WRITING TO LEARN
Identifying students' misconceptions and preconceptions can be
difficult, but your students’ writing assignments may expose
gaps in knowledge that discussions or traditional assessments may
not reveal. As students write about a topic, they explore it in
greater depth than they would in a class discussion. Students' writing
skills sharpen when they write in specific content areas, and their
critical-thinking skills improve as well. Take the advice from the
authors of an article in Science and Children, and make
students’ thinking visible by encouraging them to write.
to Learn Science in the News
Article summaries provided by the NSTA WebNews Digest (visit
for national news for science educators).
This month’s news stories discuss various writing techniques
that teachers use to help students learn science, such as creating
a living lab or writing text to accompany cartoons in a chemistry
to learn more.
to Learn Science on the Web
In this month's elementary journal, Science and Children,
NSTA members can read "Five Good Reasons to Use Science Notebooks."
The link to that article is http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=sc&n=51160.
is a web-based service from NSTA that provides online content
chosen to augment printed articles and books. It does so through
keywords; the keywords for this issue are
Writing for Science: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=92635621111110551011
Journal Articles on Writing to Learn Science
The archives of Science and Children provide a range of
opportunities to incorporate writing into your lessons.
Click here to read more:
To read about Writing to Learn Science in NSTA Press books, visit
To read about the newest titles available from NSTA Press, visit
To receive the latest NSTA catalog for your specific grade level,
These face-to-face professional development opportunities
at NSTA conventions are half-day, standards-based programs designed
to enhance educators' scientific content and pedagogical practices.
Presenters include scientists, engineers, and educational specialists
from NASA, as well as renowned NSTA Press authors. Three exciting
programs are scheduled to take place this fall at the NSTA Area
Conventions in Chicago and Nashville. For more information, visit
These 90-minute live professional development experiences
use online learning technologies to allow participants to interact
with nationally acclaimed experts; NSTA Press authors; and scientists,
engineers, and education specialists from NSTA government partners,
such as NASA and NOAA—all from the convenience of your desktop!
Educators use online tools that allow them to mark
up and annotate presenters' slides, share desktop applications,
or engage in chats and surveys and respond to poll questions with
others online. Seminars may be archived and are available for
viewing after the live event has occurred. Be sure to check out
the fall schedule for these exciting learning opportunities and
register by going to http://institute.nsta.org/web_seminars.asp.
the World's Children: Patterns of Growth and Inequality
"Many developing countries have made dramatic
progress over the past several decades to enroll their children
in school. Still, too many children—especially girls and
those in rural areas—are out of school or leave school before
graduating from the primary level and have little opportunity
to attend secondary school." This excerpt is from the recently
released report Educating the World's Children: Patterns of
Growth and Inequality, authored by the Education Policy
and Data Center at the Academy for Educational Development (AED).
To read the report, visit http://eportal1-ssdc.aed.org/extend/en/external/epdc_reports/EducatingTheWorldsChildren.pdf.
Unveils New Name for Time-Honored Conventions
NSTA has unveiled a new name—and an enriched
format—for its time-honored annual conventions. Long considered
the premiere professional development events for science educators,
NSTA’s national and area conventions will now be called NSTA
Conferences on Science Education. The change reflects the growth
and evolution of conventions into deeper, more meaningful professional
development experiences for teachers. NSTA will debut the new name
at its 54th National Conference on Science Education, which
takes place April 6–9, 2006, in Anaheim, California, and is
expected to draw more than 13,000 attendees. "Science, The
Universal Language" is the theme. To read the NSTA Reports
article on this announcement, visit http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/nsta_story.php?news_story_ID=51210.
Treasurer Post Open
NSTA seeks applicants for the NSTA Treasurer position. Responsibilities
include oversight of the association’s financial and budgetary
matters. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors
for a three-year term of office, which may be renewed for another
three-year term. Appointees will be expected to devote 10-12 days
of service a year for this nonstaff position. An honorarium will
be provided, as well as reimbursement for required meeting attendance
(travel and per diem).
For additional information about the position’s responsibilities,
Application deadline: January 15, 2006. Interested
individuals are invited to submit their resume, along with a cover
letter that specifies interest in being considered for appointment,
to NSTA Executive Director, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3092.
and Children (S&C) and NSTA have established a
blog devoted to early childhood science (see http://science.nsta.org/earlyyearsblog).
Here you’ll find teaching advice, management tips, favorite
resources, and activity ideas specifically for teachers of grades
preK–2. The blog accompanies Science and Children’s
column The Early Years. To view the first column, visit http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/science_and_children.php?category_ID=86&news_story_ID=50933.
Highlights from the online conversations will appear in the print
column. Teachers who post a comment that gets chosen for publication
in S&C will receive one free book
from a select group of NSTA Press publications.
Science and Children (grades preK5) has issued a Call
for Papers on specific topics. Click here to find out more:
for Evening Skies?
Regrettably, Science and Children will no longer include
the Evening Skies Monthly Star Map and Sky Calendar. However, yearly
subscriptions to the map and calendar are available from the Abrams
Planetarium for $11 and can begin at any point in the year. To subscribe,
Subscribers will be mailed hard copies of three star maps and calendars
four times a year to cover the entire calendar year. Or check out
for free star map downloads from StarMaps.com (permission
is required for multiple copies for classroom or science club use).
In addition, Skywatcher's Diary at http://www.pa.msu.edu/abrams/diary.html
posts a monthly detailing of sky happenings. Happy stargazing!
If your colleagues would like to subscribe to Science Class,
please direct them to http://www.nsta.org/newsletters.
THE FINE PRINT
e-newsletter is brought to you by the National Science Teachers
1840 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201-3092