Tag Archives: writing

Children use technology to send messages






Children like to share their work and tell their families what they do at school or at other times when they are not together. While babysitting for a friend, I appreciated her 2-year-old child’s excitement when she discovered that a toy firetruck had a button to push to turn on (and off) a siren. “Tell […]

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Concepts that cut across science disciplines






Patterns…cause and effect: mechanism and explanation…scale, proportion, and quantity…systems and system models…energy and matter: flows, cycles, and conservation…structure and function…stability and change… How does your science and engineering teaching involve concepts that cut across many science disciplines and are central to the K-12 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? These seven crosscutting concepts are presented in […]

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Preparation for the future….






“Ways you promote college preparedness and career readiness skills in your science classroom.” is the topic for this blog….while we always have those items that we “must” teach in the classroom which are based on curricular decisions or standards, there are always those things that are among the “hidden curriculum” that make their way into […]

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Writing with a purpose






I know I should incorporate more writing into my science classes, but I have several concerns. What kinds of writing would be appropriate, other than lab reports? How do I find the time to evaluate student writing (I meet 150 students per day)? —Eddie, Urbana, Illinois A few years ago, a speaker at our school’s […]

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Modeling biological systems






When we see the word “model” some of us get flashbacks to Styrofoam planets, papier-mâché volcanoes, or pretzel-stick log cabins. Their construction often was more of an arts-and-crafts exercise. But models in science can be more than representations of objects. As the editor notes, models “help us make predictions, understand complex systems, generate new ideas, […]

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Outdoor Science






The melting snow piles outside NSTA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, provide daily reminders of the D.C. area’s record 2010 snowfall (locally dubbed Snowmageddon).  Like many teachers in other parts of the country, we’re watching for green shoots and planning for spring. What better way to spend the remaining days of winter than planning how to […]

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Science literacy






Making the connections between science, reading, writing, and media literacy has been a professional interest of mine for many years. So I get really excited when The Science Teacher has literacy as a theme. In addition to these articles, SciLinks has additional resources under the topic Reading and Writing in Science with ideas to help […]

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Communication skills






A few years ago, one of the speakers at our school’s career day was a graduate who was an environmental scientist. A student asked her what she did all day. The audience expected her to say things such as I do chemical tests. I spend all day on the river. I look at things through […]

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Stretching the comfort zone






At our inservice last month, we learned several strategies for writing in science classes.  But when I tried one in my classroom, it went over like a lead balloon. What was I doing wrong? —Rosalind, Denver, Colorado How many times have we heard “Well, I tried <fill-in-the-blank>, but it didn’t work”? And then the classroom […]

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Literacy skills in science






As part of a project I am working on, I was visiting the science classes of teachers who participated in a summer professional education project. One of the elementary teachers indicated that I should wait until April to visit hers. She said that in her school, they didn’t teach science until after the state reading […]

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