Saturday Stories: Science Education

Your Weekend Reads in Education

Science teacher’s favorite event, National Science Teachers Association 2018 (NSTA), is coming up this month. In honor of NSTA 2018, we’ve decided to dedicate this week’s edition of Saturday Stories to science teachers.

Below, you’ll find articles around integrating technology into your classroom in a meaningful way, for making learning more student-centered and personalized, and for exploring core skills like inquiry in the science classroom. You’ll also find resources for implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) — specifically Three-Dimensional Learning. Lastly, we’ve included video resources for you to use in your instructional plans.

Happy reading, science teachers!

Promoting Inquiry-Based Learning in Your Science Classroom

“At its core, science IS inquiry-based learning. Without curious minds asking questions and pursuing answers, there would be no science. But when you have a classroom full of students and standards to reach, it is all too easy to fall out of the habit of asking questions, and into the habit of cyclically and passively passing on and absorbing information. This year, make it a goal to push yourself, and your students, out of the usual comfort zone.”

Avatars and Instruction: How Pedagogical Agents Can Improve Digital Learning

By Claire Cook, Learning Scientists, McGraw-Hill Education

“Researchers have been studying whether incorporating pedagogical avatars into digital learning contexts benefits student learning. The results show that the advantages of including agents far outweigh the disadvantages. Our Applied Learning Sciences team has put together a guide that summarizes some key findings from recent research on pedagogical agents and what it tells us about how we can utilize avatars to optimize learning.”

3 Tips for Using Phenomena to Engage Students in Science

“If you’re integrating phenomena into your lessons to ensure development of investigative skills, but you also really want students to be engaged with and excited about the content, then digital learning resources will be your to-go tool in lesson planning. Look for digital tools that allow students to experience the phenomena in a way that goes beyond reading or speaking about it, so that they have multiple opportunities to practice inquiry.”

7 Tips for Transitioning to Three-Dimensional Learning

“Ideally, you’ll see more student engagement and inquiry with Three-Dimensional Learning. You’ll also see learners that feel more comfortable with challenging concepts, and more confident in their ability to draw from those concepts to tackle real-world science applications. Teachers will serve as coaches rather than strictly as conveyors of information, and content will spark inspiration and collaboration.”

Personalized Learning: A Student-Centered Approach for Learning Success

By Janet Pittock, Curriculum Director, and Cassondra Corbin-Thaddies, Director of Professional Learning

“What makes personalization different is that it is student-centered and provides students more opportunity for agency around their learning. In personalized learning classrooms, you can observe practices such as planning and design conferences between the student and teacher, ongoing formative assessment that authentically involves students, and student learning portfolios that gather evidence of learning.”

Find videos — including animations about recent events in science and live videos detailing specific science demonstrations — here:

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