Carolyn Mohr

I enjoy traveling to new places, hiking to new heights, and learning new things that I can share. Besides being a field trip instructor and Budburst Education Specialist at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I teach science methods and education courses at Southern Illinois University/Carbondale and Dominican University/River Forest. I am also a Senior Online Advisor and Web Seminar Moderator for the NSTA.




Chicago Botanic Garden, Southern Illinois University/Carbondale & Dominican University

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Recent Posts by Carolyn

Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:23 PM in Soon to be Teacher
Hi Jordyn! It is so wonderful to hear and almost feel your enthusiasm for teaching! If you are able to make it to the next NSTA conference in Boston in April 2020, I hope to say hi in person and tell you, "Yes!" As a veteran and retired classroom science teacher, I, too cherished the day-to-day interactions with my students, seeing their faces when they accomplished excellence in the small and...

Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:19 PM in Family Science
Hi Anne, I did not know that was a possiblility.  I shall check it out at my local library.  Thank you.  In Illinois, some of our museums post their 'free days' for families, usually when there is no school, so that adults will take the children.  Also, in Chicago, if you are a public school teacher you can get into any of the state's museums for free.   On another note, there are many acti...

Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:51 PM in SEC LEV: Should We Teach Terms or Content
Hi Romeel, I especially appreciated your comment, " does nothing for the student if...can't apply those terms to the content."  So true!  I think about how I used to get all of the lab equipment out at the beginning of a school year and require my students to learn all of the names.(Some of the equipment they would not be using until January - if at all!)  Those students good at memorizat...

Recent Reviews by Carolyn

Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:36 PM
5 A Simpler Inquiry Model for our Youngest Science Investigators!
Who doesn't like a freebee? To introduce their book, "A Head Start on Life Science: Encouraging a Sense of Wonder," the author William Straits shares chapters 1 and 2 in the NSTA Learning Center Library for free to members and non-members alike. You will love the simplified inquiry lesson plan model on page 6. Then in chapter 2, it is written up as a lesson with 'Roly-polies." The 3 part lesson plan model consists of a) Getting Started, b) Investigating, and c) Making Sense. Check it out if you want some great information on creating and using lessons with 3 - 7 year olds. I noticed that the 'Family Activities' were provided in English and Spanish. Check it out under: 'Science for Young Children' by doing a explore all resources search at: I have added this to my list of books to buy now!

Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:17 PM
5 Connecting Common Core with STEM lessons
I came across this free offering to members and non-members alike in the NSTA Learning Center - Ch 6 of the book, Designing Meaningful STEM Lessons. I found pages 30 and 32 of particular interest - page 30 shows the connections between the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) of the NGSS with the common core Math standards. Page 32 is a Venn Diagram of the commonalities among the science, math and ELA practices. As a result of perusing this book chapter, I am ready to purchase the whole book! It should be a great resource for those of us wanting to create STEM lessons!

Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:32 PM
5 ELA & Science: A Match Made in Heaven
If you are "biting at the bit" because your principal doesn't see any value in teaching science, this article will help him/her see how you can "kill two birds with one stone". Students conceptualize everyday phenomena and make their thinking visible while practicing English and language arts strategies. The author relies heavily on interactive notebooks where students practice their reading and writing as they engage in critical thinking skills, apply their learning to new situations, and connect prior knowledge to new phenomenal occurrences. The article is an outstanding example of how to document student thinking and understanding, too. When interactive notebooks are used throughout the school year, you have student-generated data at your fingertips to show students' continuing growth in reading, writing, and reasoning skills. What more could a principal ask for?

Recent Public Collections by Carolyn

Citizen Science

7 Resources

Looking for ideas to give your students opportunities to collect real data that will help researchers and perhaps awaken a desire to help our planet survive and thrive? Here is a collection of resources from the Learning Center.

Citizen Scientists
Type: Journal Article

Citizen Science: Testing the Water: World Watering Challenge
Type: Journal Article

Vocabulary Building and Reading-To-Learn Strategies

17 Resources

Several Learning Center articles provide strategies for helping students learn and understand vocabulary terms important to science concepts/content. Here is a collection highlighting several ideas.

Type: User uploaded resource

Teaching Science to English-as-Second-Language Learners
Type: Journal Article

SEPs (Science and Engineering Practices) Elementary

5 Resources

Discover ways to integrate SEPs into elementary science lessons with the articles and other resources in this collection.

Engineering Encounters: Building a Spaghetti Structure
Type: Journal Article

Engineering Encounters: An Engineering Design Process for Early Childhood
Type: Journal Article