I enjoy traveling to new places, hiking to new heights, and learning new things that I can share. Besides being a field trip instructor and Camp Instrutor at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I teach science methods and education courses at Southern Illinois University/Carbondale and Dominican University/River Forest. I am also a Senior Online Advisor and Web Seminar Moderator for the NSTA.
Looking for ideas to give your students opportunities to collect real data that will help researchers and perhaps awaken a desire to help our planet survive and thrive? Here is a collection of resources from the Learning Center.
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Vocabulary Building and Reading-To-Learn Strategies
Several Learning Center articles provide strategies for helping students learn and understand vocabulary terms important to science concepts/content. Here is a collection highlighting several ideas.
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Thu, Nov 18, 2021 10:02 AM in STEM in the classroom
You have hit on a very important dilemma. How do elementary teachers find the time to teach meaningful, engaging science lessons when they have few opportunities built into their daily schedules? One of the ways is to integrate the science content with reading, math, and writing assignments and learner objectives. For example, when learning about different habitats ...
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Thu, Nov 18, 2021 9:43 AM in Virtual STEM projects
Teachers across the country found themselves thrust into that virtual situation rather suddenly when the pandemic made it necessary to keep children home. The technology of the day was indespensible to provide teachers with a range of online tools to help keep students actively engaged whether at home or in a classroom. One of the things some school districts did ...
Mon, Nov 15, 2021 11:10 PM in How to incorporate textbooks with hands-on learning
You bring up an important concern that many elementary teachers have when they are given a science textbook and no professional development on how to incorporate the reading material with other resources that might be available either in the way of kits or online resources through the text book companies. There are a few online science textooks now that attempt to include a pl...
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Sat, Jan 11, 2020 10:36 PM A Simpler Inquiry Model for our Youngest Science Investigators!
Who doesn't like a freebee? To introduce their book, "A Head Start on Life Science: Encouraging a Sense of Wonder," the author William Straits shares chapters 1 and 2 in the NSTA Learning Center Library for free to members and non-members alike. You will love the simplified inquiry lesson plan model on page 6. Then in chapter 2, it is written up as a lesson with 'Roly-polies." The 3 part lesson plan model consists of a) Getting Started, b) Investigating, and c) Making Sense. Check it out if you want some great information on creating and using lessons with 3 - 7 year olds. I noticed that the 'Family Activities' were provided in English and Spanish. Check it out under: 'Science for Young Children' by doing a explore all resources search at: https://learningcenter.nsta.org/search/
I have added this to my list of books to buy now!
Sat, Jan 11, 2020 10:17 PM Connecting Common Core with STEM lessons
I came across this free offering to members and non-members alike in the NSTA Learning Center - Ch 6 of the book, Designing Meaningful STEM Lessons. I found pages 30 and 32 of particular interest - page 30 shows the connections between the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) of the NGSS with the common core Math standards. Page 32 is a Venn Diagram of the commonalities among the science, math and ELA practices. As a result of perusing this book chapter, I am ready to purchase the whole book! It should be a great resource for those of us wanting to create STEM lessons!
Killing Two Birds With One Stone
Mon, Sep 17, 2018 6:32 PM ELA & Science: A Match Made in Heaven
If you are "biting at the bit" because your principal doesn't see any value in teaching science, this article will help him/her see how you can "kill two birds with one stone". Students conceptualize everyday phenomena and make their thinking visible while practicing English and language arts strategies. The author relies heavily on interactive notebooks where students practice their reading and writing as they engage in critical thinking skills, apply their learning to new situations, and connect prior knowledge to new phenomenal occurrences. The article is an outstanding example of how to document student thinking and understanding, too. When interactive notebooks are used throughout the school year, you have student-generated data at your fingertips to show students' continuing growth in reading, writing, and reasoning skills. What more could a principal ask for?
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