Author Archives: Mary Bigelow

Mary Bigelow

Have a question for Ms. Mentor? E-mail her: msmentor@nsta.org.

Ideas and information from NSTA’s Summer K-12 journals






These issues are great additions to your summer reading list! Most of the lessons in these journals include a detailed chart connecting the lesson to the NGSS. Science and Children – From Molecules to Organisms The featured articles focus on developing a progression of learning for younger students. Native Plants and Seeds, Oh My! – […]

Posted in SciLinks | Leave a comment

Changing grade levels

5229139935_f4b54c053c_m






Next year there will be an opening in the high school science department. Although I love teaching middle school, I’m tempted by the opportunity to try something different and use more of what I majored in (chemistry). What advantages and disadvantages should I consider?—C., New Jersey Taking on new subjects or grade levels can be […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Tagged | Leave a comment

Managing Communication Channels

3172841858_4f317b12f7_m






Last year, I tried improving my communications with students and parents via electronic media. I had lots of responses, but I was being texted, tweeted, emailed, and called on the phone at all times of the day and night. While I want to encourage these communications, I’m looking for ideas to manage them and keep […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Tagged | 1 Response

Teaching more than one subject






I’m a recent graduate. A school district where I would really like to teach has an opening for a secondary science teacher. But when I read the job description, the position requires teaching five classes of two different subjects (general biology and an environmental science elective). During student teaching, I just taught biology. Is it […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Tagged | 15 Responses

DIY Your Science PD






As a K-12 science department chair, I’m looking for professional development (PD) opportunities for our teachers. It’s hard to find speakers and programs for a small group. We have a very small budget, so traveling for conferences is not an option, either. Are you familiar with other options? —K., Minnesota Continuing education is an important […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Tagged | 6 Responses

“Science 101”






Each month in NSTA’s Science and Children journal, Bill Robertson* writes an informational article on a science concept. These “background boosters” present content information in an easy-to-read format with many illustrations and applications for the classroom. Science 101 articles have a conversational rather than a technical style. Secondary teachers who want additional information can access […]

Posted in SciLinks | Tagged | 1 Response

Student reflections






I recently read an article about having students “reflect” on their work. I’m not sure what the value would be. What would this look like in a science class? –G., Ohio At a professional development workshop several years ago, I heard a teacher say “I do lots of activities. My students are so busy, they […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Tagged | 2 Responses

Should I present at a conference?






My colleagues and I recently attended an NSTA conference. On the way home as we discussed what we learned, they suggested I share some of the successful activities I do in the classroom, but I’m not sure that others would be interested. Plus, I’d be really nervous doing a presentation, and I’m not sure how […]

Posted in Conferences, Ms. Mentor | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Start and end the year safely






Questions and discussions about safety are often seen in the NSTA e-mail listserves and discussion forums. Each month, columns on safety in the science classroom/lab are featured in NSTA’s Science Scope (Scope on Safety) and The Science Teacher (Safer Science), with occasional articles in Science and Children (Safety First). These columns are written by Ken […]

Posted in SciLinks | Tagged | 1 Response

The last days of the school year






I’m looking for suggestions for what to do during the last week of school, after final exams are over. I teach high school chemistry.  —T., Maryland It’s hard to justify students (and parents) why students should come to school on the last days of the year, if all they do is watch videos, do busywork, […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Tagged | 4 Responses