Author Archives: MsMentorAdmin

Planning Your Science Curriculum Using NSTA's Quick-Reference Guides to the NGSS

Science teachers frequently ask for help using the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in their work planning curriculum and instruction. As the curator of materials for the NSTA Press book series Quick-Reference Guides to the NGSS, I thought about how … Continue reading

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California's Decisions Show that NGSS is State Driven

The California State Board of Education unanimously adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) this week, making it the sixth state to do so. The decision not only represents a move forward for evidence-based science instruction but also highlights the … Continue reading

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Rubrics

I’m trying to use more projects and open-ended assessments this year, but I’m getting bogged down with grading. I know I should use rubrics, but it’s hard to create them for every assignment. Any suggestions on how to streamline this … Continue reading

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Science notebooks

I’ve heard about “interactive” science notebooks. I would like to use them with my classes, but I think I need to learn more about them before I start. —Randall, Columbus, Ohio For many teachers, the word “notebook” conjures up a … Continue reading

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Observing a student teacher

I’m going to have a student teacher in my biology classes next semester. I’ve never done this before, and I’d like to provide her with feedback on effective science teaching practices. Do you have any suggestions for resources on this? … Continue reading

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Teacher book groups

Some of my colleagues in the science department and I would like to start a book group, but we’re not sure how to get started. What books should we read? How often should we meet? Any other suggestions? —Allison, Lexington, … Continue reading

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Living things in the classroom

Many NSTA journal articles refer to working in “Outdoor Classrooms.” I teach in a neighborhood school with no grass or trees in the schoolyard, so I’m thinking of bringing the outdoors indoors by adding some plants and live animals to … Continue reading

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Testing blues

I’m feeling really frustrated. I thought the students were following along in my first unit, but I am really disappointed in the test results. What can I do differently in the next unit? —Lisa, Topeka, Kansas The first unit is … Continue reading

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Individualized professional development

The middle school where I teach just changed the topics taught each year to align with our state standards. My specialty is biology/life science, but now I’m also expected to address topics in earth and physical science. The inservice agenda … Continue reading

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Take-home projects

I’m thinking of requiring some “take-home” projects for students this year. (I teach at the elementary level). I think these would provide a good opportunity for students and parents to work together on science topics. Do you have any suggestions … Continue reading

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