Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Why do objects sink or float?

About this Illustration of Practice

A kindergarten teacher demonstrates her science subject knowledge in planning and implementing an investigation about 'floating and sinking'. The teacher has clear goals for her student learning and supports colleagues to select and apply effective teaching strategies to refine and extend students' understanding of the concepts in focus. In a lesson, she engages students in language development, critical thinking, using hypotheses and testing their ideas through experiment and discussion. The teacher reflects on what students have learned with a kindergarten aide, identifying future interventions to correct misunderstandings. Together they plan where students' thinking might be taken next.

Standard 2
Know the content and how to teach it
Focus area 2.1
Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area
Career stage
Highly Accomplished
Support colleagues using current and comprehensive knowledge of content and teaching strategies to develop and implement engaging learning and teaching programs.
Other descriptors
Standard 3
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Focus area 3.2
Plan, structure and sequence learning programs
Career stage
Highly Accomplished
Work with colleagues to plan, evaluate and modify learning and teaching programs to create productive learning environments that engage all students.
  1. How do you assist students understand about real world issues and events?
  2. In what ways do you challenge, refine or extend their understandings of important concepts in your teaching area/s?
  3. How do could you support collegiate learning about what children have learned, where misunderstandings might occur and how to take their thinking to a higher level?
Learning area
Year level
Australian Curriculum content descriptions
Ulverstone Primary School
Year level
Early Childhood
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
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Ulverstone Primary School in rural Tasmania was established in 1870. It is now a large primary school of 420 students. In the kindergarten class, students have been learning about 'floating and sinking' in a series of science lessons. The teacher and the teaching aides have organised activity areas designed to build students’ understanding. At water trays, children engage in independent and guided exploration about 'How a boat can be made to sink' and 'How a heavy object can be helped to float'. Relevant fiction and non-fiction texts and writing and art materials are provided for students to record their understandings. The teacher and assistants scaffold students' observation, hypothesising, prediction, experimentation and tentative interpretation of data, embedding appropriate scientific terminology in experiential learning.
Content provider
Early Childhood Australia (ECA)

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.