying your role and where you teach.
  • Share your professional development goal from the self-audit.

You may find other teachers have similar goals, and you can discuss the ideas in the course with them over the next few weeks.

Tip: Click Mark as Complete at the bottom right of each step you complete on this course to help you keep track of your progress. Mark over 90% of the course steps complete and you’ll be eligible for a Certificate of Achievement and a STEM Certificate digital badge when you Upgrade. See step 3.13 for more details.

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Chemistry

National STEM Learning Centre