Category Archives: Next Generation Science Standards

Using Collaborative Educational Technology Tools in Science

Science literacy is critical for our students. We need them to understand why it is important for them to do activities, such as composting. In fifth grade, one of the goals for students is to obtain information about, evaluate, and … Continue reading

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Supporting Science through Interdisciplinary Instruction

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have totally transformed my students’ learning experiences in STEM. However, like most teachers, my biggest challenge has been finding the additional time that students need to observe, question, investigate, and interpret results. Thinking and … Continue reading

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Using Discourse With High School Science Students

High school students love to talk. Covering topics from music to memes, the hallway conversations are always lively. But when students enter the classroom, they suddenly have nothing to say. I believe it’s because students don’t know how to talk … Continue reading

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One District’s Path to Improving Student Discourse

If you’ve spent any time exploring the shifts in NGSS instructional practices you will understand the call for “less sage on the stage and more guide on the side.” While such a metaphor can be applied to a variety of … Continue reading

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Science Class: A Place Where Children Should Be Seen and Heard

I recently observed a lesson about how shadows change throughout the day, and I was fascinated by the amount of time the teacher and the class took to listen to and watch one another as they discussed the data. The … Continue reading

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Shoes! Beaks! They’re All About Structure and Function  

As we watch students arrive for class, we notice that Alejandra hangs her jacket on a coat hook, while Calder reaches for scissors to make a fringe on his picture. Tessa replaces her rain boots with the sneakers from her … Continue reading

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Exploring Structure and Function in Insects

As an entomologist, one of my greatest challenges is trying to overcome my students’ feelings of fear and disgust regarding insects. Insects often have negative images in society. Walk through any toy store, and you will likely find plastic insects … Continue reading

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Using Toxic Algal Blooms to Teach Structure and Function

Young children often experience a developmental stage in which they question everything. Why aren’t there dinosaurs anymore? Why do cats purr? Why are some potato chips green? They go from simply observing their surroundings to analyzing, experimenting, and wanting to … Continue reading

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Balloon Racers

Anyone who teaches middle school students knows they have a lot of energy, and a lot of hot air. Why not put it to use? In this activity, students will be challenged to modify a simple plastic balloon racer to … Continue reading

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First Graders Become Corn Experts: Using Questions to Drive Instruction

First graders love when fall comes to Kansas. It’s a magical time when lots of events are occurring in their environment, and I take full advantage of their natural curiosity. We begin the school year with a mini science unit … Continue reading

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