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REVIEWS

All Reviews By: Tina (Fairmount, IN)



Upload, Download: Empowering Students Through Technology-Enabled Problem-Based Learning
By: Karla Eitel, Justin R. Hougham, Brant Miller, Jenny Schon, and Kirsten LaPaglia
Science Scope, Mar 13
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?
By: Page Keeley and Cary Sneider
A chapter from Uncovering Student Ideas in Astronomy: 45 New Formative Assessment Probes
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, College
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
By: Leslie Miller, Janice Mayes, and Donna Smith
Science Scope, Nov 01
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
By: Edwin P. Christmann and John L. Badgett
A chapter from Interpreting Assessment Data: Statistical Techniques You Can Use
Grade Level: Middle School, High 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?
By: Richard Konicek-Moran
A chapter from Everyday Science Mysteries: Stories for Inquiry-Based Science Teaching
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
By: Alfredo L. Aretxabaleta, Gregg R. Brooks, and Nancy W. West
A chapter from Project Earth Science: Physical Oceanography, Revised 2nd Edition
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School, High 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
By: William R. Veal and Robert A. Cohen
A chapter from Project Earth Science: Meteorology, Revised 2nd Edition
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School, High 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
By: Marianne Barker
Science Scope, Jan 00
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
By: Lindsy Argus
Science Scope, Jan 12
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
By: Evan B. Forde
Science Scope , Apr 04
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
By: Wendy M. Frazier and Donna R. Sterling
Science Scope, Mar 07
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
By: Robert Snyder
Science Scope , Feb 05
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
By: Alfredo L. Aretxabaleta, Gregg R. Brooks, and Nancy W. West
A chapter from Project Earth Science: Physical Oceanography, Revised 2nd Edition
Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School, High 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
By: Thomas Koballa Jr.
Science and Children, Feb 08
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
By: Claudia Venessa Garcia, William H. Robertson, Vanessa Lougheed, Craig Tweedie, and Aaron Velasco
Journal of College Science Teaching , Mar 13
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
By: William C. Robertson, Ph.D.
A chapter from Electricity and Magnetism: Stop Faking it! Finally Understanding Science So You Can Teach It
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
By: Joel J. Mintzes
A chapter from Handbook of College Science Teaching
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?
By: Richard Konicek-Moran
A chapter from Even More Everyday Science Mysteries: Stories for Inquiry-Based Science Teaching
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
By: Mark A. Gallo
A chapter from College Science Teachers Guide to Assessment
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.