Supporting Students With Disabilities in STEM

Jason, is this big enough?” My seventh-grade teacher asked me about the text on the whiteboard, in front of the entire class. Much to my horror, she continued to ask this repeatedly for what felt like the rest of the year. As a middle school student who had suddenly become aware of pretty girls and how big my glasses were, the last thing I wanted was to be asked constantly about whether I could actually see what was on the whiteboard. She had good intentions, but it was the first time I realized some people didn’t know how to deal with my disability.

The road from embarrassed seventh grader to earning a computer engineering degree, to Microsoft senior project manager, to an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)-Lemelson Invention Ambassador has not been smooth. We know that so many children lose interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in early adolescence, and we lose many more young adults as they progress through our educational system.

I can attest to the fact that the pathway for children with disabilities is especially filled with obstacles. My success in STEM has made me acutely aware of this, so I am passionate about supporting an interest in STEM for persons with disabilities so they can leverage technology to become the world’s next STEM leaders and innovators.

I was born with ocular albinism, resulting in uncorrectable vision of 20/80 and 20/200. My parents worked extremely hard to get me the accommodations I needed to succeed, and very closely with teachers to ensure they knew how to work with me. Seventh grade was different because I had so many teachers that my parents couldn’t work as closely with them all. While teachers were “aware” of my problems, they had very different ways of handling my disability:

  • Those who over-accommodated. As I said earlier, these teachers constantly needed affirmation and often “coddled” me.
  • Those who under-accommodated. Often these teachers behaved like stereotypical “tough guy” physical education teachers who either didn’t think I needed help or perhaps thought I just needed to “toughen up.”
  • Those who got it “just right.” Teachers who talked to me before or after class, privately, and understood the social horrors of middle school could be exacerbated with a disability. They supported me, but had the same expectations of success for the rest of the class.

As adult and a parent, I’ve begun to appreciate all of the work and stress teachers experience each thankless day. (My sister has taught young students, so I’ve witnessed it all firsthand.) Preparing for everything involved in teaching—including helping students with disabilities succeed—is a job I can’t imagine doing, but I’m so appreciative of the top-notch teachers I had. Without their help, I never would have been able to pursue a STEM degree and career. However, we know students with disabilities are significantly more unlikely to simply graduate high school, much less pursue a degree or job in STEM. 

All students of all abilities can successfully learn STEM and pursue STEM careers. Though awareness of issues of diversity and equity related to gender and ethnicity has become more widespread, disabilities often are not part of the diversity and inclusion conversations. My goal in this blog post, and in life, is to encourage students to pursue STEM, parents to realize their children’s potential, and teachers to support and guide students with disabilities to pursue STEM degrees and careers.

Partnering With Parents

Generally, parents must be the ones to arrange accommodations for students with disabilities. I was extremely lucky to have my parents advocating for me to have larger-print books, low-vision tools, and help in the classroom. If a student appears to have a disability (physical or learning) and it’s unclear if they have any assistance, it’s best to reach out directly to the parents. 

As with many things, this can be a delicate process. Rather than assuming you know the answers, ask questions to see if the student has been evaluated by a specialist. For example, students with low vision  can be examined by specialists who can evaluate and prescribe based on their needs.

Typically students will already have been evaluated by an ophthalmologist, but sometimes that isn’t enough. My doctor was one of the best eye surgeons in the country, but he didn’t believe in many forms of low-vision accessibility solutions. As a result, my parents didn’t know about all of the available technology until I was in 10th grade, technology that I could have used in the classroom to make life easier or to use to drive. It’s important for teachers to connect with parents early on and inform them of available resources.

Strong Expectations With Strong Support

As I mentioned, some teachers over-accommodated and had lower expectations for me. Ironically, I had more teachers expecting less of me than teachers who didn’t think I needed help. Remember that students with disabilities can accomplish any set of goals, but may need a different way to do so, such as having more time for tests or assignments, showing their progress in a different way , or receiving additional assistance.

One of the biggest mistakes is to steer students with disabilities to “easier” education pathways. If more students with disabilities pursue STEM and are given appropriate challenging assignments, they’ll pave the way for others in the future and may even change the world because of their unique abilities. I’ll share an example of this.

I met a young girl who was legally blind and wanted to pursue a degree in mathematics at Virginia Tech. After describing all the tough obstacles she had already overcome in high school, she asked me bluntly, “Do you think I’ll be able to get my degree?” I emphatically said, “Yes,” but allowed it wouldn’t be easy. Four years later, she earned her degree.

As professors and peers worked with her, they experienced math in a new way because of her. They learned calculus in three dimensions, and literally felt math in new ways as they experienced graphing with braille. This led to some incredible new ways to teach math and some breakthroughs for math theses that would not have happened without her.

Finding the Right Balance

Unfortunately, I don’t have an obvious answer regarding how much support to give students with disabilities. But I’ll conclude with one more higher education story about a professor who told another student who was blind that she couldn’t participate in a mountain climbing class. The professor did not want the student to get hurt, but after she pushed hard enough, she was allowed to participate. She fell and received many scrapes, but by the end of the class, she was moving the fastest of all the students and even participating in competitions. The professor observed, “I was both afraid I couldn’t help her be successful, and afraid of her failing. She taught me how to be a better teacher by realizing the easier road isn’t the road where we learn the most.”

I believe our future is bright because of amazing teachers, and I believe students with disabilities can change the world, especially in STEM. To succeed, they’ll need your support and encouragement to pursue hard work, but that’s not new to you: It’s exactly what you’re great at, and we can’t thank you enough for doing it all.

Jason Grieves, a senior program manager at Microsoft, empowers persons with disabilities by inventing solutions to help them change the world. Grieves believes supporting persons with disabilities to live, work, and play in new ways will allow a new generation to leverage technology to become the world’s next leaders and innovators. During his 10 years with Microsoft, he has introduced new accessible technology for persons with visual impairments; improved software typing on phones for everyone, including those with mobility impairments; and built innovative personal health and fitness solutions that energize people to change their lives and improve their health. He also spent a year at technology startup Katalyst developing a new technology to enable persons with visual, hearing, and mobility impairments to exercise smarter and more efficiently.

Grieves’ passion for accessibility and empowering others stems from his own visual disability. He was born with optic nerve damage in both eyes. Through a life-changing event—meeting a young girl who was completely blind—and with incredible support from his family and friends, he began helping persons with disabilities in high school. He spent one summer preparing a kindergarten teacher, computer, and classroom for a new student who had a similar visual impairment. When he saw the student successfully using the computer and learning from the teacher in front of the class, he knew he had found his calling.

Grieves currently holds 11 patents.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

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Acorns for fun in science

Acorns scattered on the ground.

Chinquapin oak acorns, also spelled “Chinkapin.”

This fall there are an abundance of acorns falling from the oak trees in my area. Scientists study oak trees to understand possible reasons why some years larger amounts of acorns are produced than others. 

Acorns are free material for early childhood science explorations, with permission from the landowners. A nature walk among trees exposes children to new vocabulary in a meaningful context. “For example, as they learn the word acorn, they also learn that a variety of adjectives such as dark, ripe, rotten, and elliptical are suitable when providing detailed observations” (Arreguin-Anderson, Alanis, and Gonzalez).

The shapes of acorns vary from one oak species to another (see identification resources below) and make a wonderful addition to a sensory table (as long as your children are older than 3 years and are not putting objects in their mouths). After several weeks children may notice holes in the acorns and discover the tiny grub or caterpillar-like animals that emerged from the acorns. These are baby insects, acorn weevils, and provide an opportunity to wonder at this specific relationship of plant and animal.

As children use acorns at the sensory table, or as game pieces, in imaginative play, and in art explorations they will notice and sort acorns by attributes such as size, shininess, or the texture of the cup (“hat”). 

Acorns roll but not in the same way as marbles—something to discover when setting up ramps for rolling. Spinning an acorn is easier when a stem is added to make it into a spinning top. Make a hole by pushing a nail or awl into the top after the cup is removed, on the opposite side from the small point on the bottom. It is easier to poke a hole in the tops of some acorns than others. 

Do all acorns float? Or do they sink? The cupula or cup of an acorn makes a tiny boat. 

You might find that some of the acorns you gather are already growing a root. Plant them in soil to grow a tree or put them into a clear container or bag to watch the root and sprout growth.

Read about the way other educators engaged children in examining acorns in these two articles from Science and Children:

“Methods and Strategies: Using Acorns to Generate an Entire Alphabet” by Maria Guadalupe Arreguin-Anderson, Iliana Alanis, and Irasema Salinas Gonzalez. Science and Children 53(6): 76-81. February 2016

“Planting Deeper: Outdoor experiences challenge children’s misconceptions about the needs of plants” by Ana Maria Caballero and Nermeen Dashoush. Science and Children 55(2): 56-61. October 2017

A few tree identification web sites:

Department of Natural Resources Madison, Wisconsin Division of Forestry. Forest Trees of Wisconsin: How to know them. 

The Maine Forest Service. 2008. Forest Trees of Maine. 

Oaks in particular: 

Stein, John, Denise Binion, and Robert Acciavatti. 2003. Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America. USDA Forest Service 

Texas A&M Forest Service. List of Trees. 

York, Harlan. 100 Forest Trees of Alabama. Division of Forestry, Alabama Department of Conservation. 

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Ed News: In America’s Science Classroom, The Creep Of Climate Skepticism

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This week in education news, fewer foreign students are choosing to study at U.S. universities; Alaska school district grows fresh food for school lunch program and supports local employment; Missouri Governor signs STEM education and computer science bill; to become readers, kids need to learn how the words they know how to say connect to print on the page; new analysis unveils that several states don’t consider teacher effectiveness in layoffs; and school leaders must create schools that empower teachers to grow and have meaningful collaboration.

Why Foreign Students Diverting From America Is A Problem

All the media attention these days around global trade tensions is missing a potentially longer-lasting looming danger to U.S. competitiveness: Fewer of the world’s “best and brightest” are choosing to study at U.S. universities. Read the article featured in Forbes magazine.

Alaska School District Grows Fresh Food And Supports Local Employment

At a few remote Alaska schools, produce ranging from tomatoes and squash to bok choy and cilantro is grown in greenhouses heated by wood-fired boilers. This provides fresh greens and vegetables for the school lunch program in communities where some residents have to drive two hours, one way, to the nearest grocery store. Southeast Island School District’s initiative has also increased employment for the remote communities it serves on Prince of Wales Island. The district hires local citizens and high school students to stoke the boilers during the long winter months. Read the article featured in District Administration.

Continue reading …

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Helping Students Develop Perseverance

Tom Meagher, district STEM education coordinator for Owatonna Public Schools in Owatonna, Minnesota, shows students how to hold a Monarch butterfly before releasing it. “Finding, collecting, feeding, cleaning, and releasing live Monarch butterflies teaches students about scientific observation, collecting samples, recording changes over time, life cycles, and stewardship. Each step requires practice in perseverance,” he says. Photo courtesy of Dani Rypka

While some people use the terms “perseverance” and “grit” interchangeably, David Upegui, science teacher at Central Falls High School in Central Falls, Rhode Island, has a different view: “I am extremely fortunate to work in Central Falls (the most economically disadvantaged city in Rhode Island), where I teach some of the best students in our country. I have several strategies that I have [used] in the past, and also some potential warnings about the use of the ‘grit’ concept (perseverance is much better).”

With “100% of students [at my school] receiving free or reduced-price lunch,” 80% Latino, and many the children of immigrants, Upegui maintains, “all the students are already ‘gritty.’ They’re survivors. That these students show up [at school] at all is amazing.”

Perseverance, however, “is having the faculty to look at academic challenges as a way to grow personally and gain power over the world,” says Upegui. In his classes, “students feel science is our language and knowledge…and a tool for empowerment. They understand that science can teach you how to question the world, and you can apply it to all aspects of your life. My students realize it’s not about one assignment or one test: It’s about tools to help them change the world.” Science, he emphasizes to students, “has built into it the ability of changing. Science isn’t static.”

Helping students persevere is “not training [them] to be managed by others, but to manage others, to be leaders,” Upegui asserts. Because many of his students “don’t see themselves in college, [they] need to be trained to be problem solvers and better citizens,” he says.

Upegui shares stories about the successes of former students, many of whom accomplished goals they once thought unimaginable including attending “Harvard, MIT, the Naval Academy.” He talks about scientists who overcame obstacles, such as Lynn Margulis, who was honored for her seminal work in endosymbiosis. “She was rejected 18 times until her research was published,” Upegui relates. “[I emphasize that] perseverance is something we all can develop: Work hard and work smart.”

Because some of his students are skeptical about their potential for success, Upegui says he carefully scaffolds challenging tasks “to help students have small successes first. I make them challenging enough so it’s interesting, but simple enough to be doable…

“When students work with [one another], they learn to rely on [one another] in a learning community. The students feel, ‘The responsibility to succeed is on all of us.’ Purposeful grouping and peer-editing assignments” can bolster that feeling, Upegui explains.

Dave Carlgren, physical science teacher at Renert School in Calgary, Canada, and his colleagues are taking perseverance through collaboration a step further. “Our science department is looking at a new evaluation strategy that involves students’ individual assessments also counting toward a ‘pod’ mark involving the individual marks of others. In this way, subcommunities of individuals may form that ‘look out’ for…one another. They can help other students in their pod study and prepare to do well,” he explains.

This idea came about because “we see a disconnect between what’s done in school and the way the world is,” says Carlgren. Often in the workforce, people “collaborate in support and aren’t competitive. We wanted to reflect this in classroom assessment and evaluation.”

Beginning this year in fourth- and fifth-grade physical science classes, students have been grouped into pods of four to five students for collaboration. This pod size is “large enough that there’s a significant impact of [grade] averaging, but not too large so that students can easily help one another,” Carlgren points out.

Grouping is based on teachers’ knowledge of students’ strengths and weaknesses. “We teach students over multiple years,” he notes, so teachers have had sufficient time to familiarize themselves with their students’ habits. Other factors in grouping are student communication modes, parental support, past success in science, students’ friends, homerooms, and “how often students will see one another during the school day, the more, the better,” Carlgren relates. Pods can change during the year, if needed, he adds.

“The pod effect” occurs “before the test or quiz,” says Carlgren. High achievers benefit from teaching the material to their peers, while struggling students “will have several students in their pod who can help them and provide different perspectives,” he reports.

Carlgren and his colleagues hope the pod arrangement also will discourage bullying. “We’re pushing the idea that all students have strengths. The pods allow students to focus on the academic side; we encourage them to help the bully and the bullied,” he explains.

So far, students have been “extremely supportive” of the pod concept and of their pod members, says Carlgren. By the end of the school year, the science department hopes to have this strategy incorporated in science classes in grades 4–9. “We hope students will become accustomed to helping others,” he observes.

The Power of ‘Yet’

Tom Meagher, district STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education coordinator for Owatonna Public Schools in Owatonna, Minnesota, works closely with more than 120 teachers to design and implement STEM lessons “grounded in [a] growth mindset [and] perseverance…When you approach learning through problem solving, teamwork, and challenges, there’s a whole different mindset: ‘We’re going to solve this together.’”

When describing strategies for encouraging perseverance, Meagher points to Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck’s work on growth mindset and her TED Talk, The Power of Yet. “When a student says, ‘I don’t get it,’ the teacher responds, ‘You don’t get it yet. What’s our next step?’,” he explains. “This provides a path to grow and expand their knowledge. I find it helps with our teachers, too,…to help them grow out of their own comfort zones.”
To help students develop perseverance, Meagher discourages teachers from “labeling students according to how they perform on tests. Life’s not a race.” Developing student perseverance begins with teachers recognizing, for example, that for a kindergartener to successfully do leaf rubbings and find and sort leaves, “fine motor skills are needed. Some students aren’t experienced in this, so we need to teach them the fine motor skills, plus [things like] sorting and identification,” he maintains.

Often students who are used to getting things right the first time need help developing perseverance, Meagher observes. “They had to learn to change the way they think. [The less-gifted] students were more diligent, more strategic problem solvers.” He found pairing the two types helped the advanced students learn perseverance and allowed the less-gifted students to get help with reading.

Meagher also advises, “Don’t give students specific roles in groups, like notetaker. Just give them the assignment and say, ‘It’s up to you to figure it out.’ They will determine their roles [naturally].” Educators need only step in “when strong personalities are involved,” he suggests.

Rather than presenting challenges to students as things to work on, Meagher suggests teachers present challenges as opportunities for practice. “Students see this as building skill,” he explains.

This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of NSTA Reports, the member newspaper of the National Science Teachers Association. Each month, NSTA members receive NSTA Reports, featuring news on science education, the association, and more. Not a member? Learn how NSTA can help you become the best science teacher you can be.

The mission of NSTA is to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.

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NSTA’s E-mail List Server: A Gold Mine of Help at Your Fingertips

One of the most popular and accessible ways for members to get quick professional development advice and stay abreast of education trends is through the free NSTA’s E-Mail List Server.

Through the list server, thousands of NSTA members from teachers to administrators are able to reach out virtually for help from fellow members. Discussion topics range from middle school science competitions and model-based biology to kitchen chemistry and the Next Generation Science Standards. The list goes on and on.

Anytime Answers

With more than 20 categories of discussion, the list server allows members to sign up for specific topics such as early childhood education, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and pedagogy. No need to wait until regular working hours to pose a question or vet an idea.

For example, an NSTA member posted the following question a few weeks ago at 7:09 p.m.:

Hi Everyone,
My school is considering changing our current schedule and course offerings. At present, we offer ‘honors’ (advanced) courses for our high achievers/gifted. Can you tell me how your middle school addresses the needs of their high achievers/gifted? I’d like to be able to bring back the information to the scheduling committee.

A number of responses came in from members throughout that evening and during the next couple of days. Here’s an example of one of the responses:

Our district has an accelerated math science path for middle grades. 

7th or 8th graders can take algebra 1 for high school credit. Ones who take it in 7th go on to geometry as 8th graders so they are able to enroll in algebra 2 as freshmen. 

In science the students who are accelerated can take a class that covers 6th and half of 8th grade standards as 6th graders, then 7th and other half of 8th standards as 7th graders. They take an integrated physics and chemistry course as 8th graders.     

There is a subset of this accelerated group that is even more accelerated. Those kids are in a STEM academy where they take geometry, physics, and a computer science course in 8th grade, all for high school credit. 

Established Community

Because the list is exclusive to NSTA members, you can know that each voice on the lists is a member in the science education community. With each email, participants are instantly connected to expertise around the world.

Etiquette and Guidance

Like any professional community, NSTA asks for members to agree to rules for participation. Organic conversations are expected, yet topics should stay on topic. For example, last month a member posed a question about the different approaches to teaching metric conversions. The 12 responses that came in for that question led to valuable information on different approaches, but the topic didn’t stray from metric conversions.

“PD Gold Mine”

It’s not just participants who learn from these discussions. Did you know NSTA E-Mail threads have been considered the “PD gold mine” and have led to articles in NSTA publications such as NSTA Reports?

Connect with other educators, connect with members, and connect directly with NSTA through the E-mail List Server.

Not a member of NSTA? Learn more about how to join.

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Simple Ways to Make the Best Schedule for Your Grade Level at #NSTA18 Charlotte

NSTA’s 2018 Charlotte conference on science education is right around the corner (November 29–December 1).

If you’ve ever attended, you know that you get up to 13 hours of credit for sessions in vital areas like STEM, literacy, and 3D learning. You probably also know that exhibitors like Astrocamp Virginia; Carolina Biological Supply Co.; the Museum of Science, Boston; NASCAR Hall of Fame; the National Inventors Hall of Fame/Camp Invention; STEMscopes; and TeacherGeek, Inc. will be there to show off their latest programs and innovations (leave room in your suitcase for all the giveaways!). And best of all, you know you’ll make new professional contacts and friends.

But did you know you can take a deep dive into your grade level by planning your schedule around your grade level? Browse below to find ideas for your grade level, and see all conference details here.

High School

First, put this meeting of your peers on your schedule. NSTA’s High School Committee is hosting this get-together just for you:

Thursday, November 29
3:30–4:40 PM
High School Teachers: Birds of a Feather
Queens, The Westin Charlotte

Next, put the keywords “high school” into the session browser, and find the ones that are right for you. Here are just a few that you may want to target:

  • Using Modeling Activities in the High School Chemistry Class
  • The Radio Sky
  • Using the Triple Line of Sustainability to Support Student Writing in All Levels of the High School Classroom
  • NARST-Sponsored Session: Novel Method for Teaching the Difference and Relationship Between Theories and Laws
  • Using District Science Coaching Model to Improve Teacher Instruction and Retention
  • Integrating E-Books into the Secondary Classroom

Continue reading …

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Spiders and other small creatures—do we want children to be afraid?

Huge anatomically incorrect ‘spiders’ with legs as long as a Daddy Longlegs’ took over the neighborhood these past weeks, crawling up webs ‘spun’ on the sides of houses. Dropping out of trees are others with more fuzzy hair than a troll doll. Halloween is a time to delight in shivers from confronting fantastical images when we know they are “not real.”

Bumble bee on bright orange flower.When children are too afraid of a spider, bee, or other small animal to enjoy a picnic or hike through woods, they will miss out on learning about the many awe-inspiring connections between living organisms in an environment and their relationship to the non-living parts of the landscape too. Look at how the body of the bee works so well to get food from the flower, and how the shape of the flower parts make pollen easily attach to a visiting bee. I want children to be aware and cautious but not afraid as they play outdoor. Every local has some dangers that children must be protected from, such as, stinging and biting insects, venomous snakes, toxic mushrooms, and bacteria that can cause illness, as well as traffic, fine particle air pollution, and applications of chemical pesticides. Some children are at more risk than others due to allergies or inadequate immune systems. Teaching children how to safely play outdoors is a gift that will last for their lifetime. We can prepare ourselves to give this gift by increasing our knowledge and comfort with co-existing with all the nature in our area. When we are aware of real dangers, such as tick-borne illnesses, we prepare to avoid and prevent them through learning. I much prefer the scent of rosemary to that of DEET, but appreciate the scientific testing that goes into determining how effective anything is for repelling mosquitoes and ticks.  Continue reading …

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Legislative Update: Education and the November Election, What You Need to Know

It’s trick or treat time, and I’m not talking Halloween. 

This important election will happen in 8 days and NSTA will still be working on your behalf in 8+1 days.  The most important thing for you to do is to vote. We need to make sure teachers’ voices are heard. Here are some good sites and articles to get you up to speed on key education-related issues ahead of the November 6 election:

For a complete and thorough overview of key issues and races, The Education Commission of the States  Why the 2018 Elections Matter for Education website  has a terrific interactive state-by-state map that includes topics such as which governors appoint state boards of education, and what states have key election-related ballot measures.

Speaking of ballot measures, there are 20 confirmed ballot measures in 15 states that could generate more than $2 billion in revenue for public education and represent public referendums on important education policy issues, such as private school vouchers. There are 16 tax- and bond-based funding ballot measures which could allot at least $2.6 billion to education in 12 different states. This, and more, including a table of all the November 2018 ballot measures concerning early childhood, K-12, and higher education, can be found in the article Education is on the Ballot This November  from the Center for American Progress. Continue reading …

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How to Use the Power of Assessing in Your Classroom

Authors Lisa M. Nyberg and Julie V. McGough have done it again. Dedicated to “all learners who seek answers and love learning,” their latest offering, The Power of Assessing: Guiding Powerful Practices, is another gem in the NSTA Press Powerful Practices series.* And it doesn’t hurt that the images inside are so eye-catching you may want to hang some in your classroom!

If you’re true to the book’s guidance, the first questions you’ll ask are “What can I learn from this? Why is this methodology so powerful ?” Here’s the short list of reasons:

  1. The authors are veteran educators and know what works in real classrooms. Between the two, they have more than 50 years of teaching experience, ranging from preschool to graduate school.
  2. The Power of Assessing has been thoroughly peer-reviewed and models authentic assessments that engage students in standards-based learning.
  3. The book is chock full of practical resources like assessment charts (so you can tailor your assessments to your students’ needs), QR codes linking to videos so you can get a deeper understanding, instructions for design, rubrics, materials lists, and more.
  4. ALL learners are taken into consideration (a point that is very important to NSTA’s mission “promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all…”).

Continue reading …

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Ed News: Why Students Should Read Scientific Literature

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This week in education news, across the board teachers feel disrespected; University of Utah professors and local teachers are developing high school curriculum about opioids; Arizona State Board of Education approved revised science standards; new study finds 55 percent of university STEM classroom interactions consist mostly of conventional lecturing; Nintendo is giving elementary school students across the country Nintendo Labo: Variety Kits and Switch systems; new report details four key elements for successful high school redesigns; the teaching force has continued to grow larger, less experienced, and more racially diverse; and a University of Alabama researcher says educators must give students a motive to learn science.

We Followed 15 Of America’s Teachers On A Single Day. This Is What We Learned

A teacher whose income was so low, her child qualified for reduced-price lunch. A teacher whose school was so short on staff, he had to fill a shift as a security guard. A teacher who made meals for other teachers to pay for her grocery bill. We thought we knew teachers, until we followed 15 of them on a single day in September. What we learned: No matter their pay, teachers share in a feeling of disrespect. Read the article featured in USA Today.

High School Science Could Include Opioid Education With New Program

A first-of-its-kind program at the University of Utah is bringing together teachers and professors to create high school curriculum about opioids. Read the article featured on

New Arizona K-12 Science Standards Recognize Evolution

The Arizona State Board of Education approved revised science and history standards, shrugging off outgoing State Superintendent Diane Douglas’ suggestion to replace all the standards with a set from a conservative college in Michigan. Read the article featured on

Continue reading …

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