How FOSS Works: Active Investigation
Active investigation is doing science. With FOSS, students learn and discover science concepts initially through first-hand experiences with materials and organisms. Active investigation includes:
Questions and challenges are presented and experiments are planned. Primary students are guided by the teacher’s questions. Older students are encouraged to explore their own ideas. Students conduct hands-on experiments with materials and organisms to answer the questions posed.
Notebooks provide an opportunity for students to reason like scientists. Students record their observations and collect data, then organize and process the information in a way that is useful and easy to understand. Using the evidence generated during the experiment, students offer reasoned explanations for the phenomena they investigated.
Teachers record key vocabulary on the word bank chart. They work with students to refine their definitions, instruct them on the meanings of words, resolve issues they have with the science language, and give them practice using the new words orally and in their science notebooks.
At the end of every investigation, vocabulary is reinforced, content is reviewed, and new concepts are added to the content chart. See the example from Grade 4 physical science below.