Science for all

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For the past few years, the March issue of The Science Teacher has been devoted to this theme. As our classrooms become more diverse, we need ideas and research to help us share our passion for science with all of our students.
In this issue, as I read Teaching Science to ELLs, Part 1 and Part II, I had to stop several times to think how many of the strategies would apply to students who do not have a strong background in science vocabulary. The articles have rubrics and suggestions for differentiating instruction and assessment activities to help students use their skills and develop new ones. Science Vocabulary for All reports on a study on how “Collaborative Strategic Reading” can help students in an inclusion science class learn vocabulary.  The results were positive for all students, including those with disabilities. And the authors of A Learning Cycle for All Students describe some enhancements to the 5E model, adding an “Express” phase. This phase includes formative assessment that guides opportunities for differentiated instructions in the Elaborate phase.  [SciLinks: Eukaryotic Cells,Water Cycle, Carbon Cycle]

Technology can be adapted to meet students’ needs, as described in Personalizing the PC for Accessibility Selecting Software for Students with Learning and Other Disabilities recommends PhET Interactive Simulatons. Many of these simulations are individually included in SciLinks, and the entire site is a source for ideas.
After reading about the benefits of School Gardens, share an interview with a Horticulturist as a Career of the Month [SciLinks: Sustainable Agriculture]
Many elementary and middle schools have family science events, but the author of Creating a College-Going Culture describes such an event (actually a series of events) at a rural high school. High school students demonstrated their projects to parents and younger children. The event also provided the opportunity for high schools students and their families to talk with college students, motiviating more to think about the possibility of attending college. [Note: Rural students are also the focus of Finding Fairness for Rural Students in the March issue of the Phi Delta Kappan]
If this is a new topic of interest for you, you can check out previous issues, too:

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