Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:49 PM
Rocks Sci-Guide Review
The NSTA SciGuide Rocks is an excellent resource to use in a Earth Science class. It is easily divided into the sections of Formation of Rocks, History of Rocks, and Soil. It gives clear, concise sources for teachers and provides students with wonderful resources ranging from types of rocks (including their favorite "gems")to how rocks change to form soil. Included in the SciGuide are lesson such as Formation of Rocks, The History of Rocks, and The Grand Canyon of Mars. The lesson with the greatest impact on me was the Interactive Rock Cycle Animation from the Exploring Earth link. Students watched and re-watched this interactive video to better understand the rock cycle. Then they compared real life rock samples I had in class to the pictures found in the links. Students were fascinated with the different types of rocks and trying to identify them on their own.
I have and will continue to use this SciGuide in my teaching by incorporating it into the units that deal with my Earth Science classes. The lessons and links provided in this Guide allow to hit all the standards from SC.8.8.1 Compare the characteristics of the three main types of rocks to SC.8.8.2 Illustrate the rock cycle and explain how igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks are formed in 8th Grade Earth Science. There were many, many other visuals and lessons helping to describe almost every aspect rocks and rock formation.
In general I don’t see much that needs improving in this SciGuide. As always real world links to local information (specifically Hawaii) always brings increased interest from my students.
Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:01 PM
Solar System Sci Guide Review
The NSTA SciGuide Solar System is an excellent resource to use in a Earth and Space Science class. It is easily divided into the sections of A Look at the Planets, and Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites, Earth in Space, and Formation of our Solar System. It gives clear, concise sources for teachers and provides students with a well laid out summary in The Solar System of different facts about each of the planets of the solar system (distance, temperature, mass). Included in the SciGuide are lesson such as Making and Mapping a Volcano, Lava Layering, Craters, Modeling Orbits in the Solar System, and Looking for Life The lesson with the greatest impact on me was the Gelatin Volcano Lesson. Students had for years created "volcano" labs with baking soda and vinegar. This lesson plan gave a real visual/hands-on view of how magma moves and flows in the earth. The students were fascinated with this lesson and wanted to perform it again and again!
I have and will continue to use this SciGuide in my teaching by incorporating it into the units that deal with both Earth and Space lessons. The lessons and links provided in this Guide allow me to use it my Earth and Space Science classes and hit a majority of the standards associated from SC.8.8.8 Describe the composition of objects in the galaxy to SC.8.8.10 Compare the characteristics and movement patterns of the planets in our solar system. There were many, many other visuals and lessons helping to describe almost every aspect of the solar system.
There seemed to be more resources in this guide than in others I have used with NSTA. It has the advantage of giving more options, but can be a bit overwhelming for students to explore on their own. I would recommend the teacher review and suggest specific links for students to use.
Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:06 PM
Force and Motion Sci-Guide Review
1. What are some key points from the SciGuide that made an impression upon you?
The NSTA SciGuide Force and Motion is an excellent resource to use in a Physical Science class. It is easily divided into the sections of Position and Motion, and Newton's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Laws. It gives clear, concise sources for teachers and provides students with the hands-on and interactive links that use real world scenarios such as the roller coaster simulation and designing a roller coaster to the Marble Roll Challenge (a national competition set up to allow students from around the country to compete from their own classrooms. Included in the SciGuide are lesson such as Rollercoasters!, Hovercrafts!, Cannister Olympics!, and 3-2-1 Blastoff! The lesson with the greatest impact on me was the rollercoaster simulation and design. Other classes at our school were actually building roller coasters out of newspapers. With the smaller number of students in my class, this was not feasible, so my students were able to get the same experience through internet simulations. My students were able to try out a variety of designs and simulations and see the outcomes in the same period of time!
2. How could you utilize this SciGuide in your teaching?
I have and will continue to use this SciGuide in my teaching by incorporating it into the units that deal with force and motion and Newton's 3 Laws of Motion. The lessons and links provided in this Guide allow me to use it my Physical Science class (SC.PS.7.1 Apply the laws of motion to determine the effects of forces on the linear motion of objects, and SC.PS.7.2 Use vectors to explain force and motion) just to name a few. There are many great stand alone assignments, and others mesh nicely with my current curriculum.
3. What are some suggestions for improvement in the SciGuide?
A few of the links in this SciGuide were unavailable to access (like the Marble Roll http://scithon.terc.edu/MarbleRoll/index.cfm , and Motion and Force Online Vocabulary Quiz http://school.discovery.com/quizzes32/cande29/MotionandForce2.html. As the internet is constantly changing and sites come and go, this is understandable, but disappointing as I wanted to use the Vocabulary Quiz as a post-test to the unit I had just taught.