Tag Archives: classroom strategies

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

Commentary: Reasoning Versus Post-Truth in The Science Teacher is an important read in a time when dependence on unverified information from social media seems to be more prevalent than using trusted sources that value reasoning. Science Scope – STEM Integration From the Editor’s Desk: STEM Integration: A Tall Order: “The shift from teaching math and […]

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Focus on learning activities

My fourth-grade students like doing hands-on science activities. How can I get them to focus on the activity rather than socializing? —C., West Virginia You want students to enjoy the activity and talk with each other, but students need to understand the activity is purposeful and not “free” time. Your preparation and routines will make […]

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Focus on Physics: Eight Tips for New (and not so new) Teachers

Being a teacher can be a wonderful experience. Making it so is greatly aided by qualities that you can acquire. Needless to say, you must know your subject and be able to explain it well. Beyond that are traits and practices that make the difference between loving teaching and enduring teaching. Have the right attitude […]

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Interacting with students

I’m looking for ideas to get to know my students better and interact with them. My head spins with six different groups of students each day.  –M., Maryland You may have heard the idea that students don’t care what you know until they know you care. But in a secondary classroom, trying to connect with […]

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Middle school botanists

I see many good activities for middle school involving plants, but what if students already did something similar at the elementary level? I don’t want to spend time on duplicate activities or get the eye-roll “we already did this.” —M., Arizona I posed this question to a middle school biology teacher. His students came from […]

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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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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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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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