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NSTA Atlanta Take-Aways

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Mary Lynn Hess Mary Lynn Hess 12358 Points

I hope many of you were able to join the national conference in Atlanta. There were so many great sessions to choose from. Can anyone share their favorite Life Science sessions for elementary school?

Thank you.

Lauren Cramer Lauren Cramer 2025 Points

This one wasn't particularly for elementary school but could be modified for elementary school. It was titled 'Wonderfully Weird and Wild Phemomena.' The presenter posed the question 'Which came first: the lizard or the snake?' and he brought in live animals to help us understand the physical differences in the two. He also shows us an organism called a European Legless Lizard to show us a transitional organism that is evolving. It was very powerful and because I know how interesting it was for me as an adult, I know my students would absolutely love it! I am planning to work out a guest to come to my classroom during our Evolution unit so I can recreate this lesson for my students in a way that I have never delivered it before. It was AH-mazing! 

Lauren Apodaca Lauren Apodaca 345 Points

Came here to post this exact session! The presenter provided a really awesome Claim, Evidence, Reasoning template that I was able to immediately use in my classroom. As a teacher with reptiles in the classroom, this session was perfect for me to use in my 5th grade class. I can see this format being used for any other types of animals as well!

Laura Taylor Laura Taylor 770 Points

The Tap Water Tour, recommended for grades 4-8. We used simple test kits to test water samples for pH, chlorine, iron, copper, and hardness. This would be interesting if students in the class get their water at home from different sources (well vs city supply) and can bring in samples to test or just to test the water at the school vs different bottled water brands. Students can complete CER statements for 'What sample would be the best water for drinking?'. The session also included other ways to incorporate the topic of water in the classroom including water scarcity and water pollution. Here is the link for the test kits we used in the session: 

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