Tag Archives: middle school

PLNs + High-Quality Units = NGSS Success by David Grossman

In June 2013, Kentucky’s Board of Education officially adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which not only set a new course for science education in Kentucky, but also started me on a new professional journey. As the newly-minted science … Continue reading

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Star Light, Star Bright

I was planning a lesson for fifth grade about constellations. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them. —B., Illinois Students often develop the misconception that constellations are two-dimensional. It’s like looking at a road map and … Continue reading

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Connecting Businesses and STEM Students

How can teachers help students explore science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) career paths? One way is to have them do a project with a local business, according to David Lockett, STEM teacher at Edward W. Bok Academy in Lake Wales, Florida. Continue reading

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“Why Do We Need to Know This?!”

How do you explain to your students that what you’re teaching is important even if there is no obvious real-world application? — B., Ohio I’m sure every teacher has heard this refrain! I found that students question what we teach … Continue reading

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Learning About STEM and Preventing Fires

After learning about fire dynamics— how fires start, spread, and develop— and doing hands-on activities with firefighters, eighth graders in Georgia’s Cobb County School District solve a virtual fire-related crime with help from an arson investigator as part of a partnership involving the district’s middle schools, the Cobb County Fire Department, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Continue reading

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Sort and Classify

I am a preservice teacher planning some lessons on how to group plants and animals according to observable features. I am struggling to think of different activities. — V ., Maryland Classifying living things has been a part of human … Continue reading

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Molecule of Life

How would a science teacher intertwine DNA and Mendelian genetics into lessons to younger audiences? Could elementary school teachers introduce this field by having different colored beads on a string to represent DNA and build on from there? How should … 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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Linking Science and Engineering Through Good Questions by Greg Bartus

Engineering design projects are a wonderful opportunity for students to develop science disciplinary core ideas (DCIs). (As many of you know, with the release of the NGSS, learning in engineering must be integrated with developing DCIs in physical, life, and/or … Continue reading

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