Teaching Practices

Good science teaching should be standards-based and must incorporate the building on past experiences of the learner, taking more time for the learner to assimilate the concepts, and fostering the use of more inquiry into the curriculum.

Great science teachers in the K-12 classrooms:

  1. Enjoy being with young people and believe that all students can learn.
  2. Serve as facilitators of learning, and are alert to student learning styles.
  3. Provide hands-on, inquiry-based activities.
  4. Maintain high expectations for all students.
  5. Use a variety of authentic assessment techniques that are embedded into the instructional fabric.
  6. Encourage students to utilize and evaluate research materials.
  7. Listens to students and encourages them to refine and extend their own thinking.
  8. Realizes that true learning takes place when students reconcile new information with their existing knowledge, and structures classroom time to allow students the opportunity to integrate information.

Best Practices

Minnesota's Best Practices in Teaching Science Minnesota's Best Practices in Teaching Science

 

Video Resources for Teachers

Annenberg CPBAnnenberg CPB
A variety of FREE resources for teachers available as Video on Demand.  Below is a selection of the topics.  Click on the “VOD” button to view the program segment (if you have a broadband connection).  Support documents are also available FREE on the web.

 

  • Learning Science Through InquiryLearning Science Through Inquiry
    This workshop shows inquiry teaching and learning in action, with real teachers and students in real classrooms. Whether you have already experimented with inquiry teaching and want to enhance your practice, or are new to the approach and want to know how to make it work, this workshop will help you understand the process and how it benefits students, and give you strategies to use in your classroom.
  • The Science of Teaching ScienceThe Science of Teaching Science
    encourages K-8 teachers to explore ways to improve their teaching practices. Each program takes an in-depth look at a real classroom, so that teachers can focus on the issues involved in teaching science. Observing other teachers in unrehearsed situations will provide new and veteran teachers with the confidence to try new approaches to teaching.
  • The Learning Classroom: Theory into PracticeThe Learning Classroom: Theory into Practice
    This course is an exploration of learning theory for the training of preservice teachers and the professional development of inservice teachers. The 13 half-hour programs illustrate a variety of learning theories with applications to classroom practice.
  • Science in Focus: Force and MotionScience in Focus: Force and Motion
    K-8 teachers explore science concepts in force and motion and come away with a deeper understanding that will help you engage your students in their own explorations. With science and education experts as your guides, learn more about gravity, friction, air resistance, magnetism, and tension through activities, discussions, and demonstrations.
  • Science in Focus: EnergyScience in Focus: Energy
    Examine energy’s role in motion, machines, food, the human body, and the universe as a whole. Learn how energy can be converted from one form to another and transferred over space and time. And explore the notion of "conservation of energy" — the idea that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Return to the classroom with a new focus on the important concept of energy.
  • Science in Focus: Shedding Light on ScienceScience in Focus: Shedding Light on Science 
    This workshop uses light as a theme to explore topics in physics, chemistry, biology, space science, and Earth science. Light is a common thread through many areas of science and a natural topic for interdisciplinary science study. Make connections to real world phenomena and explore the behavior of light, the transformation of energy, and the role of light in the weather, the seasons, and the production of food by plants.
  • The Private Universe Project in ScienceThe Private Universe Project in Science
    This innovative workshop explores the reasons why teaching science is so difficult and offers practical advice to help you teach more effectively. Each program focuses on one theme and one content area and uses specific examples to show how students' preconceived ideas can create critical barriers to learning. Education experts also review classroom strategies and results and recommend new ways to involve students and approach difficult topics.  

Essential Science for Teachers courses are designed to help K–6 teachers gain an understanding of some of the bedrock science concepts they need to teach today’s standards-based curricula. The series of courses will include Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Physical Science.

  • Essential Science for Teachers: Life ScienceLife Science
    Real-world examples, demonstrations, animations, still graphics, and interviews with scientists compose content segments that are intertwined with in-depth interviews with children that uncover their ideas about the topic at hand. Each program also features an elementary school teacher and his or her students exploring the topic using exemplary science curricula. Use the complete course for teacher education or professional development, or individual programs for content review.
  • Earth and Space Science
    Real-world examples, demonstrations, animations, still graphics, and interviews with scientists compose content segments that are intertwined with in-depth interviews with children that uncover their ideas about the topic at hand.Essential Science for Teachers: Earth and Space Science Each program also features an elementary school teacher and his or her students exploring the topic using exemplary science curricula. Use the complete course for teacher education or professional development, or individual programs for content review.
  • Essential Science for Teachers: Physical SciencePhysical Science
    Real-world examples, demonstrations, animations, still graphics, and interviews with scientists compose content segments that are intertwined with in-depth interviews with children that uncover their ideas about the topic at hand. Each program also features an elementary school teacher and his or her students exploring the topic using exemplary science curricula. Use the complete course for teacher education or professional development, or individual programs for content review. Free support materials are available after signing on to the series website.
  • Journey NorthJourney North
    An Internet-based program that engages students in investigations of wildlife migration and seasonal change. Each year, thousands of students and their teachers across North America come together to experience the annual cycle through observation, inquiry, research, and the sharing of data. Access to the Journey North Web site is free. The teacher training video segments are available via Video on Demand.