Tag Archives: middle school

Dense Question

My kindergarten students believe that small objects are always light and big objects are always heavier. How can I address this misconception? —L., Wyoming Excellent question! This is a major misconception many adults have about density: the characteristic relationship between the mass and volume of materials. I think the best way to tackle this is […]

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Adding Inquiry to ‘Cookbook’ Labs

“I have converted several standard labs from AP Physics 1 to more engaging inquiry labs using NGSS [Next Generation Science Standards]. I want my labs to connect to my students’ lives, phenomena they see and feel every day,” says Jose Rivas, AP Physics 1 and engineering teacher at Lennox Math, Science, and Technology Academy in Lennox, California.

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LOL

I like to infuse humour into my classroom. What is your opinion on teachers and students joking around? — T., Utah I, too, am a jokester and like to have fun with my students. I attribute a large part of this to my own teachers who were funny and made their classrooms enjoyable. Never make […]

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Ersatz Kitchen Table

I recently discovered a Facebook post in which a parent expressed disagreement over how I graded her son’s assignment. This unleashed a torrent of hateful, profanity-laced comments including one person saying I should be fired. I’m afraid something like this could ruin my good reputation at school. Any thoughts on how to handle this? — […]

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Podcasting in the Science Classroom

“Make sure [you convey] what you want students to learn [when they make podcasts]. The content is more important than the technology; learning outcomes are more important,” Basler emphasizes.

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Chrome-Plated Activities

Do you have any suggestions on how to use Chromebooks in middle school for more than just watching videos and reviewing material? —A., Indiana   The real power of computer technology for a science classroom is in graphics, communication, calculations, creativity, and interactivity. Simulations like those at https://phet.colorado.edu/ allow you to augment lessons that would […]

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Who’s Who?

What are some interesting ways to introduce some of the major players in scientific discoveries so that my students can have a better grasp at who these people were and that they can aspire to be just as innovative and crucial to the world of science? —T., Ohio I would often hold a series of […]

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Tired of Cooking

I am sick of using cookbook labs in my chemistry class and want my students to conduct more inquiry labs. However, my principal thinks that this might be a recipe for disaster. What do other chemistry teachers do to incorporate more inquiry into their chemistry labs? —R., Kansas I spent several years using cookbook labs […]

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Engaging in Authentic Research

Looking for an opportunity for you and your students to do authentic scientific research? Then programs like Rutgers University’s Waksman Student Scholars Program (WSSP) and the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) might be for you.

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What’s My Motivation?

How do I motivate students who don’t want to do anything at all? — B., Utah If you ever solve this, you’ll be up for a Nobel Prize! There is no sure-fire method that will motivate every student. So, use several methods. You can engage students’ interest in the content you are teaching by having […]

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