2023 Kansas City National Conference

October 25-28, 2023

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FILTERS APPLIED:PreK - 5, Poster, STEM Haven, Assessment


Rooms and times subject to change.
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Pre-Teaching to Enhance Background Knowledge in the Upper Elementary Classroom

Friday, October 27 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - Exhibit Hall, Poster Session Aisle

(Only registered attendees may view session materials. Please login with your NSTA account to view.)

STRAND: Students and Sensemaking

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Understanding complex science standards in elementary school often depends on the amount of background knowledge children have. One way that teachers can help students develop their schema before beginning a new science unit is to provide children with opportunities to build their prerequisite knowledge. This is particularly important when meeting the needs of a diverse group of learners. This session will center around upper elementary curriculum. It will include examples of short (5-10 minute) hands-on activities that can be used in the classroom to help children expand their schema before beginning to learn new science standards. Examples of pre-teaching activities: Ecosystems and Environments: Sorting seeds for a seed dispersal lab. The children notice features of the seeds. Force and Motion: Test the ramps before the activity and discuss independent variables such as ramp height and surface. Earth Systems: Use a sponge puzzle in water to model how tectonic plates move.

Attendees will leave with several examples of short, 5-10 minute long, hands-on activities to use in their classroom to help children develop their schema. They will also see examples of student's thinking and sensemaking in science notebooks.

Stacy Sharp-Adamson (Bell Prairie Elem School)

Using "Science Friday" to Promote Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Science Teaching Self-Efficacy

Friday, October 27 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Kansas City Convention Center - Exhibit Hall, Poster Session Aisle

STRAND: Research to Practice

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Implementing a practice based approach within a science methods course has the power to positively impact the science teaching self-efficacy of pre-service elementary teachers (Flores, 2015). Designing and implementing a performance based final as a culminating experience within a science methods course is an example of such a practice based approach. In addition to submitting a 5E lesson plan with all the accoutrements, pre-service elementary teachers planned, rehearsed, and facilitated a 'Science Friday" event at a local elementary school. This "Science Friday" event included six classrooms, two from each grade (Grade 3-5), where the pre-service elementary teachers facilitated a science lesson that included a 4-station hands-on, minds-on activity. All of the pre-service elementary teachers who participated in the performance final found the "Science Friday" experience to be a "value added" experience that positively impacted their perception of their science teaching self-efficacy.

Attendees will leave this poster session with knowledge of how to implement a performance-based final within a science methods course that effectively promotes the science teaching self-efficacy of pre-service elementary teachers.

Trish Arnold (Minnesota State University, Mankato: Mankato, MN)

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