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news & tips for teachers

The Science of Teaching

21-40 of 101

Floods and Science

June 20th, 2011

The water in my part of the country is everywhere this year. The Mighty Missouri River has gone wild. My students are fascinated by the power of water and seem to be amazed at how much damage a flood can cause. This …

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The Biology of Hair and Forensic Science

June 6th, 2011

I hate to admit that I have been following the Casey Anthony case on TV. There is method in my madness though. The discussion of the forensics of hair is a great way to teach some interesting inquiry, biology and chemistry. Fifteen …

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Solar Summer Fun

June 1st, 2011

Many of us will be teaching or helping at science and math camps this summer. Most have their curriculum set but in case you need some good ideas or some ideas to test this summer and insert into your curriculum for next …

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Ending the Year on a High Note

May 23rd, 2011

From early May on my students have senioritis and spring fever. There is no preventative medication but the cure is activity and to do lists. If I want to end the year on a high note I think I need a good …

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Defending Opinions

May 10th, 2011

Science often is involved with reading and evaluating the research of others. Yet we rarely ask students to read and give informed opinions about current research materials. This is a huge missed opportunity for learning. In an article last year in the …

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What is Your Car Made Of?

May 2nd, 2011

In the days of the Model T (your great-great Grandfather’s car) human hands assembled cars on an assembly line piece by piece. Cars were made of steel and rubber. I was looking at my car and asking the question, what is my …

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Easter Egg Science

April 25th, 2011

OK, it is time to head to the local store and pick up some of those plastic Easter eggs on clearance. There are a thousand uses for them in the spring science world. One of my favorite second grade teachers is busy …

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The Flu and You

April 20th, 2011

It is flu season and if you have not had a significant number of your kids out with the virus consider yourself lucky. To help next year it would be a great time for a lesson on what a virus is and …

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Twenty Questions

April 11th, 2011

I remember playing twenty questions in my classroom. I would select an animal, location, current event or science concept. The students would listen to the rules then begin asking me questions. As I answered the questions they would think through my answers …

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Sticky Tape = Sticky Learning

March 31st, 2011

Imagine trying to get by in your classroom for a year without any tape, post it notes or any adhesives at all. That would be difficult. Yet, I never thought until now of how interesting that simple substance, adhesive, is to my …

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Micro Motivational Moments

March 18th, 2011

In my online chemistry class there is a student who has fallen behind.  She is bright, capable and tied to a host of medical problems. School and learning is her way out but helping her take advantage of the micro motivational opportunities …

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Amazing Glass

March 1st, 2011

A friend sent me a You Tube video on the future applications of glass that sent my head spinning. From the touch screens of the new tablets to walls that adjust to light to tables that interact the future of this material …

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Providing Good Feedback

February 21st, 2011

We have always known that what you write on papers gets read more than the local paper in may houses. The era of “good job” as feedback is long gone and more specific feedback is necessary. My feedback has changed over the …

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How Much Snow?

February 7th, 2011

I was watching the news and a video of a roof collapsing caught my attention. There is some amazing physics in that one video. How do engineers determine how much snow a roof can hold and how do they make sure buildings …

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Science as a Soap Opera

January 19th, 2011

We can learn a lot from the way they package TV shows. People are hard wired to pay attention to new things in packets that do not take eons of time. I think we try to package too much into our introductory …

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High & Low Number Sense

January 11th, 2011

All my students are fascinated with records, highs and lows. I think this would be an engaging way to teach some number sense in science. I am amazed at the flooding in Australia this week. The human toll that a month of …

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Memory Work

January 5th, 2011

Kids are hardwired to remember some things (the color of their favorite toy or the number of days till the next vacation) but in teaching we do not often use the same brain based strategies to help them remember important science ideas. …

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The Nuts and Bolts of PISA

December 28th, 2010

As promised this post will get into the nuts and bolts of how to use the PISA assessment items to improve instruction. These test questions are rich with ideas that will extend student learning. The first stop on the tour of these …

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What is the Good News In PISA?

December 20th, 2010

PISA, Program for International Student Assessment, is a hot topic right now because our students in the United States generally score at or below average. Why that might be important to a classroom teacher is a good place to start letting these …

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How Are We Doing in Science?

December 15th, 2010

Every so often students around the world take assessments that are designed to show how each country is doing in terms of student achievement. The assessment that seems to give the most interesting results in PISA (the Program for International Student Assessment). …

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21-40 of 101