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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

Novel for Earth Science - Middle School | Posted in Earth and Space Science

Hey guys! Any good novels that are appropriate for middle school for earth and space science? Any resources appreciated.


Stephanie Legrone

Periodic Table | Posted in Physical Science

I have used a few techniques that have really helped.   One of them is Periodic Table Battleship.   This was even fun for the Chemistry students.   I also have an interactive Periodic Table that they can log in with their cellphone and pull up realistic examples of the elements.  I have also found interactive tables online.  I also have written the elements out on index cards and they have to split into groups and the first team to lay them out correctly on the floor is the winner!


Raquel Dugan-Dibble

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