Help! I'm Teaching Middle School Science


Like your own personal survival guide, Help! I’m Teaching Middle School Science is a nontechnical how-to manual—especially for first-year teachers. But even veteran teachers can benefit from the plentiful ideas, examples, and tips on teaching science the way middle-schoolers learn best.

The book covers all the basics: what to do on the first day of school (including icebreaker activities), preparing safe and effective lab lessons, managing the classroom, and working with in-school teams as well as parents. But its practical—and encouraging—approach doesn’t mean it shortchanges the basics of effective pedagogy. You’ll learn how to handle cooperative learning and assessment, how to help students write effectively, and the importance of modeling for early adolescents.

Applicable National Science Education Standards and helpful resources and references are provided throughout the text. In addition to a wealth of reproducible field trip permission forms, lab report formats, and measurement and safety quizzes, you get low-cost recipes for salt crystals, culture medium, fun putty, and the ever-popular “oobleck.” Help! is just the lively resource you need to see you through your first months—and beyond!

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Reviews (5)
  • on Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:31 PM

I am making a switch from teaching math to teaching science. This a great book for someone who is starting out teaching science. I liked chapter 2 on "ice breakers"...very similar to teaching math. I also enjoyed the chapters on classroom management, lab safety and writing in science. Some of the other chapters I had learned while getting my masters, but was a good review.

Cynthia  (Norwell, MA)
Cynthia (Norwell, MA)

  • on Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:31 PM

After coming out of elementary teaching and entering junior high teaching, I was looking for resources that would help me with the transition. This textbook has been a tremendous resource and one that I use on a weekly basis. I have recommended this book to several of my colleagues who have also made the transition to junior high. There is just a wealth of ideas from subjects to classroom management--all very relevant!

Christine  (Mesa, AZ)
Christine (Mesa, AZ)

  • on Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:58 PM

Shandi, For most people, asking for help is not as easy as it may seem. Once in the classroom the likely hood of a new teacher feeling comfortable enough to ask for help and call upon any available support may not come until it is too late. Fortunately, this article has made that support available without anyone having to ask. Teaching is a learning process for both the teacher and the student and can be hard to manage for both. Being given information that includes effective pegagody, innovative strategies, methods of differentiated instruction and ways to implement and assess that learning, is what makes teaching more effective. Middle school brings about a fear that may take years for any teacher to overcome. It is not easy for anyone to deal with students who are "discovering who they are and their roles in the world". Resistance can be high and acceptance at an all time low. So when given the opportunity to read about ways to reach middle school students and keep them engaged is available, everyone should at least give it a good read. I especially like the intoduction of field trips and the reference to use the National Science Education Standards for a more effective way to reach their goals. With middle school students, survival is a great trait that both the teacher and students to hold onto and having a personal survival guide makes the transition more than bearable.

Kimberly Armstrong  (Chicago, IL)
Kimberly Armstrong (Chicago, IL)

  • on Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:12 AM

This is a good resource for a first time teacher to review before walking into the classroom for the first time and also for the teacher that has a few years under his/her belt. It offers practical advice for setting up the classroom and the lab and for establishing routines for successful classroom management. The book also includes a number of helpful handouts such as a letter to send to parents prior to the first day of class, lab safety rules, and sample rubrics, etc. as wells as a list of helpful web sites. Wish I'd seen this BEFORE my first few years, but glad I found it now as a helpful supplement!

Kathy  (Franklin, WI)
Kathy (Franklin, WI)

  • on Tue Jul 15, 2008 5:40 PM

I thought this book was something you would use if you were a student teacher or coming into teaching without having been in a classroom.

Paulette  (Glen Ridge, NJ)
Paulette (Glen Ridge, NJ)

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