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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

Periodic Table | Posted in Physical Science

I'm looking for the best way to teach the periodic table structure to 6th grade. My experience has been on the 9th grade level, so I'm not real sure how to approach the subject. 

Shontell Davis

Teaching about observable features of animals | Posted in Early Childhood

Hi Guys!

I am a preservice teacher who is trying to plan some lessons out about how to explain to students about grouping plants and animals according to observable features. I have a few activites planned, but I am struggling to think of different activities to do to help with teaching them. Providing reasons for them is really difficult for me to think of how to come about that.


Victoria Wang

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