Category Archives: Ask a Mentor

Solid lessons, fluid performance

What are some fun, engaging hands-on activities or demonstrations about the three states of matter for a third grade class? —B., Tennessee I think that the best activities with the states of matter involve the changes between states. You may … Continue reading

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In the beginning…

I start my first teaching position this fall sharing a fourth grade class with a veteran teacher. I will be teaching science, math, and art. Do you have any suggestions for a new teacher? —V., Manitoba Congratulations! This looks like … Continue reading

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Modern 3Rs

I had a hard time figuring out a way to get my second-grade students involved with recycling or something with the 3Rs. So, I was just wondering if you had any suggestions on something better? — N., Massachusetts While all … Continue reading

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Hot Air Science

I want to demonstrate different states of matter and need activities for third graders for gases. — D., Georgia It’s hard to teach about something we can’t see! Here are a few ideas: Perfumes: Open a bottle of cologne in … Continue reading

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Emoji Chemistry

Chemistry is not my strength. Any hints or resources for teaching chemical equations at a basic level? — M., Maryland I find it useful to demystify why we use chemical equations. A chemical equation is simply a communication tool. It … Continue reading

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Split Decision

How does one model a 5E lesson plan for each topic covered when teaching a split grade level?— C., Illinois Split classes can be very challenging, particularly if they have drastically different curricula. However, I believe you can manage better … Continue reading

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Starry-eyed Students

Many of the girls in my kindergarten class are showing a lot of interest in space. Space is not part of my curriculum, so how would you recommend I address their interest? Can you recommend any resources? —M., New Mexico … Continue reading

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Engineering Fun!

I am interested in high school engineering projects. I’m looking for fun, engaging, and challenging projects for my honors students.—T., Rhode Island There is a vast amount of resources and ideas to help you out with engineering projects. Start with … Continue reading

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Over the Moon

What are some ways to improve my students’ understanding of the phases of the moon? Are there more inquiry-based activities for grade 2 students?—S., West Virginia Popular activities like labelling handouts, cutting out paper or cardboard, and the popular (and … Continue reading

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Circle of Life 2.0

I am student teaching in a first grade classroom and we are going to start covering life cycles. What are some good ideas I can do in my engage section? — G., Oklahoma I just answered a similar question about … Continue reading

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