Tag Archives: classroom strategies

Scaffolding science skills






Some of my students have little experience in lab investigations. My colleague suggested I “scaffold” my instruction to help them develop lab skills, but I’m not sure what that would look like.  —C., Virginia “Scaffolding” refers to guiding strategies designed to help students develop greater understanding of concepts and skills to become more independent learners. […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Tagged | Leave a comment

Science 2.0: Developing the Computational Thinker






For the past few issues, we have been focusing on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards. This month, we look at the Computational Thinker standard. Its performance indicators require students to use technology-assisted methods to explore and find solutions; collect data, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various […]

Posted in Science 2.0, The Science Teacher | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Writing in Science






I’m looking for ideas to incorporate writing into my general biology classes. I’ve tried term papers but many of my students struggled and it took a lot of class time. Any ideas for other relevant writing assignments?  —V., Ohio Writing in science has alternatives to traditional term papers or reports. Rather than making a formal […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Also tagged | 18 Responses

Engaging Students in the STEM Lab






Schools nationwide are adding STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Labs, spaces where students can apply science and math concepts.






Posted in NSTA Reports, The STEM Classroom | Also tagged , , , , , , | 4 Responses

Student recycling project






I sponsor an after-school science club for upper elementary students. They’d like to expand the recycling program at the school. I’m looking for suggestions on what they can do. – C., Pennsylvania It may help to add a context to your students’ efforts. In a “garbology” lesson, the teacher collects the classroom trash for a […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Also tagged | 3 Responses

Busy vs. Engaged






After a recent observation, my supervisor commented that the students did not seem engaged in the activity. I was surprised because the students were busy working. How can you tell if students are really “engaged”? —P., Oklahoma Ask your supervisor what he or she saw (or did not see). What indicators would have determined “engagement” […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Tagged | Comments closed

Statistics for younger students






Our math department wants students in all subjects and grade levels to do more with statistics and graphing. I do graphing with my students in elementary science, but are younger students ready for statistics? —G., Pennsylvania The science and engineering practices in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) include several that incorporate statistics and graphing: […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Ideas and inspiration from NSTA’s November K-12 journals






Educators at all levels  will find ideas on helping students with Meeting the Challenges of Communicating Science in his month’s Science and Children. Many of the strategies can be adapted for other levels. Science and Children – The Speaking, Reading, and Writing Connection to Science This issue is a must-read for teachers of all levels. […]

Posted in SciLinks | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Encouraging questions






I need strategies to encourage students to ask their own questions. They answer mine and discuss topics, but when I ask them if they have any questions, I get a lot of blank looks. —A., Washington Asking questions and defining problems is one of the science and engineering practices of the Next Generation Science Standards […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Tagged | 2 Responses

Time for science?






When I was student teaching, I had some really good science lessons for second-graders that lasted about an hour. But now I have only a half-hour for science each day. I need suggestions for shorter lessons. – C., Colorado I’m glad to hear that your school schedules science daily. In many elementary schools, science and […]

Posted in Ms. Mentor | Also tagged | 1 Response