In Episode six, I reveal how students went about crating an observation protocol. They know that they are trying to find the affect their trash item has on the growth of plants. But what do they mean by growth? There are many ways in which a plant grows. I’ll explain how I engaged students to create a protocol for what they will measure and how they’ll go about doing it.
In episode 5, I describe how my students put their procedures into action. I detail how students self pace the activity and how I offer tailored support. I also discuss how I have my students reflect on the process to revise their experimental procedures. Below are links to the web based resources mentioned in the episode.
Critical Thinking Rubric (This is a rubric created by my school and used across the grades)
In this episode, students return to science class with background research in hand. They use this research to generate hypotheses. I discuss the way students debate predictions and use their research to back up their ideas. I also explain the hypothesis format I use and how it helps students envision the entire experiment.
In episode 2 I discuss how students choose an independent variable for their project, and how to include it in a testable question. For this lesson students also learned to differential independent and dependent variables. In addition, I elaborate on how I collaborated with my Humanities teacher to do the background research portion of the Science Fari project.
Here’s a link to the type of notebooks I got students for their science fair projects.
If you’ve been struggling to make Science Fair a meaningful experience for your students and you, join in the conversation on the Science Fair Podcast.
In this first episode, I talk about how I introduce the science fair concept to my seventh grade students. The whole podcast is recorded on my commute to work, so it lasts less than fifteen minutes . Check out this podcast each day as I talk about my day-to-day experiences and challenges working through the science fair process with my students.
Please email me with your experiences and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the great tricks of science teaching is making connections between what seems like esoteric science knowledge and the real lives of students as they live them these days. Sure they get why v = dt. However, so what? Often it’s hard for them to see how that has any impact on their daily lives.
I have found that of all the disciplines of science, Geology is perhaps the hardest to connect with students’ lives (oiuch, that pun even hurt me!). When they ask me why they must learn the Principle of Original Horizontality or the Mohs Scale of Rock Hardness, I can say that they may wish to be a Geologist some day. However, while true and essential, on some level that’s a dissatisfying answer.
I came across this video by MKBHD the other day during my internet travels which makes the coolest connection ever between boring Geology concepts and cutting edge high tech gadgetry that students interface with every day.
Cool, right? Keep looking for ways that science intersects with cool. They’re out there if you look. I think I’ll show this video when I teach my Geology unit this year. Then when a student asks me what kind of job they can get if they learn Geology I can say, “how does cutting edge smartphone designer sound?”
What do you think? Have you come across any unique connections between Science and Coolness? Please share by posting in the comments below.
Thanks for tuning in. That’s today’s nugget. Keep digging.
When I was a new Science teacher, I knew I needed to learn a lot of stuff. However, I never imagined how much stuff that would be. I took classes, workshops and went to grad school. I wish those experiences had resulted in a steady stream of implementable ideas for improvement. Sadly, they did not. Instead, I got better in fits and starts through lots of trial and error and experimentation with some really smart teachers. Most of what I tried fell by the wayside. However, once in a while I’d strike gold! These gold nuggets would become a permanent part of my teaching repertoire. Over time, and with lots and lots of digging, I think I’ve put together a pretty good teaching practice by soldering together the flecks and pebbles of gold I’ve discovered. I created this blog to share some of these nuggets, these useful teaching morsels, with other science teachers and anyone else who might be interested. So, as you dig you’re own mines, looking for your own nuggets, check back here every once in a while. Unlike real gold, Science Nuggets become more valuable as more and more of them get into the hands of more and more teachers.
In the coming weeks and months, I intend to populate this blog with my own observations and insights, interviews with science educators, videos and anything else that might be nugget worthy. I hope you enjoy what you find and can use it in your classroom. Please feel free to get in touch with me through the “contact” page and share information or ask questions.
Thanks for tuning in. That’s todays nugget. Keep digging!