Tag Archives: professional development

Keep PD sessions focused

Recently, there was a question about what to do when students were off-task. I conduct many professional development programs, and I could use some ideas to keep adult participants on-task! —T., Virginia As a presenter, it’s frustrating to see participants grading papers, texting, or reading the news. But in all fairness to our colleagues, their […]

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When early childhood educators conference & talk about science education

The National Science Teachers Association’s annual conference brings educators from many places in the world together to build their science teaching skills, science content, reaffirm connections with colleagues and make new connections. Arriving in LA, the lights and action were a striking contrast to the vibrant rainbow began my week but this change in environment […]

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Teaching as an art form

I’m preparing to be a chemistry teacher. In addition to chemistry and teacher prep classes, what else should I study to become an effective teacher? More math or physics? —T., Colorado While math and physics are important (especially if you’re pursuing other certifications), you also could become familiar with another language and the special education […]

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Setting personal and professional priorities

I teach fifth and sixth grade science, and I’m finding it hard to balance teaching, grad school, and family responsibilities. Are there any secrets for this? —E., Washington Everyone’s situation varies, so unfortunately there are no universal secrets. It may help to prioritize activities into essential, nice-if–you-can-get-to-it, and back burner. Your family and your health […]

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Learning more about NGSS

I’m a science teacher in a small district, and I’m curious about lessons that incorporate the three NGSS dimensions of and what they “look like.” Where can I find examples to share?  —B., New Hampshire A good place to find examples of lessons aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is NSTA’s K-12 journals […]

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Mentoring — A team effort

The most experienced science teacher is retiring this year at the middle school where I am principal. The other five teachers on the science faculty are early in their teaching careers. What are your thoughts on asking an experienced non-science teacher to mentor the new hire?  —K., VA When I started as a teacher we […]

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A love note to education conferences

In my suitcase I have a collapsible jug, tube, funnel, glitter, pebbles, foam hearts, sea shells, and empty plastic bottles—all part of the materials I need for a presentation at the 2017 ECSTEM conference (February 3-4), organized by The Children’s Center at Caltech, in collaboration with THINK Together. An education conference is a joyful place […]

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Teacher as scientist

I have a degree in biology and teach high school. Although I love teaching at this level, I miss doing real scientific work myself. Any suggestions on how I can still stay engaged and current in science? —T., Illinois Although we teach a variety of topics, teachers have areas of special interests. And as we […]

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Positive environments: Early childhood education conferences

Two early childhood conferences I attended this month, a national conference and a local regional conference, were awash with sessions on science, STEM, and STEAM education. Although science education is my main focus, I enjoy attending conferences because in addition to the terrific learning experience, it always lifts my spirits. Something about large numbers of […]

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Investigating water with Early Childhood educators

“At what age can a child begin science learning?” asked one participant at an early childhood education workshop on investigating the properties of water in a fun, scientific way using observation, documentation and reflecting on that work. The group answered the question, “As infants,” “My babies do,” and “At any age,” just as I put […]

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