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Field Trips | Posted in Elementary Science

Greeting Rochelle! 

Of everything that I can remember loving in school, field trips topped the list for me! For science class, I can remember loving going to the local science museum. The one in the state I live in is extremely interactive and covers many different scientific concepts. I think if you decide to take them to a museum, first visit it yourself. Make sure the museum is interactive, fun, but still educational. If it meets all of that criteria, take them! They will learn so much and love it! But, the field trip that tops the list for me was in the 5th grade when we went camping. At this trip all of our lessons were incorporated in some way to nature. The thing I remember the most was the science sections of the lessons; we were able to have ands on lessons with different rocks we were learning about. We also were able to go on nature hikes and study the plants and creatures we saw. It was such an amazing experience that I think all schools should encourage it if the resources are available to make it happen!


Nicolette Walker

The Rock Cycle | Posted in Earth and Space Science

Hello!  I am a student teacher and am making a lesson plan for the Rock Cycle.  I have a couple a resources for the lesson plan itself but, I am having trouble with the length of the lesson plan. I tend to make the lesson plan longer so the students have more time to explore and have opportunity for group discussion. This a 6th grade class and is only 45 min. How can I still have the hand-on activity within this period of time? Any suggestions?


Stefanie Thews

Teaching for Conceptual Understanding in Science | Posted in Professional Learning

Currently, I am entering my 4th year of teaching 7th and 8th grade science. I’ve always felt that the traditional lecture format my department employs is not the most effective way to reach my students. I’ve added numerous lab activities in an attempt to promote deeper understanding. However, it wasn’t until I stumbled across this thread and read about conceptual understanding that I felt like this is the method that I should have been using all along. The shift to NGSS blends perfectly with this style of instruction and learning. I agree with Joyce in regards to covering the curriculum. We tend to sacrifice depth of learning in favor of squeezing everything in before the next round of state testing begins. I have read and reviewed many of the resources provided in your book “Teaching for Conceptual Understanding in Science.” I felt the different instructional strategies listed in chapter 8 were extremely beneficial. I’m left with a few lingering questions though. Based on what I’ve read, teachers need to administer some sort of probe or pre-assessment to gauge students’ misconceptions or prior knowledge before planning instruction. Are these probes supposed to take the entire class period? If not, then how do you plan the day based on information you are gathering in a 15-20 minute time span? Using the conceptual thinking model how are teachers providing instruction for concepts that are completely unfamiliar to students?


Shalen Boyer

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