Towson University

College of Science & Mathematics

Department of Biological Sciences

Fall Semester, 2009

Assignment Rubrics

Course: Teaching Science in the Elementary School: SCIE 376     Thursday, 12:30-4:20

Instructor: Dr. Sarah Haines        Office: 315 Smith Hall        Office Hours: M, W 10-12

Phone: 410-704-2926       Email:


Catalog Description:  Application, analysis, and integration of science teaching skills in the elementary classroom.  Field experience in local schools.

Course Description:  SCIE 376 is a four contact hour and three credit hour upper division course required in the Elementary Education program.  Using a complete unit of instruction, TU students will learn science content and teaching strategies for hands-on /discovery science lessons.  Cross-discipline aspects will be stressed.  Thinking skills and group learning techniques will be incorporated.  Application of course work will take place in elementary or middle level classrooms throughout the semester, within a supportive teaching and learning environment.  Students will teach sequential lessons to the same group of 4-7 children, working as a team with the classroom teacher in preparing equipment, designing and implementing writing activities, setting up learning centers, monitoring students' notebooks, adapting lessons for individual learners, and completing other integrated science teaching tasks.

 Although the science content of the curricula used in SCIE 376 will vary according to specific school placement, the assignments and model components of the course will remain the same.  SCIE 376 is designed to give prospective elementary teachers an opportunity to work intensively with a small group of children over time in order to see how children integrate sequential science information, acquire process skills, and develop positive attitudes toward science.  These experiences will allow TU students to use this information to shape their own science teaching practices.



                        As part of your preparation for becoming a teacher, you will be expected to act in a professional manner.  This includes:

 Attendance & Punctuality: Class time is used to clarify and extend concepts..  Class will be interactive in nature and it will be difficult to make up in the event of an absence.  Be on time and donít leave early.  Students are expected to attend every class.  Genuine emergencies may be excused; otherwise grades will be lowered in proportion to the number of classes missed.  Each absence will result in a five point deduction from the final grade.  If a genuine emergency occurs which causes an absence, give an explanatory note to the instructor on the first day of return to class. 

Participation: Participation doesnít mean simply attending class.  Participate in the class discussion and activities by making meaningful comments.  Ask questions!  

Preparation: You are expected to be as prepared for class as the regular classroom teacher.

Respect: Be considerate of others.  Behave in a professional, ethical manner.

Attitude: Be curious, flexible, organized, and patient- all characteristics of good teachers.


Academic dishonesty: Please refer to your student handbook for Towson University's policy regarding cheating.  As a preservice professional, you are expected to behave as such.  Instances of academic dishonesty may result in failure of the assignment and possibly of the course.

Late Assignments: Unless you are unable to turn in an assignment due to an emergency of which I have been made aware of in advance,  late assignments will be reduced by one letter grade.

Instructional Sequence

(Specific dates TBA)

1.  Pre-classroom activities (30-40 minutes)

  • prep materials and review group plans for lesson

  • work with group and TU instructor on strategies for future lessons

2.  Classroom activities (70-90 minutes)

  • get settled with your group

  • lesson introduction by one TU student

  • group focus on tasks ahead; review previous week

  • lesson in your group

  • clean up; reorganize equipment and materials

  • group discussion and self evaluations

  • writing activities and notebooks

  • whole class conclusion by one TU student

3.  After-class activities (30 minutes)

  • team debriefing on lesson (TU instructor will be rotating)

  • whole group issues addressed

  • planning time for future lessons

4.  After-school classroom teacher coaching time (30-40 minutes)

  • confer with classroom teacher on lessons, strategies, and group management

  • work on strategies for individual children

  • discuss ideas for teaching and school success

  • read children's work and make comments

  • collaborate with team members

  • problem solve, share ideas, and note what worked well

  • prepare equipment for next lesson

  • utilize classroom, library, other resources

  • practice with equipment for next lesson

  • plan team projects (bulletin board, writing activity, and unit assessment)


Assessment: Below is a list of all assignments expected of you as you complete your practicum.  Rubrics for all assignments can be found on this website.  Your final grade is determined by dividing points earned by points possible.

1.  Writing activity: Both team and individual writing activities are worth 40 points.

2.  Bulletin board is worth 40 points.

3.  Unit assessment is worth 60 points.

4.  Team reflection paper is worth 100 points.

5.  Folder monitoring of your students is graded S/U.*

6.  Affective checklists are graded S/U.*

7.  Learning center is worth 40 points.

8.  Weekly journals are worth 5 points each.

9.  Your final exam is worth 100 points.

10. Your intro and conclusion are worth 100 points.

11. Your team lessons and team organization are graded S/U*.

12.  Quizzes are worth 20 points each.

*Each grade of "U" drops your total points accumulated by 2.



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Last Updated July 9, 2010