Its tough (logistically) to gets kids out of the classroom. However, there are times when I feel this is the best thing we can do as science educators. I've traveled with students to ponds, streams, rivers and the oceans across many states. And in every case, if they can get wet, dirty or pick up something squishy, they love it. What if we could do that more often in class? I just discovered this virtual field trip site from Arizona State. Not only does it take you to exotic places around the world, it also provides video and background on each location. Check it out, this is a great free resource.
Virtual Field Trips from Arizona State
Frank Gregorio has a talent for developing video for the sciences. I use his materials frequently to introduce concepts in science class. If you haven't watched any of his materials yet, check out this video on traits of life. They are epic!
Looking to go to a 1 to 1 classroom? I have been considering this for sometime. As I began to develop lessons for this purpose, I have come to a couple conclusions.
Scientific questions are often difficult for students to form. Especially in middle school where you have students who would rather answer everything in a yes or no fashion. As I was considering what makes a good scientific question, I came across this free PDF document from UC Davis outlining the basics of asking good questions. Check it out.
Writing Good Scientific Questions
I am currently working through some professional development materials and I can across this video on reflective learning. We've all grown up in various kinds of passive learning environments and I believe most of us know the downsides. I'm envisioning a classroom where I can fully engage students and I think there are some good ideas in this clip.
This offer if for environmental projects. If you are looking for a school garden, green wall or some sort of environmental science project for the fall, this will let you do it for half price. If you are unsure about getting donors, I would post the project and ask your parent teacher groups to back you if you don't get enough community support. With matching funds, any money donated will be doubled, the best fund raiser around.
Looking for ways to have your students demonstrate better understanding in the computer lab? Try marking up images. The concept is simple. A student takes a picture of a project they are working on. From there they use digital editing tools, like Google Draw, Slides or Paint to add arrows, labels and explanations to what they are learning. Kids love it and it challenges them to explain what they know. Check out the following video for information on how to do this in Google Slides
If you like this idea, try the assignment below. It allows students to use this mark up technique on unique digital lab report.
Looking to fund a STEM project in your classroom, try this one out, STEM CLASSROOM GRANTS. We have successfully written a few in the past to fund outdoor classrooms, bat boxes and ecology related projects. The best part about this funding is that there is very little on the reporting side after your get the grant.
With the end of the school year approaching its time to start thinking about getting our school gardens ready for summer. With classes winding down we find this time of the year a great time get kids outside to clean up the beds and get things growing. This week, we have
I enjoying having my students complete a science assessment of the site. I will the following product to help, check it out.
Garden Observation Lab
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Middle School Resources to Engage Kids
Love this one, simple but effective.
What if Jupiter was a star?