Tag Archives: classroom strategies

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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Striving for a Zero-Waste School

Taking actions to become a zero-waste school can be “a big pain,” says Brian Shmaefsky, professor of biology and environmental science at Lone Star College in Kingwood, Texas. But he adds, “As an environmental scientist, I typically look at waste reduction because of budget concerns…Now [that] we can provide digital [assignments and tests] at school, it […]

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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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Cooperative grouping

In science classes, do students work better in random groups or with their friends? I’m a student teacher in middle school. – S., Arizona Most teachers will tell you there is no best way to set up groups. There are many variables, including the age of the students, the structure of the investigation, the students’ […]

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Dive In! Immersion in Science Practices for High School Students

Are you ready to integrate science practices into your classroom? How feasible are student-directed science investigations within the curricular expectations at your school? How can you create opportunities for student-directed investigations in the classroom? Have you ever considered partnering with a scientist to add depth to your lessons? These are some of the central questions […]

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Why are we doing this?

I have some chemistry students who ask “Why do we have to learn this?” How can I address this other saying “you’ll need it in college.” —D., Delaware Why are we studying this? What good is this? It’s easy to answer student questions like these with “because it will be on the test” or “because […]

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Teaching About Science in the News

How do you teach students to differentiate between science fact and science fiction? Are they able to compare “what pops up on Facebook” to legitimate science news sources like the National Science Foundation? Read this NSTA Reports story to learn what real teachers are doing to combat fake news.

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

Two articles of interest to all K-12 teachers: Commentary: The Importance of Cultivating Empathy in STEM from Science Scope, discusses how students can understand how STEM-related issues can affect people and society. Eclipses Across the Curriculum in S&C has ideas for integrated lessons pertaining to the August 2017 event. Science & Children – Matter and […]

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Science teachers select #NSTA17 Top 10 Books

The buzz and excitement generated by thousands of science teachers learning and sharing their enthusiasm for science at the NSTA National Conference in Los Angeles last week was truly inspiring. From workshops to the exhibit hall and the NSTA Science Store, the newest and best in resources were on display for science educators to peruse […]

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Sparking Discussions

Students in most of my classes actively participate. But in one freshman class, students are engaged in labs, but they just stare at me during class discussions. I ask open-ended questions a lot and make an effort to get students involved. How can I get these students more involved? – R., Iowa Who knows what’s […]

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