Author Archives: Mary Bigelow

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Teacher reflections

When I was student teaching, we had to do a “reflection journal.” Now that I have my own teaching assignment, I’m wondering if teachers keep such a document. If so, what do they put in it? What format do they use and how do they find the time for journaling?   —L., Vermont Teachers are constantly […]

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January journals and SciLinks

One of the perks of being an NSTA member is having access to all of the journals online. Regardless of the grade level you teach, the journals have ideas for authentic activities and investigations that can be used, adapted, or extended for different levels of student interest and experience. Most are aligned with the NGSS. […]

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Supplementing a budget decrease

Our principal just informed us that the science department budget will be decreased for next year. It’s already bare bones, so my colleagues and I are interested in finding other funding sources such as grants. What do we need to know to get started?   – G., Oregon In a perfect world, schools and teachers would […]

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Science “home”work for interested students

I have several students this year who are really into science. I’d like to provide or suggest some elementary-level projects or activities that parents can do with them at home to encourage this interest. Do you have any ideas beyond book lists and activity sheets?    —M. from Maryland Your desire to foster student interest in […]

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Student teamwork

I like to consider my classroom as a partnership with the students. So this year (my first year), the students were able to choose their own teams for cooperative learning and lab activities. This worked out in some cases, but there are teams that don’t seem to get much accomplished. They’re often off-task and unfocused. […]

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“Extras” for NSTA journals

Students are naturally inquisitive and eager to learn. The NSTA K-12 journals for December have many ideas and suggestions for teachers to tap into these inquiring minds. Science & Children: Scale, Proportion, and Quantity ” Young children work at macroscopic scales that are directly observable and move on to those that are too small, too […]

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The way it’s supposed to be…

I have been trying to incorporate more inquiry-based investigations into my biology curriculum. But the students are upset. They want to stick with the cookbook labs where they follow the procedure and complete a data table that I give them. —T., Colorado It seems like you’ve noticed how high school students (and some of their […]

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Elementary science connections

Help! At my school, science is a special that my first graders go to once a week. I’m looking for integrated and engaging ideas for science that I could use during regular instruction. As most teachers know, time is precious, but I think it’s vital to pique students’ interests now while they are still curious […]

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Student teaching frustration

Teaching is my second career. I used to work for an environmental agency, but I’m having second thoughts about this switch. I took over for my cooperating teacher at the beginning of this marking period. I have a very diverse group of kids. Some are willing to cooperate, others very willing to test or disrespect me. I do not […]

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NSTA journals: A goldmine for teachers

One of the perks of being an NSTA member is having access to all of the journals online. Regardless of the grade level you teach, the journals have ideas for authentic activities and investigations that can be used, adapted, or extended for different levels of student interest and experience. The articles in NSTA’s November K-12 […]

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