Formative Assessment in the Science Classroom


Linda DunnavantBy Linda Dunnavant

Science teachers have a tough job.  Not only are they expected to teach complex concepts, but they also have to teach students how to apply these complex concepts to new situations.  Science teachers can just stand in front of the class, lecture and hope that the students get it (also known as the “spray and pray” method), or they can try to meet students where they are in the learning process.

Read the rest of this entry »


Flipping the Science Classroom


Linda Dunnavantby: Linda Dunnavant

What is the “flipped classroom”?

If you are an educator, chances are you’ve heard the phrase “flipping the classroom” being thrown around.  We know that trends come and go in education about as often as front runners for the Republican presidential nomination.  While I think we should be wary of jumping onto every pedagogical bandwagon that comes along, it is becoming clear that flipping the classroom is a worthwhile idea with staying power.

Read the rest of this entry »


I Was a Science Convention Newbie


donna_giachettiBy: Donna Giachetti

 First Day of School Jitters

Heading to LaGuardia airport for my first science convention, I was reminded of my first day of kindergarten.  Instead of a shiny new lunchbox, I toted a battered old suitcase but otherwise, it felt much the same.  My first convention!  Would I make friends?  Would there be name tags?  Bathroom breaks?  Worst of all, would I get lost?

When I joined Educational Innovations in September 2014, my new colleagues tried to describe the magic and mayhem that occurs at science conventions.  “You’ll see,” I heard more than once.  They tossed around terms like “regionals” and “nationals” as if they were talking about March Madness.

I listened to their stories wondering when I would get my turn to become part of the larger-than-life Educational Innovations convention crew.  And then, in mid-November, my moment arrived.  CAST—the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching—would be my initiation into the world of science teachers.

Dallas, Here We Come!

Read the rest of this entry »


What It Means to Be a Teacher


donna_giachettiby:  Donna Giachetti

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a teacher.

If you spend more than an hour a day with kids—from 1 to 100 (in age and quantity)—chances are you’re a teacher.

If you’ve grinned at our Facebook comics or said “I need that!” while clicking through our website, chances are you’re a teacher.

But what is a teacher?

Here’s what the dictionary says:

teacher

The definition of a teacher

Source: Merriam-Webster dictionary online

Read the rest of this entry »