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New Teachers

First day of teaching

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Susanne Hokkanen Susanne Hokkanen 79520 Points

Hi, I would stress that the way science is taught is just as, if not more important than "what science" is taught - meaning curriculum. I would argue that students need to be engaged in their learning for real "teaching and learning" to occur. So my response to your question would be to teach "authentic science" - make it real, make it relevant, and make it matter! Sue

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25635 Points

I'm going to piggy back off what Sue said; teaching topics in a manner that is relevant and engaging is critical if we are to foster a love of science in students. Don't let the textbook drive the curriculum---also take time to allow students to reflect on what they are learning. There's no point in rushing through the curriculum if it isn't going to "stick."

Ashley Westra Ashley Westra 225 Points

Let the kids know that it's ok to be wrong. Scientists are all about being wrong - that's kind of their job! When students are not afraid to take risks in their academic thinking, it can lead to all kinds of interesting discussions that are even more relevant to the student because they are the ones that came up with it. It's more important that students understand the hows and whys of science rather than a set curriculum. Scientific information changes so much that it's difficult to stick to the "facts." The idea of change, revision, being wrong, these are not typical school approaches. Students are taught that there is one answer, it's in the back of the book - they rarely get a chance to develop their creativity and divergent thinking. Science is the perfect subject to get in touch with your inner 5-year old.

Jennifer M Tanko Jennifer M Tanko 2190 Points

Ashley, I love that perspective. Science is so dynamic and plastic and including students in on that knowledge and dialogue will lead to an empowering classroom, I think. It would be interesting to design a lesson plan that looks into former scientific 'truths' that have since been disproven to show how knowledge develops in science. I'm a pre-service teacher (in Heather's class actually) and the information in this thread is great!

Ken Liu Ken Liu 2000 Points

I truly believe there are no wrong answers (well, up to a certain point) in science, as long as the students are able to explain and reason through their answers. As an example, I give a point for bell work if the students just try to answer it (no credit for "IDK!"). Their previous knowledge can help provide them the information and help synthesize an answer. Also students are so afraid of getting things wrong,that they aren't able to think outside the box.... ever hear of a sports team that plays not to lose rather than playing to win? It's a big difference. I don't want to hinder the students' thought process, so I give them a "free point for trying. Ken

Monica Holloway Monica Holloway 2990 Points

I am truly enjoying reading through this thread.
Last year I had a sign in my room that read
What intellectual risk have you taken today?
The point was to encourage creative thinking
rather than focusing on 'the right answer.'

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