Author Archives: Mary Bigelow

Involving students on day one

I’m not sure what to do on the first day of my new middle school assignment (I started student teaching in the spring, so I never had the experience of a “first day”). Any suggestions? —C., Minnesota On the first day, middle schoolers meet 6-8 different teachers. Listening to each teacher read the syllabus, describe […]

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The science event of the year

Even if your location is not in the path of the total solar eclipse, viewing a partial one is an amazing event. If you’re looking for safety tips, a refresher on the science of eclipses, classroom activities on the topic, or professional development, NSTA has many resources to assist. Download the Observer’s Guide to Viewing […]

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Students’ Self-Assessment and Reflection

Do you have ideas on how to help my middle school students become more thoughtful, independent learners? —J., Michigan In my experience, self-assessment and reflective activities gave students ownership in their learning. Self-assessment is more than students “correcting” their own papers. When students self-assess, they reflect on the results of their efforts and their progress […]

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Learning from experience

My first year of teaching biology was challenging, but I made it! Do you have any suggestions for what I should do to improve for next year?  —C, Virginia Congratulations for completing your first year! A good way to prepare for next year is to reflect on this one, learning from your experiences. How did […]

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Ideas and inspiration from NSTA’s July 2017 K-12 journals

Get ready for the total eclipse visible in parts of the US: Scope on the Skies: Vocabulary of the Skies Why, How, and Where to View Totality Science & Children – The Science and Math Connection Editor’s Note: The “Fundamental Tools” of Science: As they [students] investigate, we can move them beyond play by emphasizing […]

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From teacher to administrator

I have assumed an administrative position in my high school. Although I’m sad to leave the classroom, I’m looking forward to this challenge. I have the credentials but not much experience, so I need insights on making the transition. —C., New York Congratulations on your new professional adventure! If you have not formally been assigned […]

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Inventing inventors

I’m looking for ideas to integrate physical science and social studies at the middle school level. — E., New Jersey Inventions and inventors could be an interesting context to explore the connections between science, engineering, technology, history, and economics. A social studies colleague framed a unit around two questions: Why do we invent or innovate? […]

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Student questions

What do I do when a student asks a question related to the lesson and I don’t know the answer? I don’t have a strong background in science, and as a beginning teacher this makes me nervous. —C., Massachusetts Virtually every teacher has been in this situation, with curious students or those who want more […]

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Interview lesson

I’m a recent graduate, looking for an elementary teaching position. I’ve heard I could be asked to teach a lesson as part of an interview. How should I prepare? —N., Ohio Sometimes the interview process does have a performance component. I’ve been part of the process (as both the interviewer and interviewee) in which applicants […]

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Career of the month

For students of any age who are interested in careers in science and engineering, The Science Teacher features a “Career of the Month” column. This two-page article includes interviews with professionals who use science in their work, a description of the job (work overview, career knowledge, and skills), and advice for students. Here is a […]

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