Tag Archives: middle school

Homework Conundrum

A colleague and I were wondering what type of homework works best for our students? How do we hold them accountable? — N., California   In general, you have to be flexible and adapt to your classes. Different courses, units, and students will create different conditions for homework to be useful. Topics like balancing equations, […]

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Building STEM Knowledge in a Breakerspace

A breakerspace—a makerspace workstation where students can disassemble toys, electronics, and appliances—engages students in learning what makes things work and investigating the world around them.

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How to Host a Science Night

My middle school would like to host a science night for the district. Do you have any ideas? —S., Illinois Concentrate on activities that are safe. inexpensive, quick to set up and take down, and easy to clean up. Your students can learn a lot as the guides and demonstrators at the activities, while relieving […]

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Unlocking Science in Breakout Games

The popularity of escape rooms— physical adventure games in which players solve a series of puzzles to break out of a locked room—has carried over into science classrooms nationwide in the form of breakout box games.

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Differentiating for an “Out of This World” Student

I have one student whose knowledge of Earth and space exceeds the other students in class. I feel like I just keep giving him more work, more extension activities, and I think he is getting frustrated. Do you have any suggestions for how to deal with this? How do I grade this kind of assignment? […]

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Presentation Props

My middle school students are creating organism presentations. How much scaffolding should I give them? — P., New York Students take more interest and greater ownership when they come up with project ideas themselves and teachers provide, as you realize, a scaffold. I have found this guidance results in higher quality presentations and a better […]

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Educating Students About Veterinary Science

Veterinary schools at universities around the country are offering programs for students interested in veterinary medicine and informing them about careers in the field.

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Mass Marking

We are incorporating more writing opportunities in our middle school and high school science classes, both “formal” and ”informal” writings. How can one teacher grade more than 180 pieces of writing in a timely fashion with feedback that allows students to learn and grow?  – L., California   Here are some things I have tried […]

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Value Your Support Staff

I hope that everyone has learned who the most important adults in the school are: the support staff! Custodians, administrative assistants, teachers’ assistants (TAs)— these people are invaluable and can make your life much easier. Many of these people have been working with young people for a long time and will often have insights and […]

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Overwhelmed

I’m a new teacher and I can’t believe how ragged I feel—I seem to be just barely ahead of the class. I have lessons that are not going to plan and I feel like I’m just running around non-stop. Please help! —W., Virginia This is probably no surprise to anyone in the first months of teaching: […]

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