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 typically explore
it more deeply than they would in a class discussion. Students'
composition skills sharpen when they write in specific content areas,
and their critical-thinking skills improve as well.
In this issue of Science Class, read about the different
ways that teachers employ writing in their science classrooms. News
stories, SciLinks®, and appropriate journal articles reveal
the many benefits of using writing to teach science.
in the News
Article summaries provided by the NSTA WebNews Digest (visit
for national news for science educators).
This month’s news articles discuss how two forms of writing
share a fundamental pattern and a new teaching tool for writing.
to learn more.
on the Web
In this month's middle level journal, Science Scope, NSTA
members can read "Whiteboarding Your Way to Great Student Discussions"
For the complete April/May Science Scope Table of Contents,
SciLinks® is a web-based service from NSTA that provides online
content chosen to augment printed articles and books. It does so
through keywords; the keyword for this issue is
Science Writing: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=92635655104410661011
Journal Articles on Writing
The archives of Science Scope contain many articles in
which writing is incorporated into science activities.
Click here to learn more:
To read about writing in NSTA Press® and NSTA Recommends®
To read about the newest titles available from NSTA Press, visit
To receive the latest NSTA catalog for your specific grade level,
Issues Special Report on Professional Development
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
(ASCD) issued a two-part special report on professional development
in March. Part I of the report (http://www.smartbrief.com/alchemy/servlet/encodeServlet?issueid=F0CE2287-6DC8-43F8-8C88-6D9D332FC944)
examines the link between preservice teacher training and success
in the classroom, as well as the key aspects of successful in-service
learning. Part II (http://www.smartbrief.com/alchemy/servlet/encodeServlet?issueid=14DC2CE6-1E78-4675-9412-48F5B40E8101)
digs into the thorny topic of how government policies affect professional
development, then surveys some best practices.
Students Take on World's Challenges
A recent Christian Science Monitor article
examines a new initiative called Challenge 20/20. Organized by
the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) in Washington,
D.C., it engages students as young as preK in finding local ways
to address 20 urgent issues—after students have thought
about them first on a global level.
To read more, visit http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0322/p16s01-legn.html?s=hns%20.
Ten NSTA Web Seminars are scheduled between April
2006 and June 2006. These 90-minute, live professional development
experiences allow distant participants to interact with recognized
experts including NSTA Press authors, and scientists, engineers,
and education specialists from NASA and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Seminars are from 6:30–8
p.m., EST. These online events are grant-funded, so they are offered
at no cost; however, the number of participants is limited, first
come, first serve on the day of the program. Register early to
receive a username. Password and other program information will
follow via e-mail. For a full schedule of Seminar topics, dates,
and times, and to register, visit http://institute.nsta.org/web_seminars.asp.
Science Scope (grades 69) has issued
a Call for Papers on selected topics. Click here to read more:
If your colleagues would like to subscribe to Science Class,
please direct them to http://www.nsta.org/newsletters.
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