Author Archives: MsMentorAdmin

Cooperative learning

What’s the best way to set up cooperative learning groups for labs and other activities? How often should I change the groups? I’d also like to assign roles for group members, but I need some examples. — Doug, Henderson, Nevada … Continue reading

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Perseverance and "failure"

With all of the curricular demands and a focus on preparing for state exams, I am concerned that we do not create situations for students to persevere if they don’t succeed in their first attempts at experiments in science. How … Continue reading

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Getting to know your students

I’ve read a lot about the value of making connections with students. But it seems impossible to connect with individual students when I meet with 150 per day in my classes. Any suggestions or advice? —Bethany, Rochester, Minnesota When I … Continue reading

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A bone to pick

I picked up an almost intact dog skeleton from the side of the road. One of my students spotted it from her bus window! I need help with preservation and wiring it together. Any suggestions? I did put the skeleton … Continue reading

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Students and cheating

With all of the technology that students have (e.g., cell phones, laptops), I’m concerned about “cheating” on tests and writing assignments. —Anne, Rochester, New York This is a very timely question, in light of a recent report Hi-Tech Cheating: What … Continue reading

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Getting (and staying) organized

For the first time, I’ll be teaching two different subjects (biology and environmental science). Do you have any suggestions for how to organize my unit plans, lesson plans, and other resources? —Don, Cedar Rapids, Iowa I’m not an organized person … Continue reading

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Critical science "skills"

What are the critical skills you think students need to be successful in science? —Niki, Baltimore, Maryland In science department meetings, we often agonize over what and how much content to “cover.” We lament that students don’t seem to remember … Continue reading

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Highly qualified teachers

I’ve been asked to teach a different science course next year. I’m looking forward to the change, but I’m a little nervous about teaching a subject I’ve never taught before. I was told I am “highly qualified.” What does this … Continue reading

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Science and NCLB

I’m concerned about the decrease in scheduled time for science instruction, especially in the primary grades. The teachers say that it’s all because of NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and its emphasis on reading and mathematics. Is this the case … Continue reading

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Recycling efforts

My school does not have a recycling program, but as a science teacher I’d like to set an example of “green” behavior. What can I do in a single classroom? — Tyler, Louisville, KY I’m sure you’ve heard of the … Continue reading

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