Several resources appeared on my iPad this morning that made me put my coffee mug down and read (rather than tag for later on). A few were mentioned on MSP2 (Middle School Portal 2–Math and Science Pathways). Even if you teach upper elementary or high school, their resources are excellent and appropriate and Twitter will notify you of new postings and events.
Kim Lightie’s post on MSP2 NAEP Reveals Shallow Grasp of Science has links to the study we’ve been hearing and reading about, including the findings that students were able to perform simple investigations, but challenged to explain conclusions. Sometimes we fret over test scores without knowing what the items were. But the website has links to actual released items at all three grade levels for the hands-on and interactive computer tasks, complete with scoring rubrics and a summary of student performances. It might be interesting to try one with your own students. Or ask teachers to complete one themselves, compare their performance to the rubric, and discuss the report as a professional development activity.
The New York Times published its Year-End Roundup | Science, Health, Technology and Math, an index of lessons published in The Learning Network blog. They are organized by topic, and the page also has links to 2010 and 2011 lists. You can follow the blog via Facebook, Twitter, or an RSS feed. Two that caught my attention right away were Backyard Science: Tallying Local Species to Learn About Diversity and Peer Review Meets D.I.Y.: Publishing a Student Science Journal. There are links you can share with your colleagues in Language Arts, Journalism, the Arts, and Academic Skills and Social Studies, History, Geography, and Civics.
The Learning Network also has writing prompts geared for secondary students. 163 Questions to Write or Talk About are not necessarily related to science (and some require very personal reflection), but some could be used as bell-ringers or to show how students can relate science to other topics in the news. Each question has some background information, and you can see how other students responded. I could see some of these being used in PD sessions with teachers, too. It appears that you can access the Learning Network without purchasing a subscription to the Times.
Planning a holiday at one of the National Parks? The NPS’s Archeology Program has an interactive US map highlighting research projects in the Parks.