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Pedagogy/Lessons

CSTA News

Last updated: April 5, 2013

Free Virtual Theme Park - The leading scientists from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that brought us the memorable characters Oxy and Hydra in the Molecularium® Project’s Molecules to the Max! and Riding Snowflakes have just unveiled NanoSpace. This interactive, fun online environment is easily accessible for both the kids who play within it and the teachers who use the free educational curriculum in the classrooms.

Free PHYSICS Aid for Teachers to Help a Student Outside the Classroom - Make students think like a physics teacher: keep the focus of the student on the process, and make them learn the foundation one step at a time using the Socratic approaches. And then we asked the question what would Socrates, Einstein, and Newton do to help a student if they had the technology of today! 615 Free Videos arranged Soractically at hecanhelp.com. We call it Soratically Arranged Informed Layers - SAIL! .

PBS LearningMedia http://ca.pbslearningmedia.org/ (still in beta) is the one-stop shop for free, multimedia curricular resources purpose-built and standards-aligned by PBS, public media stations and affiliated organizations across the country. Registration is free and offers educators access to over 20,000+ resources to search, save, and share with colleagues and students. A custom version with robust features, services that can be tailored to state and district needs – professional development, sharable content collections, student profiles for personalized learning, analytics, etc. – and support is available with a subscription. TheCalifornia edition of the service is offered by a consortium of public TV stations in CA with KQED as the administrator. Currently, the site is almost 50% STEM-focused in its content.

Science of NFL Football is a 10-part video series funded by the National Science Foundation and produced by the NFL that links the game of football with lessons on math and science. Topics such as Newton's First Law of Motion are presented with a video featuring NFL star Deuce McAllister combined with a lesson plan entitled "Inertia in Our Lives." Lessons include hands-on activities designed to make science and math relevant to students. Find materials on the Silicon Valley Education Foundation website at http://www.lessonopoly.org.

Cool Chemistry Lessons:
Kinetic Theory

EducationCorner offers a guide to to education sites, resources, and articles on the web. All education topics and resources are sorted by subject and lifestage. It is an online education guide for students, parents and educators. http://www.educationcorner.com/

Findings magazine (http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/findings/), published by the General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, "puts a face on science" by profiling the work and personality of vibrant scientists. The current issue features Estela Arrese, a biochemist who studies fat storage and regulation in insects, and Kevin Tracey, an immunologist and neurosurgeon who studies why our immune systems can make us sick. Findings includes a science-based crossword puzzle and extra online content. Subscriptions are free, and all materials may be freely excerpted for classroom use. Check out other free NIGMS resources at http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/order/classroom.html.

Lessonopoly: a free tool that lets you manage your classroom, find and share lesson plans, and connect with other teachers. Search by subject matter, grade level, and for lessons that are California standards aligned. http://lessonopoly.org/svef/

Microsoft Mouse Mischeif: Mouse Mischief integrates into Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, letting you insert questions, polls, and drawing activity slides into your lessons. Students can actively participate in these lessons by using their own mice to click, circle, cross out, or draw answers on the screen. For system requirements and more information visit: http://www.microsoft.com/multipoint/mouse-mischief/default.aspx. More free tools for teachers from Microsoft are available at: http://www.microsoft.com/education/teachers/guides/freetools.aspx

Strategic Science Teaching, Grades K-12: A Sampler of Lessons Connecting Literature with the California Standards, is an effort to identify important connections that teachers and students make in classrooms to facilitate understanding of science concepts. Developed by the Science Subcommittee of the Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee of the California County Superintendent Educational Services Association, Strategic Science Teaching is now available for free online at http://www.ccsesa.org/resources/StrategicSciTchgBklt1.pdf.

Online Video Glossary. The Berkeley Lab has an online Video Glossary for students and teachers. Each 1-2 minute video clip highlights a Berkeley Lab scientist or engineer explaining a term that applies to their research in lay language. Topics include antimatter, biofuels, carbon cycle, climate change, genomics, nanotechnology, plasma, quarks, and smart windows, along with 50+ others in a growing list of terms that you and your students may encounter all the time and want to understand better. For the complete list, visit http://videoglossary.lbl.gov/. Send your suggestions for additional terms to include—more are added every week.

Inquiry in Action: A new online resource developed by the American Chemical Society which provides free physical science activities, molecular model animations, and more for elementary and middle school science teachers.The entire 470 page book, can be viewed in full text and is available for free download in PDF format. Molecular animations and videos can also be downloaded in Windows Media or Quicktime form. For more information visit http://www.inquiryinaction.org/

Why is Science Important? A thought provoking website and film dedicated to spreading the word of why science is important. A "must see" for science communicators, scientist, teachers and beyond! http://whyscience.co.uk/

The Vega Science Trust has created a broadcast platform for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) communities, so enabling them to communicate on all aspects of their fields of expertise using exciting Internet opportunities. A huge selection of science based videos can be found at http://www.vega.org.uk/

Sciencinquirer is a site full of "free stuff for science teachers." Lessons, materials, posters, videos, listservs, and more.

Periodic Table Activity. Download a great lesson idea on teaching the periodic table to middle school students, from CSTA president-elect Sue Pritchard.

Let Teachers’ Domain help you supplement your lesson plans with over 1,000 FREE digital resources in science, math, language arts and social studies produced by public television partners. Teachers’ Domain provides teachers with easy ways to engage students and incorporate technology in the classroom. Teachers can find videos, activities, online courses, and more. Register at www.teachersdomain.org.

The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) is a free resource that supports teaching and learning about the earth system. Resources in DLESE include lesson plans, scientific data, visualizations, interactive computer models, and virtual field trips—in short, any web-accessible teaching or learning material related to earth system. All resources in DLESE have been contributed by educators, students, and scientists, are relevant to earth system education, and are checked periodically for technical stability. The Reviewed Collection includes those DLESE resources that have been more closely examined and are considered exemplary. DLESE provides easy access to quality teaching and learning resources about the earth as a system for a wide range of learners; services to help users effectively create, use and evaluate digital learning resources; and interfaces and tools to allow student exploration of Earth data Development of DLESE was funded by the National Science Foundation, and DLESE serves as the geoscience node in the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). Find DLESE resources at http://www.dlese.org/library/index.jsp.

QUEST, a weekly television and radio program from KQED public broadcasting in San Francisco, has lesson plans, a blog, and other resources of great use to science teachers. Check it out at http://www.kqed.org/quest.

Introduce Your Preservice Students to CSTA and Professional Enrichment. New and prospective teachers will benefit by understanding that they are an important part of the larger science education community and that professional growth in their career is a lifelong endeavor. Introduce your preservice students/teachers to the benefits of belonging to their professional organizations and participating in ongoing professional development activities. Download activities to use with your preservice students: Introduction to CSTA and Other Professional Organizations; Conference Attendance Activity; PowerPoint presentation on CSTA.

The Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers, through the National Science Resources Center (NSRC), offers special access for teachers to the resources behind the scenes at the Smithsonian and other museums and facilities around Washington, D.C. Contextualized with high-quality hands-on experiences that can be translated to classroom practice, these academies provide a powerful professional development experience. To learn more or to register online, log onto the site at http://www.nsrconline.org/about_the_nsrc/events.html.

The Exploratorium Institute for Inquiry website offers hard-to-find inquiry science teaching resources for teachers, teacher educators, and professional developers. Includes guides for professional development workshops on science inquiry, a library of recommended inquiry and education books, support materials , such as detailed descriptions of the inquiry process, and access to the "graduate community"—an online association of educators who've attended Institute workshops. To learn more, log onto the site at http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi.

Teachers and students in K-12 classrooms are invited to participate this spring in Journey North's 15th annual global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. A free Internet-based "citizen science" project, Journey North enables students in 11,000 schools to watch the wave of spring as it unfolds. Students monitor migration patterns of monarch butterflies, hummingbirds, whooping cranes, and other animals; the blooming of plants; and changing sunlight, temperatures, and other signs of spring. They share their local observations with classmates across North America and beyond, and look for patterns on real-time maps. As they put local observations into a global context - and connect with field scientists - participants are better prepared to explore indicators and implications of a changing climate. Spring projects begin February 1st! http://www.learner.org/jnorth.

California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) provides educators with a "one-stop" resource for critical information needed for the selection of supplemental electronic learning resources aligned to the state's academic content standards. California educators with specific content experience are selected through an application process to act as reviewers once they have completed a rigorous training program. CLRN's objectives are to: * Identify and review supplemental electronic learning resources such as software, video, and Internet resources. * Identify learning units aligned to resources and the state academic content standards. * Maintain an interactive web site to provide information about electronic learning resources through an online searchable database and links to state education technology projects and resources. Visit CLRN at http://www.clrn.org/home/.

The Infinite Thinking Machine (ITM) is designed to help teachers and students thrive in the 21st century. Through an active blog, an Internet TV show, and other media resources, the ITM shares a "bazillion practical ideas" for turning the infinite universe of information into knowledge. We showcase examples of innovative instructional methods, talk with leading experts, and share real stories from the classroom to improve how we think, learn, teach, and live. And we try to have a little fun along the way. http://www.infinitethinking.org/.

The UCLA GK-12 program has developed dozens of free, field-tested, inquiry-based lessons. The lessons are posted by grade level and standards. http://www.nslc.ucla.edu/STEP/GK12/inquiry_lesson_plans.htm.

The Futures Channel produces and distributes documentary videos connecting the mathematics, science, technology and art that students are learning to exciting real world careers. For years, teachers across the country have relied on the Futures Channel’s videos to help answer that famous question: “When will I ever use this?” Movies connect the math and science students are learning to the real world and feature professionals who couldn't do their jobs without the math and science they learned in school. http://www.thefutureschannel.com.

How do teachers make a cohesive story out of the science content standards so that students really "get" the concepts being taught? Using a spiraling approach, the K-5 Standards Spiral for the California Standards Science Test starts with the fourth and fifth grade standards on which students are tested in the fifth grade. It looks at the standards in the grade levels in a backwards-sequential order and shows the standards in earlier grade levels that are connected to the standard that is being tested. Download here.

The Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) site includes fully developed lesson plans and videos of sample lectures, as well as links to science standards, best teaching practices and polymer resource materials. The academy is part of The University of Akron¹s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering.
http://agpa.uakron.edu

The NSTA Learning Center (http://learningcenter.nsta.org/) is a state-of-the-art web portal that contains thousands of standards-based learning resources for science teachers. Resources include web seminars, e-book chapters, journal articles, Science Objects, SciGuides, SciPacks, and more. It is customized to allow teachers to assess their content knowledge and design a path specifically for their needs and preferences. Teachers are able to manage their own professional development plan, track their experiences, and earn a certificate of completion for their successful achievement. There are opportunities for administrator support of e-professional learning communities. Contact Deborah Tucker (deborahlt@aol.com) if your school is interested and for other questions about the programs.

Score Science has "scores" of online science resources for teachers and students, including lessons tied to the California science standards and an "ask-a-scientist" feature. Visit the Score Science site at: http://scorescience.humboldt.k12.ca.us/.

Science teaching resources, including worksheets for movies, such as October Sky, are available on the Science Teacher Association of New York State website.

Teacher kit from Scientific American magazine. Contact Scientific American, Dept. TK, 415 Madison Ave., New York, NY 1017-01111; fax 212-355-0408; e-mail MMoser@sciam.com. (Visit the publication on the web at www.sciam.com.) Teachers can also sign up for the free school program from Scientific American Frontiers, the popular television program hosted by Alan Alda, by accessing the program's website:http://www.pbs.org/saf.

Free Weekley Science Puzzlers. Each week, share with your students a FREE thought-provoking science puzzler, drawn from the award-winning Cogno science board games. You'll receive a weekly e-mail with a fully illustrated one-page puzzler about astronomy, forces & motion and/or life sciences, ready to be photocopied for students. The e-mail message includes the answer and explanation, allowing you to facilitate as much or as little discussion as you like. Recommended for grades 3-8. For information, samples, and to register, see http://www.cogno.com/puzzlers.

LHS Student and Family Programs. Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley offers a wide range of programs for school groups and individuals in astronomy, biology, physics, math, and chemistry. Various programs are presented as assemblies, festivals, workshops, courses, and theater. http://www.lhs.berkeley.edu

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