FOSS, 2nd Edition
K-6 Program Components Details
The teacher guide is the most important part of the FOSS program. It is here that all of the wisdom and experience contributed by hundreds of educators has been assembled. Everything we know about the content of the module, how to teach the subject, and the resources that will assist the effort is presented here. The teacher guide is the cerebral cortex of the module. All of the thinking and feeling that has gone into the module is communicated here.
Each FOSS module has its own teacher guide, which consists of:
- An Introduction to the FOSS program.
- A Module Overview, which addresses specific information on science background and national science standards, and offers a teaching schedule for the module.
- A Materials folio that lists the kit inventory and outlines how to prepare, store, and maintain your kit.
- A series of investigation folios that include
- Materials lists
- Preparation outlines
- Detailed lesson plans
- Questioning strategies to encourage discussion
- Interdisciplinary extensions for reading, language arts, math, and social studies
- Assessment opportunities to monitor student learning
- Duplication masters of student sheets to help students record, organize, and interpret their observations (in English and Spanish).
- An Assessment folio
- The embedded assessment is both formative (to provide diagnostic information throughout the module) and summative (to provide end-of-module evaluative information).
- Scoring guides are included to help you effectively interpret student responses.
- There is also a section on portfolio assessment.
- The FOSS Science Stories folio guides the use of the FOSS Science Stories by relating a story to the investigation and providing key discussion questions that focus on both content and the type of literature.
- A Web site folio adds additional opportunities to extend content and knowledge through interactive simulations, bulletin boards, and specific links to other Internet sites to reinforce and enhance the topic.
- A Resources folio recommends student readings (fiction and nonfiction), software, videotapes, and teacher resources for an even more meaningful experience.
Active-learning science requires materials. The FOSS program includes those materials in sturdy front-opening drawer-and-sleeve cabinets. Inside you will find high-quality materials packaged for a class of 32 students. Consumable materials are supplied for two uses before replenishment is necessary. The kit contains just about everything needed to conduct the module, with the notable exception of living organisms and food items. The teacher may be asked to supply items like tape, marking pens, or scissors, but otherwise the kits are very complete.
The Measurement Module serves two functions in the FOSS program. In addition to being an instructional kit, the tools from this module support many of the grade 3 - 6 modules. If you are teaching a 3 - 6 module, it is important for you to have access to these tools. For schools and districts that want every kit to stand alone without reliance on a Measurement module, these materials are offered separately in specific Tool Kits. Each kit includes class quantities of measuring tools needed for the module.
A teacher preparation video produced specifically for each module is a part of every kit. The video is an introduction to the module, not a substitute for the teacher guide. Each of the 32 videos shows a FOSS staff person or experienced FOSS teacher demonstrating how to set up the equipment for each activity. In addition, the videos provide numerous excursions into classrooms to see the FOSS module in use by real teachers and students.
FOSS Science Stories are original student books developed specifically to complement the FOSS modules. The books integrate reading and language arts skills in the context of learning science. With FOSS, students first explore science concepts through hands-on investigations. Then they extend and reinforce their classroom discoveries and vocabulary with FOSS Science Stories.
FOSS Science Stories for grades K-2 are designed around large, colorful, instructive photographs. The text relates directly to the images, calling attention to particular details, suggesting comparisons, and moving students to think critically about the images. The stories are written mainly in an expository format to help build essential reading skills. FOSS Science Stories for primary grades are available in student book and teacher big book editions.
FOSS Science Stories for
grades 3 - 6 use a variety of writing styles, accompanied with full-color illustrations and
photos to enrich the science experience. The literature styles include
Narrative tales. Fictional adventures in which the main characters have experiences that relate to the science that students learned in class.
Expository articles. Informative articles that increase students' knowledge about science.
Technical readings. Selections that describe detailed procedures and provide precise explanations of principles.
Historical accounts. Stories about important people and events that shaped the development of science and technology.
The www.fossweb.com web site opens new horizons for teachers, students, and families, in the classroom or at home. Each grade 3 - 6 module has an interactive site where students and families can find instructional games and interactive simulations. Those interested in visiting web sites related to the content of any FOSS module can select a link and explore the subject in greater depth.