Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Academic support for Primary 6 and PSLE

Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Postby etwchia » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:00 pm

Recently, there has been quite alot of interesting articles in the Straits Times Forum letters column with regards to the need to use key words to help answer Science questions.

The article that was posted today is indeed something worth looking at. Teachers should indeed use the keyword as a guide to determine if a science question is correctly answered but should not be a must for the answer if one can correctly describe it in their own words. I think this should similarly apply to other topics too such as creative writing which also emphasizes the use of standard phrases.


http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/forum-letters/story/science-key-words-only-guide-20150206

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Re: Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Postby the little ones » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:49 am

etwchia wrote:Recently, there has been quite alot of interesting articles in the Straits Times Forum letters column with regards to the need to use key words to help answer Science questions.

The article that was posted today is indeed something worth looking at. Teachers should indeed use the keyword as a guide to determine if a science question is correctly answered but should not be a must for the answer if one can correctly describe it in their own words. I think this should similarly apply to other topics too such as creative writing which also emphasizes the use of standard phrases.


http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/forum-letters/story/science-key-words-only-guide-20150206


I think easier to teach and mark if the children learn standard words to use in science exam.

the little ones
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Re: Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Postby CatMoon » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:08 am

Agree.
Science is not like English. Can't answer Section B questions "in your own words". The textbooks already have the answers (i.e. keywords & sentence structure / definitions / methodologies) especially those referring to various experiments & descriptions of animal/plant classifications.

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Re: Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Postby phtthp » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:12 pm

Which primary schools' Science Tr help or guide their students in answering Section B (open ended), well ?

Because if student attempt to answer qn in their own way using plain English language, but not Scientific terminology, sometimes can fail Section B (open ended section) ?

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Re: Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Postby jetsetter » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:30 am

1) Scientific English...

"Only one right answer to science questions?"
(23 Feb 2015, article by Amelia Teng and Pearl Lee, ST)


2) Had a good laugh reading this blog "Everything also complain" over my kopi just now:)

http://everythingalsocomplain.com/2015/02/23/primary-school-science-questions-having-model-answers/

I quote:

"What’s the difference between a robot and a typical Singaporean Science student?

Answer: The robot needs electricity to recharge but the student does not need electricity to recharge." :laugh:

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Re: Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Postby Nebbermind » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:35 am

jetsetter wrote:1) Scientific English...

"Only one right answer to science questions?"
(23 Feb 2015, article by Amelia Teng and Pearl Lee, ST)


2) Had a good laugh reading this blog "Everything also complain" over my kopi just now:)

http://everythingalsocomplain.com/2015/02/23/primary-school-science-questions-having-model-answers/

I quote:

"What’s the difference between a robot and a typical Singaporean Science student?

Answer: The robot needs electricity to recharge but the student does not need electricity to recharge." :laugh:


‘The bird has feathers but the lion does NOT HAVE FEATHERS’, which basically means the same damn thing as your original answer, except annoyingly repetitive.


When preparing for her PSLE, my gal complained that some of her tuition mates overused/misused the 'repeat keywords/phrase' in answering.

NBM: You know why?
Ms NBM: Huh? WHy?
NBM: Coz they are mostly from 'this SAP school in the north'...
Ms NBM: :stupid: .... :rotflmao: :rotflmao: :rotflmao:

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Re: Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Postby slmkhoo » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:42 am

I have no objection to the "scientific terminology" argument, but even scientific terminology can have synonyms which are equally scientific. Eg, in the example used in the newspaper article I read, "armour to protect (an animal)" was not allowed but "protect from injury" was. I'm not sure how "scientific" the correct answer is in comparison with the disallowed one! I also recall my daughter being marked wrong for "getting hotter" once because the "correct" answer was "temperature increases"! I think some teachers really go overboard, but maybe the PSLE markers are more sensible, I don't know.

Quote: ‘The bird has feathers but the lion does not HAVE FEATHERS’, which basically means the same damn thing as your original answer, except annoyingly repetitive.
I agree! This is an issue with English usage, nothing to do with science!

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Re: Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Postby zeemimi » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:52 am

I find it ironical .... in languages we teach our kids to use different words / phrases to express themselves when writing compo so that their compo does not look like run of the mill kind of standard compo.
But in science, we penalise / limit them if they use synonyms / other words to express a similar concept. It's good we teach the kids to use "scientific" words, but sometimes, things are just way overboard and ridiculous in the marking.
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Re: Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Postby pirate » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:09 am

http://news.discovery.com/tech/robotics/seahorse-tail-armor-could-be-robot-arm-130507.htm

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1742706113001153

http://www.scientificamerican.com/video/scientists-come-to-grips-with-seaho2013-06-17/

http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_releases/release.sfe?id=1358

Ironically, "armour" is the correct zoological terminology for what the seahorse has. Then again, some of our primary school science teachers may have been told by MOE that the folks at the likes of Discovery, ScienceDirect, ScientificAmerican and UCSD do not know any science.

From http://www.definition.com.co/armour.html:
[ noun ] (zoology) tough more-or-less rigid protective covering of an animal or plant

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Re: Science key words as a guide to Answering Questions

Postby Nebbermind » Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:31 pm


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