Category Archives: Ask a Mentor

Labs in Life Sciences

I am a preservice biology teacher and was hoping to get some insight on labs. What are some of your favorite labs that you have done with your class and what made them a success? How do you typically assess … Continue reading

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Why aren’t you talking?!

I’ve been having trouble getting students willing to talk, answer questions, or share their ideas in class. What strategies/activities do you use to help kids feel more comfortable talking and sharing in your class? —C., Arizona There are few things … Continue reading

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Breathing Life into Lessons

I find it challenging to engage elementary students in the life sciences. What are some hands-on activities that work? Are there anchoring phenomena that you recommend? —C., Utah Depending on your curriculum, you could pursue several avenues to capitalize on … Continue reading

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Nature Walks

My grade 3 students seem to be bored with the content on ecosystems. I’m wondering if anyone has any ideas of what I could do to make ecosystems more engaging? — A., Arizona Not being able to visit all the … Continue reading

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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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