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REVIEWS

All Reviews By: Tina (Fairmount, IN)



Meeting the MOON from a Global Perspective
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
International Project for students
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 20, 2014
  "More Observations Of Nature" is a web-based project where students interact with others from around the country or the world to share information on how they observe the moon over a period of time. The current website @ http://www.worldmoonproject.org/ provides contact information, a teacher guide, and student guide. Great for helping students to learn to recognize patterns in nature.

Should We Continue Space Travel? A Technology-Supported Approach to Engaging Students
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Great way to get students to reflect on learning!
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 20, 2014
  The author describes how she integrated blog-based discussions of topics her class was discussing concerning our understanding of space and the state of the space exploration program. Students completed a final project where they had to justify their suggestions on how NASA should or should not continue the space program. With a few additions, this could easily be integrated in a NGSS-based curriculum and definitely addresses CCLA.

How Low Can You Go?: Interdisciplinary Student-Impact Investigations for Environmental Awareness and Sustainability
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
title: How Low Can You Go?: Interdisciplinary Stu
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  This article looks at waste and how to get our students to consider their impact on the environment. A number of lesson ideas are presented and resources to assist teachers in addressing issues of sustainability, waste management, and ecologicl footprints. The information here could be used at any level, but much of the materials focus on secondary standards.

Connect the Spheres with the Coal Cycle
Journal Article
Grade Level: High School
Lots of resources
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  This article does not really present any lesson ideas, it focuses on topics and resources for using coal as the means to demonstrate how carbon can cycle through the earth's spheres (with some human help). Some of the resources might be more applicable to an environmental science class, since they focus on the results of coal mining on the land, air, and water, and not on the carbon itself. As a source of references, it is a varied and very useful resource for teachers at any level.

The Great Dinosaur Feud: Science Against All Odds
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Great tie-in to CCLA and argumentation
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  This article presents a unit on feuding paleontologists in a way that encourages students to examine claims and evidence in a non-scientific (but still true to the concept) manner by looking at the acts of the scientists and putting them on trial. The students have to prepare letters of either indictment or support drawing on the evidence, a LA tie-in. And, while the authors focus on this argument, there are many other conflicts in other areas of science that could be equally examined (Meyer vs Mendeleev, Kepler vs Brahe, Darwin vs Russell-Wallace, etc.) There are all kinds of examples of the human nature of scientific endeavors to draw on. The structure of this lesson could be adapted to any of them (although they might not be as exciting!).

Eureka!Causal Thinking About Molecules and Matter
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Eureka! Causal Thinking about Molecules an
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  This article presents a unit designed to help students to visualize a rather complex process, that of how things mix based on molecular motion at the nano-scale. Much of the article references online resources available at the Science Scope site http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/connections.aspx . The article makes assumptions concerning the ability of students to interact politely as "scientists" at the time this lesson is presented, and if that is something in which the students in a class still need additional training, anticipate this unit lasting a little longer than described. For classes that are already familiar with acting like a scientific community and with CER, this article has all the information to allow you to apply it. For those who are just starting out, leave time in your schedule to teach those concepts and consider teaching this unit because this is an excellent lesson combining digital simulations to student hands-on experiences and conversations!

Teacher's Toolkit: Scientific Explanations and Arguments: Supporting Students With Explicit Reasoning in Argumentation
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Teacher's Toolkit: Scientific Explanations
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  Title: Supporting students with explicit reasoning in arguments. This article does a wonderful job of explaining precisely what a claim, evidence and reasoning are so that teachers can explain them to their students. The examples are also very clear. Several strategies are presented to help students to develop claims, back them with evidence, and combine the evidence to produce reasoned statements. I would recommend this article to any teacher who is starting out with this process as an-going reference, when you are comfortable with one of the strategies presented, you can move on to another!

Scope on Safety: Safety in Numbers
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Scope on Safety: Safety in Numbers
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  It is nice to know that NSTA supports teachers by publishing information that we can use to defend our suggestions to administrators that science labs be limited in enrollment. This provides summaries of two Topic Papers that can be printed and presented to those in charge of scheduling to show how dangerous overcrowding is and their liability in the event of an accident. They also provide teachers with information on personal liability as well, so that lessons can be structured in such a way as to protect the teacher from accusations of carelessness. Important reads and resources at any level.

Tried and True: What's the Matter? Looking Beyond the Macroscopic
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Tried and True: What's the Matter? Looking
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  The authors present an inquiry lesson that encourages students to form their own model for an atom, molecule and mixture. I have used a similar lesson with my students to introduce the differences between elements and compounds and I have done lessons where students generated their own models, but I had not thought to combine them before like this. This could even be extended later to encourage students to develop a model for the Law of Conservation of Matter through developing chemical equations. Nice lesson idea for middle and high school!

Moving Ahead With Alternate Conceptions
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Moving Ahead With Alternate Conceptions Mo
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  This article provides resources that can be referenced for information on common student alternative conceptions. It then discusses ways to use knowledge of these to guide practice and curriculum. They suggested taking the alternative/misconception and making a statement that students agree or disagree with and then provide the reason for their choice, but the process used was not clearly stated. Still, the references alone make this a useful article for teachers interested in designing their own formative pre-assessments.

Popular Science Nonfiction and the Connection Between Literacy and the NGSS
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Popular Science Nonfiction and the Connect
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  I love to include books in my curriculum (both fiction and non-fiction). And while having students use video to share science content is not new, this article puts a new twist by incorporating video book reports. I can see how this could empower shy students to express themselves. It also anchors science to the "real world" outside the classroom. Good rubrics and reference materials are provided. Great lesson!

Including Often-Missed Knowledge and Skills in Science Assessments
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Including Often-Missed Knowledge and Skill
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  This research-based article presents a lesson planning tool that incorporates a way to perform performance-based formative assessment. The example provided is not inquiry or hands-on, but I believe this approach could be incorporated as a part of an inquiry lesson plan. It is linked to additional resources outside of NSTA. It does generate higher-order thinking questions for assessment and could be used at any level.

Gearing Up for Engineering
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Gearing up for Engineering
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  This presents a detailed science unit on gears. Students design and construct machines to investigate the properties of gears. There are strong connections with CCLA. To better address the engineering practices at the end of this unit I would recommend student groups all address a specific Engineering Design Practice challenge, but it certainly addresses the science components.

Just Do It! Performance Tasks in the Science Classroom
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Just Do It! Performance Tasks in the Scien
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 13, 2014
  The authors walk you through the process of 1) locating quality hands-on activities for your classroom; 2) locating NGSS standards and comparing them to the activity to find one that fits; and 2) locating rubrics to grade the activity or advise on how to find sample rubrics. They also provide an example of the process. Not a quick read, but it contains a lot of useful and detailed information!

Assessing Student Progress Along a Solar System Learning Progression
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Assessing Student Progress Along a Solar S
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 6, 2014
  A construct map looks at natural breaks or levels of understanding for students as they develop their conceptual understanding of a new science concept. The authors have developed several of these "rubrics" (instruments) and use them to see where their students are during pre and post-tests on astronomy topics. This article explains how they developed them and how they can be used. A link is provided for additional information and "maps" for teacher use. However, they leave assessment development to the individual teacher. This is interesting information, and maybe it is best for teachers to develop assessment questions to fit their own style of teaching.

Magnetism: More Than Just Objects Attracted to Refrigerators
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Magnetism: More Than Just Objects Attracte
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 6, 2014
  I really like this lesson! This lesson has students constructing their own conceptual models of how magnets work and then making theories, testing the models, and adjusting them to fit the facts. The materials are fairly simple and inexpensive and this could be done in any classroom.

Everyday Engineering: Why the Statue of Liberty is Green: Coatings, Corrosion, and Patina
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Simple chemical change lab
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 6, 2014
  This article provides a directed inquiry activity on chemical changes brought on by corrosion. It is inexpensive to implement. I have done similar activities with students but this one provides extensions that tie it into engineering by having students look at applications of coatings to provide protection from chemical changes. Simple but effective way to include engineering with a simple science experiment.

Cooling Off
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Assessing student knowledge
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on August 12, 2014
  This assessment looks at how students understand temperature and heat. It also explains the topics clearly for teachers so that they can correctly analyze the results themselves. I would use this during discussions of differences between heat and temperature.

The Water Cycle
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Reading on Water Cycle
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on July 27, 2014
  This chapter provides an overview of all the different components that participate in the Water Cycle, how humans interact with the water cycle, and how we are currently (2002-2015 at least) measuring water using satellite data. This would be useful for secondary students or undergraduates in an introductory program and, of course. for teachers to update background knowledge.

Recycled Water: The Hydrologic Cycle
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Provides students with visual water cycle
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on July 27, 2014
  This activity provides students with a good demonstration of what it looks like for water to go through a basic cycle of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation with some runoff thrown in. Like the author states, following up with a terrarium would allow you to integrate transpiration into the cycle. This totally neglects groundwater and the role of glaciers/ continental ice sheets, but these can be included with additional activities. A good overall introduction to water cycle - for those concerned about it using incandescent lighting sources - these lights are still imported from other countries or a substitute could be obtained at a pet store that sells supplies for reptiles (as neither CFL or LED lights provide the heat needed for reptiles).

Drip Drop Detectives: Exposing The Water Cycle
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School
Guided Inquiry to discover the water cycle
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on July 27, 2014
  This chapter provides a guided inquiry where the class reads a book on the water cycle where the water drop travels around the world and the students conduct activities to discover how this might occur. The strength of this lesson is that students collect data and use a claim/evidence format to explain their results. The weakness is that it relies on a number of different trade books to facilitate the process. Overall, this is a really nice lesson/unit for younger students learning about the water cycle and I highly recommend it.

Understanding Heat Travel
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School, Middle School
Simple but powerful ideas
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on July 9, 2014
  This chapter presents a number of simple activities students (and sometimes teachers) can do which show how heat is transferred and factors that affect heat transfer. Some of these I already do, some of these I need to start doing as they are very clever and inexpensive!

The Magic Balloon
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
One of my favorite activities!
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on July 9, 2014
  This story is similar to one I tell my students as we discuss the effect of heat on volume (Charles Law) and, like the story, I generally go to the store and buy a helium balloon for my students to investigate in cold and warmth. If you have never done this, the author clearly explains how to teach this lesson and why it is important to teach! Two thumbs up!

Cooling Off
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Getting students to think about heat
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on July 9, 2014
  This story works as a great formative assessment to get students to thinking and talking about how heat and how it is transferred. The section for teachers is informative and helpful. I like the middle school lesson, I have not done this variation of a calorimeter before, but I can see how it would help eliminate student misconceptions on what moves, heat or cold?

Cooling Off
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Getting students to think about heat
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on July 9, 2014
  This story works as a great formative assessment to get students to thinking and talking about how heat and how it is transferred. The section for teachers is informative and helpful. I like the middle school lesson, I have not done this variation of a calorimeter before, but I can see how it would help eliminate student misconceptions on what moves, heat or cold?

Science 101: How do windmills generate power?
Journal Article
Grade Level: Elementary School
Basic introduction to turbines
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 10, 2014
  This article does a great job of explaining how turbines produce electricity and gives great activities that can be done with students to help them understand as well. What it does not do is provide any information on why people do and do not support turbines. As long as electricity is all you are interested in - this is actually great! If you want to look at issues as well, there are some forums in the Learning Center that discuss these and a number of great chapters and articles that discuss how to teach controversial issues. Sadly, although it is a great alternative source of energy, it is also an issue.

Inquiry and Scientific Explanations: Helping Students Use Evidence and Reasoning
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School, Middle School
Great explanation for teaching CER
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 10, 2014
  This chapter provides information for teachers on how to start to implement the use of Claims - Evidence - Reasoning into their inquiry units and provides justification for the use and things to watch for when teaching. Very good introduction at any level.

Improving Learning in Science With Formative Assessment
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Making students a part of assessment
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 10, 2014
  This chapter provides two important ideas; 1) make students a part of the assessment process and get them talking about what is important to learn and where they are in their progress, and 2) how can we train teachers to teach this way - what are some successful strategies to help teachers to learn how to design instruction that involves students in learning. Both sections provide valuable insights for teachers and I would recommend this to any teacher who is interested in improving how they assess student learning and their instructional approach. I would also recommend this to supervisors working with those teachers as it outlines useful ways to support those teachers who are seeking to change/improve their practice. Powerful techniques.

In a Heartbeat
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
What is a heartbeat?
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 10, 2014
  This story is designed to get students thinking about what a heartbeat is, what factors affect your heatbeat, and to encourage them (and the teacher!) to design an inquiry project to learn more. While designed for students in elementary school, this could be extended into an introduction for middle level, as well. Provides additional information for teachers on the circulatory system to prepare them for student questions!

Is Evolution Random?
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School
A Case for teaching evolution
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 9, 2014
  This contains the preface to the book which explains why it is important to teach evolution, how this book and the accompanying video came about, and who the scientists are who participated in the video. This chapter goes over a sample lesson which incorporates the video to help students to grasp the difference between random and purposeful selection. It could be used without the video, but was designed to be integrated with the video so additional material would be necessary. Good introduction to how the book/video are organized.

Just Rolling Along
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Simple yet complicated
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 9, 2014
  While the answer may seem obvious, many students lack in experiences and will need to actually do the experiment described to understand what the question is asking. Since this introduces fundamental ideas like constant speed and eventually friction, I would recommend this probe for students as a way to lead into discussions of measuring motion and refer back to it when discussing the directional component of forces.

Involving Students in Assessment
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Middle School
Assessment as a tool for learning
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 9, 2014
  This chapter describes a project in which students were, over the course of a school year and in all their core classes, taught to assess their own work and that of peers, how to write assessments (both rubrics and test questions), and how to reflect on the results of assessments in a way that allowed them to grow as learners. A powerful lesson for students, if one is patient enough to follow through, that increased learning, especially for students who were not doing as well at the start - because someone took the time to make how they were assessed not only transparent but a process they participated in. All practicing teachers should read this and think about how they might integrate these ideas in their curriculum.

Introduction: The Environmental Context
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School, Middle School
Points to consider before teaching issues
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 9, 2014
  This selection is made up of the preface and the introduction to this book on how to teach environmental issues. The introduction focuses on environmental issues but in the process describes a justification and a process for teaching ANY issues in the science classroom in an impartial way that allows students to see the complexity of the scientific process and to create their own opinions based on evidence from all KNOWN sides, pointing out that we never know all the potential consequences of an action. Excellent reading for all science teachers but especially those working on introducing students to how science and society interact at the secondary or undergraduate levels.

Science Teaching and Assessing Students’ Scientific Literacy
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Levels of literacy and assessing students
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 3, 2014
  This chapter has a LOT of information in it but I will focus on two things I felt were useful. The author provides definitions for levels of scientific inquiry that we can apply to our students to assess if we are teaching them to be useful citizens. The other interesting thing was looking at the results of the environmental awareness questions presented in the 2006 PISA assessment. This provides teachers who are interested in making students environmentally aware of issues a general idea of what middle level students in the US and world think of some of the major issues to confront the world presently and in the future. Based on this analysis, teachers can better design curriculum to make students more aware of issues.

Science Standards Influence Classroom Assessment Practices
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College, Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Interesting study
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 3, 2014
  The authors wanted to see if middle school teachers were informed of the standards at that time (1998-2000) and if they were, did they use them to design assessment items? What they discovered was that the teachers lacked training in how to develop higher-order thinking questions or application questions and fell back on content/fact related questioning as a form of assessment. There is at least two unsubstantiated claims (which may be because this is a summary of a longer article) but the article does a nice job of explaining terms and how the data was processed. The appendix with the information on assessment analysis used for 2061 was a very useful piece of information for anyone who is interested in doing active research. A review of this article, as many things done by the authors could easily be done by a classroom teacher, could be used to evaluate their own assessment practices. It might also be useful for pre-service teachers or an in-service on assessment.

Science Interactive Notebooks in the Classroom
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Good overview of one style
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 3, 2014
  The author introduces interactive notebooks - notebooks in which both teachers and students design what information goes into the notebook. By giving students ownership of the information in the notebook, instead of it all being teacher driven, it allows students to be more responsible and feel more like scientists. I really like that she emphasizes that English and math do not stop at the door of the science classroom. However, this is just one way of setting these up and I encourage the reader to check out other methods to find one that fits their teaching style.

Scales and Number Distributions
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School, Middle School
Good introduction to terminology
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 3, 2014
  This chapter is the same as the other chapter by the same name, just written in a previous book. As such, it has all the same benefits - it introduces (or reviews) terminology used in mathematics and statistics, it provides examples that are specific to education, and it has good references. The information on graphing calculators is the same in both texts.

Scales and Number Distribution
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Good introduction to terminology
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on June 3, 2014
  I did not have statistics in school, but now it is part of the Common Core mathematical expectations for my students. Since I have forgotten a lot of math terminology anyway, I found this chapter very helpful in providing a review of math terms, practice applications to help me remember them, and interesting references to apply them. It also provides examples from what I do as a teacher instead of random problems that also help me to better apply this understanding. This is one chapter in a book on statistics in education which I am currently reading.

Fostering Argumentation Skills: Doing What Real Scientists Really Do
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
What scientific argumentation might look like
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on May 15, 2014
  This article uses a QCEE form to help students to frame questions, claims and evidence to develop scientific discussions in an inquiry unit on soils. In the process, the article discusses the role of students and teachers and provides a sample of what student work might look like. I think that this article, combined with others on claims and evidence would provide someone interested in incorporating this strategy with some good ideas of how it works and what it looks like in the classroom.

Embracing Controversy in the Classroom
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Starting a discussion over issues
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on May 15, 2014
  The author presents information on how she introduces stem cell research and the ethical dilemmas it presents to her middle level students. However, the ADVICE on how to set up this sort of conversation could be used for any number of topics. While I was reading this, I was thinking of how my classes discuss nuclear science and radioactivity (pros and cons) and comparing her advice and looking for new ideas. Or when my classes discuss erosion and houses on hillsides. This provides a great outline on how to start those types of discussions for any grade level.

Constructing and Critiquing Arguments
Journal Article
Grade Level: Elementary School
Both strategies and how to implement them
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on May 15, 2014
  The article not only presents 4 different strategies to teach students critical thinking and speaking skills, it also provides strategies on how to implement them in your classroom. Since the ability to identify critical information and to back it up with evidence is important in science and life, the strategies presented are great life skills as well as science and literacy skills. This could be used at any grade level (including undergraduate).

Teacher’s Toolkit: Promoting and supporting scientific argumentation in the classroom—The evaluate-alternatives instructional model
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Good way to start introducing class discourse
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on May 15, 2014
  The article provides a method for students to critique evidence (a discrepant event is used to generate this) and a variety of "theories" to determine the truth of each and to guide students to a scientific explanation. I see this as a good way to introduce students to this type of reasoning and CER. This process also provides students with a means of critiquing media information as well, and therefore could also be used in discussions of current events and controversial issues. This would work at any grade level.

Reflections on Assessment
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Notes on history of "assessment"
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on May 13, 2014
  The author has intimate knowledge of some of the current questions and discussions on what we would now look at as the start of the "assessment movement". The questions he poses at the end are timeless - how does this benefit students, instruction, curriculum and are these studies research based? While not current, the information presented is valuable as it looks at why we assess and, more importantly, what the limitations of assessment are that should be kept in mind when choosing assessments and applying them to various situations.

Upload, Download: Empowering Students Through Technology-Enabled Problem-Based Learning
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Making technology useful
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on April 10, 2014
  High school students participated in a Problem- Based Learning scenario to create a town for the future that was based on good ecological principles to deal with future climate conditions. They used technology in a number of different ways to facilitate their own learning and to share what they had learned. While this was done in an outreach program, the basic structure of the PBL could be adapted to any secondary level classroom and the project ideas could certainly be applied as well.

Do Stars Change?
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College, Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Probing student understanding of star evolution
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on April 10, 2014
  This probe prompts students to think about the permanency of stars - do they change over time or not? In the process, the answers provide teachers with an idea of where to start in their lesson development. The misconceptions provided do not address theories, but it is suggested that an additional probe on student understanding of theories would be helpful, as this probe addresses the "hot-topic" of evolution.

Tech Trek: Flash forward to problem-based science
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Title: Tech Trek: Flash forward to problem-based
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on April 10, 2014
  Title: Tech Trek: Flash forward to problem-based science Design your own museum! This article describes an interdisciplinary unit where students create their own prehistoric museum by researching the time periods and flora and fauna for those periods. Then they design displays and even make a 1/3 scale replica of a dinosaur skeleton. This would be fantastic for a science club (and classes where time permits with age appropriate modifications) of any age. And it could be adapted to other topics than dinosaurs, as well.

Correlation
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School, Middle School
Explains the basics
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on April 8, 2014
  This chapter explains what a correlation is and how to mathematically determine two of the most common used in educational research and what the answers mean. It also provides opportunities to practice finding these two correlations with an answer key at the end of the chapter and additional resources for more practice or information. If you are looking for an introduction to the idea of correlation for use in your classes with students, this would be helpful as more and more teachers look at data analysis.

Where Are The Acorns?
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Can be used at a variety of skill levels
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on April 2, 2014
  This chapter provides a mystery about lost acorns for students to solve by learning the properties of shadows cast by the Sun. It looks at how shadows change over the course of a day, season and year. Lesson ideas for students k-8 are provided and possible misconceptions at various skill levels are discussed. The author also provides a good argument for why shadows should be revisited in middle school and math and literacty connections.

Over and Under— Why Water’s Weird
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Good example of density changes by phase
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on March 9, 2014
  It is so important students understand how density changes as substances melt and freeze. I have done something similar with water and paraffin, but this seems more student friendly. Once students understand this, it is easier to teach them about convection and its importance in global systems.

Interpreting Weather Maps
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Old fashioned but useful information!
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on March 9, 2014
  This activity may seem old-fashioned to students used to looking at GIS maps of weather where this data is already processed by computer, but this sort of map is how meteorologists developed those maps and is still used for forecasting and showing upper level winds and conditions. My classes looked at this type of weather map daily, downloaded from an online site, and instead of introducing all the symbols at once, we did one set a day over the course of a week such that by the end of the week they could read the symbol for one station. Then they were ready for the map presented here.

Student-Centered Seismology Activities
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Variety of learning styles addressed
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on March 3, 2014
  This article provides a wonderful list of activities that address a variety of learning styles to help students to better understand what seismic waves are, how they are measured, and how scientists use them as evidence to make inferences. I use many of these in my classes.

Shake It Up With Reading
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Informational reading AND claims and evidence
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on February 19, 2014
  The author noted her students had a problem identifying ideas in informational texts and with the help of a reading teacher came up with a very effective lesson! She explains quite clearly how the lesson was set up so that students could feel ownership and interest in reading the materials. I have done similar lessons, and students like the opportunity to not only share with others, but, as in this lesson. to question claims and defend them with evidence from their own readings. Great lesson and easily modified for different topics.

Severe Weather
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Good place to start!
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on February 15, 2014
  While the poster that accompanied this article is not provided, the article does a nice job of outlining the different departments of NOAA and describing where you can locate information on different types of weather and preparing for weather emergencies.

Weather Tamers
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Students consider safety
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on February 11, 2014
  This unit on severe weather has students creating models of cities to withstand a hurricane or tornado. Students also model the weather itself to test their buildings for ability to withstand the weather event. Additional time might be spent on personal safety during these events and justifying claims, but overall an engaging unit.

Science Sampler: Weathering database technology
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Many ways to cover topic
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on February 11, 2014
  The author suggests that students collect weather data and use a computer database as a means to identify patterns. He then provides a number of additional lesson suggestions. My students enjoyed collecting and examining weather data.

How Water Holds Heat
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Traditional introduction to specific heat
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on February 5, 2014
  This presents a traditional lesson for students on the differences between how sand and water heat and cool that can be extended to a discussion of how that affect climate. Resources include websites where students can collect data for days or a year of temperatures for both land and sea to extend this activity to real-world data. Could be adjusted to allow for more student inquiry by having students suggest other substances to test (local soils, sod, etc.).

The Point of It All
Journal Article
Grade Level: Elementary School
Integrating STEM in a simple lesson
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on January 30, 2014
  In this lessons students explore how a wind/weather vane works and construct one of their own design based on what they have learned. The science and the math skills called for are entirely appropriate for this level (3-5) and the construction allows students an opportunity to not only learn through inquiry but could be incorporated through a design process as well - either would work well with this lesson!

Research and Teaching: Journey to the End of the Earth: Academic and Professional Benefits for Students Participating in a Field-Based Research Program in Antarctica
Journal Article
Grade Level: College
Interesting model for retaining minorities
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on January 16, 2014
  This describes surveys done with a select group of students chosen to do research in Antarctica in a limited amount of time. The results are not really surprising, since they had a large pool to chose from and selected only 18 to participate, they all were motivated to succeed and to continue in research studies. The most interesting part is how it changed the students' views on conducting successful research and interacting with others. An interesting study to review.

Connecting Electricity and Magnetism
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Brief explanation of electromagnetism
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on January 2, 2014
  If you are new to this, then do not read the footnotes the first time through - they are interesting for those of us who are reviewing this information but would be confusing for a beginner - read them the second time through! While there are possibly simpler explanations, they are probably NOT as complete as this - it covers a lot of material. Good introduction for the beginner, great review for those who have had this before but it has been a while. This would also be a good text for high school students to look over as a supplement or quick review of the high points in a physical science (maybe not physics) class.

Concept Mapping in College Science
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College
Applicable at any level
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on December 27, 2013
  While the focus of this chapter is the college level, the information presented can be adapted and used at any level. The author describes the purpose of concept maps, how to teach students to construct them, and how to use them for formative and summative assessments or as evaluation tools. Easy to read and understand, lots of good information!

What Are The Chances?
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Practical and easy ways to teach probability
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on December 21, 2013
  The author provides a short story on a satellite falling to earth as a hook to get students to think about the likelihood of it landing nearby. Statistics like this are essential to an understanding of citizen science issues and science teachers, as well as math teachers, are responsible for teaching about this. The author provides suggested lesson ideas that are easy to do and easy for students to grasp.

Wetscience: A Means of Assessing Math, Science, and Technology Incorporation Into a Service Learning Outreach Program
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College
Interesting lesson suggestion on microbes
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on December 21, 2013
  This chapter presents an evaluation of an outreach program that worked with both pre-service and in-service teachers. They were provided with materials and instruction on how to teach an ecology unit on microbes, then the pre-service teachers were surveyed on how their background knowledge increased. Additional information was provided on the importance of STEM and ways to integrate it into teaching.

Wetland Delineation
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School, Informal Education
Ecology/Biology/Earth sci activity
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on December 21, 2013
  This activity could be used in a variety of classes for a variety of purposes. While ideal for an ecology class, it could also be used in Biology or Earth Sci due to its mixed nature. I would add a section where students are asked to define why the wetland they are studying occurred in the area they found it in - while in many cases this may be obvious, sometimes, when they are due to clay content in soils, it puzzles students. Wetlands are an important microclimate and are underappreciated, especially in agricultural regions or those recently rezoned for community growth. I have frequently heard farm families in my area complaining about wetland designations, not realizing their wetland is someone's water source and a benefit to their fresh water supplies. This is due to a lack of information we, as teachers, can supply.

Writing to Learn: Science Notebooks, a Valuable Tool to Support Nonfiction Modes/Genres of Writing
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Good starting point for Notebooking
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on December 21, 2013
  This chapter provides some of the earliest and best organized information on the integration of science and literacy comprehension. I first read this several years ago during a teacher workshop where these processes were introduced and have integrated these ideas into my instruction with good results. There are additional materials in the Learning Center that build on these ideas, but this chapter does a wonderful job of providing a solid starting point.

From Practice to Research and Back: Perspectives and Tools in Assessing for Learning
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Development of Formative Assessment tool
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on December 4, 2013
  The author describes his journey towards the continuous use of formative assessments in his instruction and how it improved student learning. He then goes on to describe a tool he and university researchers devised based on his active research that can be used by any high school teacher in a physical or life science (unfortunately it does not include earth science except where it overlaps the above, and it was designed for high school specifically). However, for teachers at a variety of levels, they have broken down a number of learning topics and specified ways students misunderstand those topics and some of these are transferable to at least middle school and definitely undergraduate. Actually, a very clever and useful resource for those who it applies to!

Multigenre Lab Reports: Connecting Literacy and Science
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Expressing science creatively
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on December 2, 2013
  This chapter presents alternatives to traditional science lab reports and a useful rubric that could be used to assess those reports. While the authors admit that not all students provided the science information that was required, they also presented strategies that could be attempted to overcome these problems. This type of assessment not only provides students with creative outlets but also addresses a variety of learning styles and learning abilities.

Mind Mapping as a Flexible Assessment Tool
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College, Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Ideas for integrating mind-maps into assessment
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on December 2, 2013
  The authors present a variety of ways one could integrate the use of mind - maps into instruction such that is could be used as a formative, diagnostic or summative assessment of student learning. Not enough information is presented on how to actually assess student mind maps,only that it can be done. However, the strategies presented on how to introduce students to the use of mind maps is helpful for those who are considering their use.

Means of Linking Research to Practice in Organizing a Course on Student Assessment
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College
Outline of a course
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on December 2, 2013
  This chapter provides a broad outline of a possible course syllabus used by the author for a class on assessment. It provides some time for developing assessment for the individual teachers' classrooms, authentic assessment, standardized assessment and the role of metacognition in assessment and learning. This could provide a helpful start for someone developing a similar course. The allotment of time devoted to each area concerns me, as a classroom teacher, I appreciated time we spent on how to develop good assessments and how to evaluate their usefulness in my various assessment courses. Overall, the topics appear to be useful for both practicing teachers and those considering a career in research.

Making Mendel’s Model Manageable
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Teaching students the usefulness of models
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on December 2, 2013
  This article provides a lesson in which students develop their own model of inheritance for both the classic dominant-recessive cross and for co-dominance. This lesson also presents an opportunity to work with students using claims and evidence to justify the use of the models developed. Both provide students with ownership of the knowledge in a way that would help them remember this information. My students enjoyed doing a similar activity as a "science puzzle."

Formative Assessment With Student Remotes and E-mail
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College
Use of "clickers" for formative assessment
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 5, 2013
  This chapter presents an outline of how "clickers" or e-Remotes were integrated in a lecture class as a means to encourage small group discussions, student self-assessment, and instructor formative assessment. An additional formative probe, offering students credit for contacting the instructor prior to class with questions over homework was also presented. The latter would work well in a flipped secondary class as well. As for clickers - if unavailable there are apps for that!

Floating Logs
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
The root of understanding
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 5, 2013
  This probe investigates if students understand that density is independent of size and shape. While students may have an understanding of floating and sinking in general, the idea of density seems to elude them. In addition to the recommended lessons provided here, I have found that working with middle and high school students on developing their understanding of the particle nature of matter and its relationship to density using manipulatives helps them to better grasp the concept and the mathematical model of density.

Exam Corrections and Analysis, Student Perspective
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College
Fantastic idea!
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 5, 2013
  In this very short chapter (less than 2 pages) the author presents a follow-up lesson to an exam where students are responsible for finding out why they missed questions (before they contest the results) and taking responsibility for their role in the problem. I really love this suggestion! Everyone should do then whenever possible when they give tests!

Exam Analysis, Instructor Perspective
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College
Good advice for all
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 5, 2013
  This very short chapter describes one instructors realization of how exams should be written and students prepared for them. The author learned as a TA about how to use Bloom's Taxonomy to address different levels of learning and the professor the author worked for at that time also pointed out that students had to be taught HOW to answer questions at different levels of Bloom's as well prior to taking tests. Good basic advice for any teacher at any level on how to design and prepare students for testing.

Half-Life Simulation
Book Chapter
Grade Level:
Easy way to show half-lives
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 5, 2013
  This chapter presents a quick, easy, and inexpensive activity to help students to better understand half-lives. I like the activity and the graphing. I might also have my students do pie graphs for certain points on the graph. For older students you could replace the "decayed atoms" with a different colored "radioactive atom" to show how one radioactive element might go on to a different element which then also decays.

Genetic Screening
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School, Middle School
Genetics Testing and Science Ethics
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 5, 2013
  This chapter presents the teacher background information and student reading and reflection questions about screening humans for genetic disorders. The author assumes the audience has some background with genetic disorders or the means to research them. The article is somewhat dated (which is hard not to be in this topic, the field changes so quickly) but is still an excellent discussion starter and not only deals with scientific ethics but societal consequences (political, economic) of scientific testing. I think this could be used in middle school at one level and in lower or higher levels of high school with increasing levels of reflection and discussion. A chapter in the Teacher as Researcher book "Evolving Ethical Perspectives in an Eighth-Grade Science Classroom" would provide a teacher with additional support materials for developing this lesson.

Floating High and Low
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Understanding Density
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 5, 2013
  This probe adapts well to a variety of grade levels and clearly delineates the different misconceptions I have seen students of all ages bring to the classroom concerning density and buoyancy. There are a number of activities recommended to help students to develop accurate conceptions for these concepts (depending on maturity levels). One thing I might add is that in addition to floating balls of various sizes and substances, I included a lab with a 35 mm film canister and a challenge to float it at a certain depth - students worked with adjusting the density of the container to meet the challenge.

Exploring the Role of Technology-Based Simulations in Science Assessment: The Calipers Project
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
using simulations to gauge higher order knowledge
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 5, 2013
  This chapter describes an experiment to design simulations to test students higher order reasoning skills. It mentions how it can be used as assessments, but not really how a classroom teacher could integrate these into lessons and although a number of different parameters are provided, how teachers could utilize this information formatively, diagnotically or summatively. The chapter was written in the early stages of the experiment, so one would think the information would be out there somewhere hope the authors provide that in more detail with the materials themselves. Other than that - it provides ideas that experienced teachers might develop to integrate the now many online simulations into lessons.

Extending Inquiry With Geotechnologies in the Science Classroom
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School, Middle School
Good advice
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 5, 2013
  This chapter describes a format to introduce the use of geospatial technologies to a middle or high school classroom. The steps described are reasonable and samples are provided of successful projects integrating GPS and GIS or Geospatial data. I might add one more category to the wonderful list of resources - some states or organization websites provide data viewers specific to their focus. In Indiana, where I live, our state has Indiana Map where local data can not only be retrieved, but viewed on a data explorer. I would also recommend that enlisting other teachers and approaching projects in an interdisciplinary manner can also provide additional benefits to students. My 8th graders loved the unit on geotechnologies.

Commentary: Teacher-Partners
Journal Article
Grade Level: High School
STEM before it was fashionable!
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 4, 2013
  This describes a school business partnership where engineers from local industry come into the schools and do STEM lessons to perk student interest. The exciting thing is that this program is still running and the link provided goes to a website that provides additional information. This program has been in existence since 1976 for students and schools to learn how science, math and engineering are really used.

Examining Students’ Work
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Fantastic suggestions for teaching and learning
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 4, 2013
  I recommend this for pre-teachers, in-service teachers, and anyone involved in instruction. The advice provided is relevant and immediately useful, presented as lessons learned by the author as he matured from college student to teacher to graduate student to professor to museum director. In each stage of his career, he learned new things that provide a wonderful list of what we should all remember as teachers.

Essay: What Is Academic Language?
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Describes both research and interesting lesson
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 4, 2013
  The author describes the process he used to design a study on how students develop an ethical view of science. In the process, he also describes some of the lessons used as a part of the research. Both the research and the lessons furnish interesting information on how his students developed their own set of science ethics over animal and human research practices. While I touch on ethics as a part of NOS, energy resources, and climate change, I have never addressed it in this detail, the results were interesting.

Essay: What Is Academic Language?
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Interesting explanation of Language styles
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 4, 2013
  In this chapter, the author explains and provides examples of not one but three academic styles of reading/writing that students over the course of their education should be exposed to in science. It presents an argument that we need to help students to move from conversational styles of communication to academic styles if only to help them to learn how to express themselves clearly. I don't think I would expose students who are not interested in pursuing science to formal academic science journals, I find the ones in my area hard enough to understand, however, exposing them to those popular journals which have science concentrations would provide them with the means to continue to develop science literacy on their own.

Essay: Using Students' Conversational Style
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Making Science talk comfortable for students
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 4, 2013
  This chapter presents a proposal for teachers - let students discuss science not in the academic style but in the style they discuss topics at home. There is an example given of what this might look like in a Haitian Creole population where students are having a conversation about mold. But this conversation appears to be introductory and at no point do the authors explain how to get from here to science concepts. Yet, I find the suggestion intriguing - I know when I talk to my students the way they communicate in the hallways, they find it funny, but as a means of trying to connect with them. I wish there was more detail to this suggestion but it sounds like it might make for an interesting instructional format for some class discussions, especially with students who are uncomfortable with formal academic language for whatever reason.

Essay: Using Everyday Experience to Teach Science
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Building on prior knowledge
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on November 4, 2013
  Overall, I agree with the premise and the evidence used to support the idea that tying students personal experiences to science concepts can help them to build a better understanding. While I think the author oversimplifies and misrepresents some of the ideas behind the science conception/misconception framework, I understand the idea that pointing out to students, especially those who are ELL but truly any student, where they are wrong instead of focusing on what they have correct can provide them with feelings of inadequacy (but I think this is also a simplification of this philosophy). The remainder of the chapter provides very useful examples and tips on how to build up student confidence in science through tying personal experiences to new science concepts in ways I have used in my classes and found successful.

Using Your Community Resources
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Middle School
When and why to involve the community
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 9, 2013
  The author makes the When easy - as often as possible and the WHY would be for good school PR and to help you as a teacher. Good suggestions are made here for involving parents, business and others in, not only your school, but your classroom and I have done many of these things in the past and my students have not only learned from having people in but enjoyed them! Additional advice is provided for field trips with some guidelines for setting them up - these are the minimum! but a good starting point and additional steps are generally determined locally so be sure to ask another teacher in your building or administrator. A useful chapter for any teacher at any level to read!!!

Commentary: Budget Science
Journal Article
Grade Level: High School
Funding Inquiry
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on October 9, 2013
  This editorial provides suggestions on how to find, make, or elicit grant money to provide equipment for student inquiry labs. It is short but packed with useful advice and I highly recommend it to teachers at any grade level and for new teachers to consider.

It's a Gas, Gas, Yeah
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
All my favorite activities on air pressure!
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on September 11, 2013
  In addition to having all of my favorite activities on air pressure (and even a couple with liquids) it explains how they work! Wonderful information and some applications of the information on how drinking straws work and why balloons get larger when hot and smaller when cold.

Integrating Content and Scientific Inquiry in Your Lessons
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Defining Learning Progressions clearly
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on September 11, 2013
  This article describes basic learning progressions or the basis for the 3E, 5E, 7E, etc inquiry lesson design clearly and with examples. It then asks the reader (as it points out is a necessary part of learning) to apply what it has explained to them - it practices what it preaches. Fantastic article - simple, descriptive, and easy to understand and apply for any teacher at any level but I would Highly Recommend this for intro methods courses.

Inquiry in the Earth Sciences
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School, Middle School
The nature of Earth Science
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on September 11, 2013
  Earth science is more of an observational science than the physical sciences. The author notes that for some, it makes it difficult to create inquiry lessons. Suggested lesson ideas include activities where students create models and test them and look for patterns and their relationships to phenomena or materials. This provides a good start and other articles and discussions in the Learning Center can build on this understanding.

Instructional Approaches to Promote Student Understanding
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School
Overwhelming but extremely useful
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on September 11, 2013
  This chapter starts with an outline of three tools teachers should use to design instruction once preconceptions have been identified - they define these as an Instructional Strategy Sequence, Standards, and Metacognition and then go on to break those down further. They do a wonderful job of tying their discussion to research. Then, at the end of the actual chapter they present a table that lists what types of instructional strategies can be used for each of these instructional stages and then go on to explain them in more detail including references and web links for still more information. I like this chapter but it is overwhelming. Fortunately the other chapters of this book go on to demonstrate how this information might be applied to specific lessons and units. For anyone who seriously wants to evaluate and improve their instruction, this chapter presents ideas that can be applied to any area of science, not just biology.

Integration Is Key: Science, Literacy, Math, and Technology
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Middle School
Science does not stand alone
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on September 11, 2013
  This chapter points out the many ways that science supports and is supported by reading, writing, and mathematics. I wish they had also integrated social sciences, too, but this is a good start. Providing suggestions on ways to encourage students to think about what they are reading, prompts for writing science (in addition to ideas for lab reports), and ways to integrate math into those labs, this chapter provides useful advice for teachers at any grade.

Redesigning a Product
Book Chapter
Grade Level: High School, Middle School
Final chapter in booki
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on September 11, 2013
  This chapter does not stand alone - it needs to be considered in reference to the rest of the book. That said, it provides a suggested summative assessment to the lessons in the book on Life Cycles of Products. It encourages students to think about the environmental, energy and uses of a the components of a product, the product itself, and where the product ends up after use - something that is not considered much. The lesson is probably best for middle and high school students, although gifted intermediate students could also work through this book as a whole and benefit.

Adaptive Inquiry as the Silver Bullet: Reconciling Local Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Procedures With State-Mandated Testing in Science
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College, Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Mixing methodology works best
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN) on September 11, 2013
  The authors introduce the term "adaptive inquiry" but fail to provide a clear definition. However, I inferred from what they did say that it simply means teachers should design units mixing lessons using direct instruction and inquiry based on student prior knowledge and the content goals they need to teach based on required standardized tests. I feel this is common sense and while I use inquiry as much as possible in my classes, especially as engagement, exploration, and evaluation lessons for the overall unit with direct instruction where necessary to fill gaps in student knowledge. Good article for pre-service or new teachers to review.

Science Sampler: The scientific method -- Is it still useful?
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Supporting the Scientific Method
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on August 11, 2013
  The authors support the use of the scientific method as a way to provide younger students with a methodical way to solve problems, The authors note there are other "methods" in vogue which can also be mentioned or taught, but that for younger students the simplicity of this format gives them a place to start. I have seen other articles that present what might be viewed as "modified" scientific methods (called inquiry or discovery) which use many of the same terms but in different formats and in some of these formats give students more control of their learning. Also, since I am from a historical science, geology, I have to point out that the "scientific method" does NOT represent how all scientists work - it best represents empirical, rather than observational, sciences and by teaching it, I feel, we introduce more misconceptions than a useful format Therefore, I am not in favor of the authors' arguments.

Science Shorts: Going Through Changes
Journal Article
Grade Level: Elementary School
Erosion vs. Weathering
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on August 11, 2013
  Students have problems remembering the difference between these two terms, so when you teach them, be sure to emphasize the differences! This article mentions weathering but focuses on erosion. I have never used the tissue to represent plant life, but that is actually a great idea since it does model grasslands very well. Limited to water erosion, but a good lesson, all the same.

Teaching Earth Science Using Hot Air Balloons
Journal Article
Grade Level: Middle School
Demonstrating density
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on July 11, 2013
  This article presents an activity where students construct a simple hot air balloon from tissue paper. I have seen these done with students and they are thrilled to see something they created fly without helium. It provides a wonderful opportunity to discuss convection (with the balloon to demonstrate) as well as density. The directions are clear and alternatives are provided as far as teacher materials to use for launching the balloons.

Worms Are for More Than Bait
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Informal Education, Middle School
Lots of ways to use this information
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on June 17, 2013
  There are actually two chapters here. The first introduces how to use the materials and provides two case studies showing how one story led to two different lessons. The main chapter is on worms and how to develop lessons in your classroom to help students to learn more about these types of animals and their role in the environment. While the author focuses on K-6, with tweaking these could easily be used for higher grades as well to introduce topics for discussion.

Writing/Using Multiple-Choice Questions to Assess Higher-Order Thinking
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College
Good information on improving test questions
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on June 17, 2013
  Grading assessments probably takes more time than any other thing we do. 'This article discusses how to write effective higher-order multiple choice questions. While it is written to address college instructors it provides excellent information on the advantages of multiple choice tests and how to design valid and reliable test items. I would recommend this article to instructors at every level and with some modifications for pre-service teachers as well because it is really good information.

Now You “Sea” Ice, Now You Don’t
Book Chapter
Grade Level: College, High School
Lots of information, good student activity
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on June 13, 2013
  There are actually two chapters here - Chapter 1: Climate Basics introduces a lot of information in a relatively short chapter - if this is new to you then you will want to take notes or make a dictionary but it is comprehensive! The second chapter is the one named and is a student jigsaw where groups analyze data on biotic and abiotic factors that influence the Adelie penguin community. The links all work and in addition to the mentioned extensions, I would have students diagram the systems being explored (like a water cycle diagram but for the communities mentioned) and discuss positive and negative feedback loops, especially in upper middle or high school classes. This could also be used in an undergraduate survey environmental science class.

The Severe Stuff
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Very understandable explanations of How!
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on June 6, 2013
  How do tornadoes, storms, or hurricanes form? The author breaks it down into simple science ideas and explains these concepts. The models constructed provide excellent conceptualizations. However, to fully understand everything presented, the author draws on other chapters of the book - which are just as useful!

Teaching the Principles of Geomicrobiology and the Process of Experimental Research to Undergraduate and First-Year Graduate Students
Journal Article
Grade Level: College
Applying knowledge helps with understanding
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on May 28, 2013
  The authors present a curriculum for a course on geomicrobiology in subsurface systems. The course was co-taught between two distant campus via Internet. Students were asked to design experiments for a specific set of conditions, yet it is not clear if they pursued their proposals or simply followed that of the instructors. A common lab notebook was kept, but it is unclear how that was managed. What was clear was that students were interested and involved, they increased their overall knowledge of scientific procedures and geomicrobiology, and many continued their research after the course so it was obviously successful. Additional explanations would have made this a 5.

Student-Designed Experiments in Scientific Lab Instruction: Students at the University of Puerto Rico Go back to the Basics to Learn Chemistry Concepts
Journal Article
Grade Level: College
Simple lab provides conceptual understanding
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on May 28, 2013
  The authors wanted to provide their undergraduates with opportunities for inquiry and chose to use guided inquiry based on modeling similar labs. The article describes how they used a lab on melting ice to reinforce concepts and yet allow students an opportunity to design their own experiment during a 3 hour lab experience. This could be used in an honors secondary course or an undergraduate course.

Moving Masses
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Modeling air
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on May 28, 2013
  This presents two very good activities to model for students how air masses are different and how cold air and warm air can stack on top of each other. It also provides links to resources and additional information for the teacher. These lessons provide excellent resources to explain things students have heard about but probably have never had adequately explained so that they can visualize them.

Mass Extinction and Meteor Collisions With Earth
Book Chapter
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
Good information
  Reviewed by: Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN) on May 28, 2013
  This chapter provides great information as to our current understand