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Middle School Science

Contributors: Ken Gillam, Detroit Public Schools, Kristin Gunckel, Michigan State University, and Amy Parks, Michigan State University

Tools: Description:
Tool: Building a science learning community This tool presents a chart that can be completed to identify the values, attitudes and habits of mind that you most want to nurture in your science classroom. It invites you to lay out how you intend to nurture the growth of these scientific virtues among your students.
Tool: Planning a field trip This tool presents an elaborate template to help you plan a successful science field trip.
Tool: Portraits of science This tool presents three checklists to help you determine which "portrait of science" you are giving to your students: science as facts and concepts, science as understanding phenomena or science as social construction of knowledge.


Resources: Description:
Developing authentic assessments for middle school science   This resource presents several ideas on how to develop assessment tools that engage students with learning beyond the traditional pencil-and-paper test.
Evaluating curiculum materials This resource is built around a table of questions that a teacher can use to evaluate a given science unit design and, when necessary, to improve upon that design.
Involving parents in middle school science Suggestions are given for using conferences, student-designed newsletters and parent lab days to increase parent involvement in middle school science.
Organizing a parent-run newsletter   This resource presents the value of organizing parents to publish a newsletter about middle school events and issues that are important to them.
School science or scientists' science?  This resource contrasts how scientists approach science with how students are usually taught science. It shows teachers how to close the gap between these two approaches by making their courses more observational and more experimental.