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Increasing Student Engagement in Science Lessons | Posted in General Science and Teaching

Hello Raquel, I am a first semester student teacher in Houston Texas. I have to say that I love using Kahoots. I remember using them in many of my college courses which made it fun and exciting. Recently, my cooperating teacher and I had a training where we learned about another program that is similar to Kahoots which I think you might like as well. It is called Quizziz. The difference that I found interesting was that when using Quizziz, the teacher could assign the students "homework." This would allow the students, if they can, practice for tests at home on their own time. We tried it out just today in the classroom as a quick test and the students absolutely enjoyed it. At the end of each class, all the students had asked if we could use this more often for future tests. Eddy Martinez


Eddy Martinez

STEM and Fairy Tales | Posted in STEM

Wendy, I absolutely loved the article. I think as educators, we often forget that kids can use their imagination in science as well! Imagination is not only for the art or music room. I think it is wonderful that there is a way to let their creativity shine through an amazing subject. As a student teacher, I do notice that sometimes we (educators) get so caught up in teaching them right from wrong that we forget that they have an imagination and creative juices that need to flow every once in a while! A question I am pondering is; how often would you recommend using this in the classroom? Would this count as a warm-up or hook activity before the lesson? Or a fun Friday type play? I would love to incorporate this into my future classroom as a STEM activity. Best, Megan Bradburn


Megan Bradburn

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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