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NSTA's Virtual Conference - Teaching Controversial Topics | Posted in Professional Learning

Hi Mary, I have had the opportunity to participate in several virtual conferences. The most amazing part of it is getting to hear firsthand from the experts on a topic. When I attended the solar eclipse one, I was blown away by all the great information that was shared. I was so well prepared to participate in the total eclipse in Carbondale this past August because of what I learned at the virtual conference. I also attended the Climate Virtual Conference where they had atmospheric scientists and meteorologists from NOAA (who actually study climate change) share their expertise. Then we had experienced educators share how to present engaging lessons to our students. Your brain leaves the day's conference filled to the brim with fresh new ideas. I love going to NSTA conferences like the one coming up in Atlanta, but it is a totally different experience. The virtual conferences are such a great value for the money. All those experts on one specific topic are gathered together for the day just for us! I am especially interested in the March 3rd virtual conference because I am looking forward to learning some new strategies for teaching controversial topics in science, AND the other emphasis, according to the overview, is about having a better understanding of the nature of science. Hope to see you there! Carolyn


Carolyn Mohr

Incorporating science in a family vacation trip | Posted in Informal Science

Greetings!

As teachers, we’re always on the prowl for ideas and resources for our classrooms. You can tell who the teachers are at amusements parks (figuring out the physics principles at work), on the beach (identifying shells and other critters), and on the hiking trails at state and national parks (with binoculars and guidebooks or ID apps). We take (drag?) our families and friends to museums, science centers, zoos, nature centers, botanical gardens, and arboretums. Even at historical sites, we can find applications of science to share with our students (for example, while my husband and I were exploring the history of the Gettysburg Battlefield, I was also photographing the lichens on the monuments). We stop the car to photograph interesting rock outcrops or fantastic cloud formations. Our souvenirs include rocks, sand samples, fossils, pressed wildflowers, maps, brochures, books, and thoughts and reflections about improving what we teach. (Be sure to follow local procedures about sample-collecting, though. Photographs are good!)

My husband got used to the fact that our vacations always had a science component! And I enjoyed sharing my experiences with students.

Mary B.


Mary Bigelow

inquiry Based Lesson Plans | Posted in New Teachers

Hi Stephanie, 

There are a lot of ways to incorporate inquiry into a second grade classroom.  If you aren't very familar with inquiry, a good place to start is with this article from Science and Children (The Many Levels of Inquiry) that discusses the four types of inquiry. It gives some sample suggestions of how to use the four types of inquiry in your classroom.  

From there, I would look my curriculum and decide what types of inquiry I would want to use as I am teaching. What types of topics are you going to be covering in second grade?  What information do students need to know in third grade?  Knowing that information better helps in planning.  If you your state has adopted NGSS and you are unsure, you can always start by looking at the NGSS standards that can be found here. 

Another resource you might look at is an ebook, A Year of Inquiry, that the Learning Center has at a nominal fee.  

Respond back and we can brainstorm together.

 

 

 


Ruth Hutson

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