Category Archives: Ask a Mentor

Get advice, and discuss the advice given! Click on a headline to read the entire post.
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Tackling Misconceptions and Personal Beliefs

How do you overcome misconceptions that many students will have coming into your classrooms? What is the best way to handle and approach situations when personal beliefs are involved? — M., Arkansas   Misconceptions abound in almost every topic we could study in science! To help anticipate some common misconceptions search NSTA’s The Learning Center and […]

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Absentee Student

One student in the class I currently teach has only been present one day out of four weeks. How should I keep this student up to date with the work that he is missing? Any tips and advice are greatly appreciated! — O., Ohio Talk to your cooperating teacher to learn what strategies have been […]

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What do you teach?

What is the most important part of teaching to remember when teaching science?  – C., Iowa I would ask all my student teachers, “What do you teach?” Without hesitation, they would answer science, biology, chemistry, or another discipline. I would then tell them, “I teach kids.” The most important thing is to remember that you […]

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The Art of Teaching Science

What are some hands-on ideas of how to integrate science into music and art classes?  – A., Iowa I believe that teachers should try to integrate subjects! Here are just a few ideas; search the NSTA Learning Center and NGSS@NSTA for more. Science in Music You can stretch large metal springs or plastic dryer vent tubes […]

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Teaching Visually-impaired Students

I am writing to ask for suggestions to teach visually-impaired students science. How do you suggest to teach such students? — M., Iowa   First, you need to get to know the student as an individual learner. Start by asking the student how you can support them in your class. Then, discover and contact the supports […]

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Public Posts

I am hoping to have “word walls” in my classroom for subject areas. What would be some beneficial words no matter the age level for the science classroom?  — H., Iowa Great idea! I have always maintained that teaching science is also like teaching a new language to students. Working on vocabulary to use when communicating […]

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Go Knights!

This month’s blogs feature questions sent to me by students of Michael D. Bechtel, EdD, assistant professor of science education, Biology Department of Wartburg College, Iowa. As part of their coursework they were asked to connect to professional learning communities and many of them found resources on the NSTA website – including this blog. Many […]

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Bringing the outdoors indoors.

How do you achieve the full concept of bringing the outdoors, indoors? How do you make sure your students are getting the most out of it? How do you transition smoothly where you do not lose any student’s attention? — K., Louisiana   I love teaching outdoors! Part of the problem you face is the […]

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Incorporating engineering into lifesciences

What are some good activities and lessons to incorporate engineering into biology/life science? – K., Connecticut There are several websites that will give you lesson plans to incorporate engineering into all topics in science. Search the NSTA Learning Center (https://learningcenter.nsta.org) for ideas and check my collection which you may find useful: https://goo.gl/6TrTHk . The possible […]

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School Stay-trips

If I work in a district where I am unable to take my kids on plenty of field trips, what are some alternatives or activities that could be done on school grounds, but that are still fun and eye-opening for students? – B., Arkansas Budgets, locations, and policies can all curtail your ability to take […]

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