By the time my students reach sixth grade, they have been practicing classifying objects by physical properties for YEARS. Shape, color, smell, texture, mass, density, magnetism, luster...We actively sort things into categories based on similar characteristics as a means of identification. However, without FAIL, when we begin learning about the classification of life, my students… Continue reading Classifying Organisms: Teaching Taxonomic Classification
One of the first things I wanted to do as a new science teacher was acquire a class pet. None of my teachers in school ever had one, and I always thought it was the best idea ever. I think in some way, I secretly hoped it would give me a "cool" factor to help… Continue reading Class Pets in Science: Pros and Cons
In Houston, everyone knows there is a funky little section of town that contains the infamous “Beer Can” house. Upon further investigation, it turns out one man behind resurrecting the movement, Dan Phillips, is a major proponent of using recycled materials and providing affordable home ownership opportunities to the disadvantaged. As a new teacher, I… Continue reading Going Green: The Recycled Home Project
A collection of great iPad science apps for your elementary and middle school classroom. We live in a technology driven society, and as a result, most educators across the country now utilize digital resources, computers, tablets, phones and apps to enhance their instructional quality. Finding relevant science apps for elementary and middle school science can… Continue reading 20+ Science Apps for Elementary and Middle School
Guest Post by Jessica Noffsinger Ahhhhh...the week before a school break. Nothing strikes fear (or exhaustion) in teachers like the prospect of kids ramping up to the next break. (Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring Break, Summer--they are all the same!) Kids expect “fun” and games while teachers see learning that needs to be completed. What are we… Continue reading Make It to Break: 5 High Interest Activities
The last day before Winter break can be pretty tough. The kids (and teachers) are ready to GET OUT. Plus, if your school has early dismissal like we do, you are probably on an abbreviated schedule that makes the day even crazier. Luckily, fun and free holiday themed activities are plentiful for science, and I… Continue reading Fun and Free Holiday Science Activities
A mentor once told me, "Science vocabulary is like a foreign language to students." And it's the truth! Students struggle with scientific terminology because they don't use the words in everyday conversation. That's why vocabulary is the foundation of my science lessons, and it should be for yours too. It's impossible to expect students to… Continue reading Science Vocabulary: Why Is It So Important?