Evaluation of Learning and Curriculum
In this unit, we are attempting to take two abstract concepts, different conditions on different planets and fractions (Science and Math, respectively) and teach them in a more concrete way by relating them to a world event: the Olympic games. Abstract concepts are notoriously difficult to present in a constructivist way in an elementary classroom (Parker & Heywood, 2013). Yet we believe that by pairing the abstract with proximal concepts, with proper scaffolding, can effectively convey these ideas.
Another feature of this curriculum is that it is interdisciplinary. It combines studies in Social Studies, Math, and Science in a way that should garner fascination with the central theme. This Unit, we feel will invoke the imaginations of the students and lead to intrinsic motivation. We hope that presenting STEM concepts in a fun way will help the students develop a taste for this important field.
We also believe that having the students work collaboratively will further help with motivating the students and practice participation in group roles. We selected the 5th grade level because one of our group members, Maria, Teaches in such a classroom and will use this curriculum in the fall. We are anxious to see how it works when she gives it this “field test”.