Having worked at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) for many years, I get to talk to a lot of science teachers. One of my favorite things about them is how much they share with each other. In fact, I joked at our recent national conference that all the selfies were really “groupies”! So, inspired by this sharing, I wanted to pass along some of NSTA’s best time- and money-saving resources, written by (you guessed it) science teachers. The books below all contain tried-and-true ideas, and in the spirit of sharing, I made sure to list a free chapter from each. You won’t have to pull out your wallet for this one—each freebie delivers actionable advice you can use in the classroom tomorrow.
This collection of essays, carefully selected by former NSTA President and current Science and Children editor Linda Froschauer, outlines creative and inexpensive ways for preK through fifth-grade science teachers to keep their expenses to a minimum in five categories:
- Student-Created Constructions
- Teacher-Created Constructions and Repurposed Materials
- Teaching Strategies That Maximize the Budget
- Instructional Lessons That Maximize the Budget
- Funds and Materials
Chapters provide inexpensive alternatives to costly classroom projects, offer re-imagined uses for items teachers already have at home or school, and suggest new and untapped resources for materials. Even more important than offering ideas for frugality, the activities and strategies—such as “String Racers,” “Discovery Bottles,” “Ecosystem Jenga,” and “An Outdoor Learning Center”—enhance teachers’ abilities to develop their students’ conceptual understanding. (Read a sample chapter: Materials Repurposed: Find a Wealth of Free Resources at Your Local Recycling Center)
Since the debut of the Picture-Perfect Science books and workshops more than 10 years ago, authors Emily Morgan and Karen Ansberry have learned one thing for certain: Elementary school teachers are constantly clamoring for even more ways to engage children in reading and science through picture books. To meet that demand, the 15 all-new lessons in Even More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons bring you:
- Even more convenience: You can cover reading and science content simultaneously and save time with ready-to-use student pages and assessments.
- Even more confidence in your own expertise: You get relevant science concepts and reading comprehension strategies to keep your teaching on track.
- Even more ways to entice even reading-phobic children: Each lesson makes students yearn to learn science from such captivating fiction and nonfiction picture books as Houdini the Amazing Caterpillar; Captain Kidd’s Crew Experiments With Sinking and Floating; and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.
Plus: This latest volume even connects the lessons to A Framework for K–12 Science Education and the English Language Arts and Literacy Common Core State Standards.
Just as teachers like you have been hoping, Even More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons delivers the whole package: teacher-friendly lessons, strong standards-based science content, and a kid-magnet formula that will get your students engrossed in science while they improve their reading skills. (Read a sample chapter: The Wind Blew)
Think of this unique reference book as Inspiration Central for elementary and middle school science teachers. The Everyday Science Sourcebook is structured like an easy-to-use thesaurus. Just look up a topic in the Index, note the reference number, and then use that number to find a wealth of related activities in the Entry section. For example, looking up meteorology can lead you to notes on the Earth’s temperature. From there, you’ll see entries on how students can make a liquid thermometer, graph air temperatures, and measure the conversion of solar energy to heat energy. The Everyday Science Sourcebook deserves a prominent spot on your bookshelf. Refer to it daily as a springboard for ideas that make science memorable. (Read a sample chapter: Weather) Continue reading …