Author Archives: Gabe Kraljevic

Homework Conundrum

A colleague and I were wondering what type of homework works best for our students? How do we hold them accountable? — N., California   In general, you have to be flexible and adapt to your classes. Different courses, units, and students will create different conditions for homework to be useful. Topics like balancing equations, […]

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Getting the Ball Rolling

What are some of the best ways to start and facilitate a class discussion about science topics? – B., Arkansas I have used many different ways to get science discussions going. I think the key is to either “wow” them or provide them with some structure to get the ball rolling. If you have a […]

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Evolving ‘Controversy’ in School

I was considering sending a general email to our staff after learning a few teachers are telling students that evolution is wrong. At the very least I would like for my colleagues to be benign and not detrimental. What are your thoughts? – G., Ohio I think it would be a bad idea to send […]

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How to Host a Science Night

My middle school would like to host a science night for the district. Do you have any ideas? —S., Illinois Concentrate on activities that are safe. inexpensive, quick to set up and take down, and easy to clean up. Your students can learn a lot as the guides and demonstrators at the activities, while relieving […]

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Assessment for Learning

What do you typically do after administering a test or a midterm to help students make necessary corrections and, thereby, reinforce the concepts that were not understood? – J., New York   Tests and exams, which are assessments of learning, should also be a basis for learning. When I returned a test, the corrections automatically […]

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Science Fair Blues

My school requires science fairs for all ninth graders. How do you encourage students to ask questions that don’t just come from books or websites?  – L., Massachusetts   I think the objective of a science fair is to learn about the nature of science by designing and conducting experiments in a scientific manner and […]

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Experimenting with Labs

How can I help my students get the most out of their lab experiences? —J., Tennessee A lab that follows a step-by-step “recipe” does not challenge students to think much. Allowing them to design their own experimental procedures and identify variables and controls is a very powerful teaching method. General advice: Safety is always first! […]

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Adding Life to the Classroom

I’ve been considering adding some live animals to my classroom for my students to study. What should I consider before taking the leap? —K., Washington   Live animals definitely make science real and much more interesting than pictures, books, or videos can. You can always find a use for them when teaching the nature of […]

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Testy Lab Behavior

I have a few students who test me, as well as my mentor teacher, in most directions and instructions that we give and will abuse the science materials. Any suggestions on how to address this behavior? – D., Maryland Let me put your mind at ease. Everyone has encountered these students! I wish I could […]

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Country Living

My partner and I are thinking of moving to rural North Dakota to teach. I teach high school science while my partner teaches middle school. We would both like to teach in the same district. Do you have any advice on how we should proceed? —A., Missouri   Unpacking your question, I actually see several […]

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