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Secrets to Success for Science Teachers

Secrets to Success for Science Teachers

Edited by:

March 2009 | 296 pages | Corwin

"This book isn't just for new teachers! Even after years as a science teacher, this book gave me suggestions to use right away in my classroom."
—Regina Brinker, Science Teacher
Christensen Middle School, Livermore, CA

Create a science classroom that fosters a creative learning community and leads to success!

From successfully setting up a classroom to achieving meaningful instruction, science teachers face a variety of challenges unique to their practice every day. This easy-to-read guide provides new and seasoned teachers with practical ideas, strategies, and insights to help address essential topics in effective science teaching, including emphasizing inquiry, building literacy, implementing technology, using a wide variety of science resources, and maintaining student safety.

Aligned with current science standards, this guide helps teachers streamline their efforts, organize their work, and set the stage for outstanding instruction and enthusiastic student participation. Other features include:

  • Practical examples, snapshots of moments in the history of science, and Web references
  • A compilation of professional development activities
  • Checklists to rate curricula and textbooks
  • Guidance on networking with colleagues and establishing relationships with families

By leveraging this book's rich resources, science teachers will discover how to turn their classrooms into thriving environments for learning.

History of Science Topics
About the Authors
1. Design Your Classroom to Create Communities of Learners
Explore Your School and Classroom

Meet Your Department and Team

Investigate Your School's and Community's History and Customs

Access Textbooks and Equipment

Plan for Exploration and Experimentation

Collect Materials and Resources

Investigate Laboratory Space and Equipment

Safely Use and Store Supplies and Equipment

Establish Your Policies and Procedures

Create a Shared Learning Environment

Ensure Equity and Fairness

Use Appropriate and Neutral Language

Involve Parents and Families

Begin Each Day Anew

Establish a Sense of Place...

2. Understand Standards to Develop Your Curriculum
Consider the History of Science Education

Understand the Nature of Science

Accomplish Project 2061 Benchmarks for Scientific Literacy

Address National Science Education Standards for Students

Meet National Science Education Teaching Standards for Teachers

Draw From the Academic Disciplines

Teach Skills in Experimentation and Investigation

Reference Your State Standards

Incorporate Your District's Expectations

Feature Your School's Organization and Mission

Link References to Develop Curriculum

Plan Your Year With a Curriculum Blueprint

Connect Science With Your Students...

3. Emphasize Inquiry Science to Deepen Understanding
Use the Inquiry Continuum

Involve Students in Doing Science

Engage in Hypothesis Testing

Promote the Use of the Scientific Method

Integrate Scientific Process Skills Into All Activities

Weave Inquiry-Based Laboratory Investigations Into Every Lesson

Head for the Outdoors

Support Scientific Investigations With Resources

Use Demonstrations to Promote Learning

Teach Through Discrepant Events

Teach Safety to Students

Equip Your Students to Understand Their World...

4. Know Your Students to Support Science Achievement
Begin From the Perspective of the Learners

See Students as Individuals

Understand Changes in Today's Students

Consider the Contexts of Students' Families and Peers

Showcase Powerful Teaching and Learning

Feature Actions and Verbs From Bloom's Taxonomy

Form Habits of Minds

Capitalize Upon the Multiple Intelligences

Differentiate Instruction

Support All Students

Incorporate Instruction That Works

Let Your Students Teach One Another...

5. Design Assessments to Align With Objectives
Set Goals, Objectives, and Expectations

Start With the End in Mind

Feature All Three Types of Assessment

Determine the Functions and Purposes

Vary the Structures and Formats

Use Selected Responses

Include Constructed Essays

Highlight Demonstrated Performances and Laboratory Skills

Remember Personal Communications

Offer Authentic and Alternative Assessments

Incorporate Portfolios

Prepare Rubrics and Scoring Guides

Understand the Results of Standardized Testing

Develop an Assessment Blueprint

Make Sure the Process Makes Sense for Everyone...

6. Connect the Learning to Reach Students' Lives
Create Constructivist Classrooms

Clarify Misconceptions

Select Questions Effectively

Consider Various Approaches to Asking Questions

Analyze Current Events to Prepare Informed Citizens

Address Controversial Issues

Draw on the Essential Questions of Science

Make Linkages Among Science, Technology, and Society

Advance Your Classroom Discussions

Conduct a Benefit/Risk Analysis

Involve Students in Project-Based Learning

Integrate Twenty-First-Century Learning Skills

Look for More Ideas

Reinforce How Science Impacts Society and Our Personal Lives...

7. Develop Literacy to Build Science Skills
Introduce Literacy Processes and Outcomes

Develop Vocabulary and Concepts

Develop Characteristics of Expert Readers

Use the Textbook as a Tool

Start With Reading Anticipation Activities

Assign Reading

Facilitate Reading Response Strategies

Include All Kinds of Text

Support Struggling Readers and English Language Learners

Integrate Various Types of Writing

Grant Your Students Writing P.O.W.E.R.

Try the DRAFT Writing Process

Develop Observation Skills

Reference Current and Historical Events

Equip Your Students to Communicate Science...

8. Plan With Students in Mind to Prepare Your Teaching
Select Your Units of Learning

Highlight Concepts

Emphasize Significant Themes of Science

Teach Societal Issues

Envision Your Planning Schema

Follow a Consistent Lesson Plan Format

Understand Attention Span

Captivate Students as You Open Lessons

Begin the Learning Experience

Start With Some Direct Teaching

Feature Indirect Teaching

Reinforce Learning During Closure

Assign Homework

Use Block Scheduling Wisely

Make the Most of Your Time....

9. Incorporate Resources to Make Science Real
Set the Stage

Introduce Models and Specimens

Bring in Plants and Animals

Teach With Toys

Feature Science Literature, Poetry, and Humor

Draw From Science Fiction to Teach Science Facts

Explore the Rich History of Science

Incorporate Multimedia Selections

Take Field Trips

Follow Guidelines for Taking Field Trips

Consider Virtual Field Trips

Conduct Virtual Dissections and Experiments

Become a Role Model of Resourcefulness...

10. Integrate Technology to Enrich Learning
Take a Technology Inventory

Plan for Computer Use

Organize Your Resources

Improve Administrativia

Improve Teaching With Technology Tools

Have Students Communicate Electronically

Calculate and Probe Hands-On Science

Position Your Students for Learning

Investigate Critical Thinking Interactives

Utilize Teacher Utilities

Tap the Audience With a Response System

Consider a Few More Web Resources

Demonstrate the Cutting Edge of Science...

11. Seek Powerful Activities to Engage Learners
Participate in Competitions and Programs

Showcase Science Fair Projects

Encourage Individual Competitions

Team Up for Collaborative Competitions

Connect to Careers

Invite Guest Speakers

Prepare Students to Be a Receptive Audience

Develop Science Activities in Your School

Celebrate Learning Through Science

Offer Service-Learning Opportunities

Sponsor a Club

Check out Community Resources

Start a School Resource Bank

Have Fun With Science...

12. Collaborate With Colleagues to Expand Opportunities
Contemplate the Collaborative Nature of Scientific Discovery

Examine Collaborative Concepts and Practices

Adopt the Secrets of Successful Collaborators

Consider Various Teaming Configurations

Weigh Pros and Cons of Team Teaching Carefully

Understand School Organizational Patterns

Make the Most of Departmentalization

Integrate Science Across the Curriculum

Talk to Technology Specialists

Team Up With Instructional Aides to Support Students

Contact Other Employees in the District

See Science in Society and the World

Integrate Science Naturally...

13. Reflect on Your Practice to Fortify Your Future
Look Back to Look Ahead

Reflect on Learning With Purpose

Evaluate Your Curriculum

Make a Difference at the School or District Level

Join Professional Organizations

Attend a Science Education Conference

Find a Mentor

Earn a Graduate Degree or Additional Credential

Look at Science Literature

Apply the Findings of Research in Science Education

Engage in Scientific Research

Consider National Board Certification

Keep an Open and Active Mind

Become the Teacher You Always Wanted to Be...

A. Science Safety Checklist

B. Science Textbook Evaluation Tool

C. Detailed Lesson Plan Guide

D. Abbreviated Lesson Plan Guide

E. Curriculum Evaluation Guide for Science

Readings and References

“This book is a phenomenal text for a preservice teacher. It has so many ideas that, as one gains experience, there might be others to explore as time goes on.”

Sally Koczan, Science Specialist
Meramec Elementary School, Clayton, MO

“This book is a valuable tool for the science teacher or administrator with the serious task of integrating all the forces required to provide solid science curriculum and teaching. The authors leave no stone unturned in the quest to provide a working map for science teachers of all levels.”

Darleen Horton, Science Lab Teacher
Chenoweth Elementary School, Louisville, KY

“This book isn’t just for new teachers! Even after years as a science teacher, this book gave me suggestions to use right away in my classroom and to keep on track with teaching and inspiring my students.”

Regina Brinker, Science Teacher
Christensen Middle School, Livermore, CA
Key features
  • Each chapter offers a snapshot of the history of science, web references, and practical examples
  • Each chapter also offers a list of professional development activities to extend and personalize the content
  • Aligned with science standards
  • Easy-to-read and use for both new and seasoned teachers at any level, from elementary through high school
  • Resources include a safety checklist and a checklist designed to rate the quality of curricula and textbooks

Select a Purchasing Option

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ISBN: 9781452273020

ISBN: 9781412966269

ISBN: 9781412966252

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.