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Todd, Lindsay; Keim, Lisa; Broder, Dale – Science and Children, 2020
This article describes a self-guided, story-like game with creative drawing for grades 3-5 that teaches the evolution concepts of adaptation, natural selection, ecosystem dynamics, inheritance, and mutation following the "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS"). Drawing reinforces concepts through emphasis on students'…
Descriptors: Elementary School Science, Science Instruction, Evolution, Teaching Methods
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Edmondson, Elizabeth; Navy, Shannon; Maeng, Jennifer; Gonczi, Amanda; Mannarino, Anne – Science and Children, 2019
Problem-based learning (PBL) involves students solving a problem with multiple solutions over time, like scientists in real-world contexts. This fourth-grade PBL unit had students become part of an endeavor to help their state of Virginia become energy independent. It conceptualized energy independence as becoming self-sufficient for energy…
Descriptors: Problem Based Learning, Elementary School Science, Grade 4, Elementary School Students
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Grumbach, Elizabeth – Science and Children, 2019
This article describes an 8-10 week problem-based learning unit for fifth graders that introduced them to the facts underlying global climate change. This unit was inspired by the lack of awareness in our national population around this clear threat to our global ecosystem and takes on this goal: to provide students (our future advocates and…
Descriptors: Problem Based Learning, Grade 5, Elementary School Students, Climate
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Edelen, Daniel; Bush, Sarah B.; Nickels, Megan – Science and Children, 2019
Because students have often been conditioned as passive learners and receivers of knowledge, it can be difficult for them to persevere in solving authentic problems. Nevertheless, teachers must persist in preparing students as problem solvers and critical thinkers. In an urban inner-city neighborhood school in the southeast, students embarked on a…
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Elementary School Science, Grade 3, Grade 4
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Jurkiewicz, Melissa A.; Kirn, Adam; Crowther, David – Science and Children, 2019
Interactions with forces and energy can range from a toddler dropping toys repeatedly for someone else to pick up to a group of fifth graders playing soccer at recess. In addition, students may have observed the power of water to move physical objects by seeing news footage of rising floodwaters, experimenting with a garden hose, or spending a day…
Descriptors: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Water
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Goggins, Marcelle; Haas, Alison; Grapin, Scott; Llosa, Lorena; Lee, Okhee – Science and Children, 2019
While there is consensus in the science education community on the importance of crosscutting concepts (CCCs) for all students, teachers have been given limited guidance on how to integrate CCCs into science instruction. In this article, the authors propose that teachers view CCCs as resources that students use in their everyday lives to make…
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Science Instruction, Teacher Attitudes, Science Teachers
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Bradbury, Leslie; Wilson, Rachel – Science and Children, 2019
In this article, fourth graders investigate the physical and behavioral adaptations of crayfish. Because crayfish are native to the area and many students have experience observing them in local streams, the author decided to use these organisms to explore the relationship between the structure of their various body parts and how those structures…
Descriptors: Personality Traits, Grade 4, Animals, Science Instruction
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Grapin, Scott; Haas, Alison; Goggins, Marcelle; Llosa, Lorena; Lee, Okhee – Science and Children, 2019
The "Next Generation Science Standards" ("NGSS") call for a high level of classroom discourse (Lee, Quinn, and Vald├ęs 2013). To engage all students, including English learners (ELs), in this form of discourse, educators have turned to talk moves (e.g., "Say more about that"), defined as general-purpose tools for…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Discussion (Teaching Technique), English Language Learners
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Cellitti, Jessica; Wright, Christopher – Science and Children, 2019
One of the guiding principles highlighted in "A Framework for K-12 Science Education" (NRC 2012) states that "children are born investigators," claiming that students construct their own understanding of the natural world even before they learn about it in formal learning settings. Even if students lack a thorough…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Questioning Techniques, Inquiry
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Thomas, Debra Kelly; Milenkovic, Lisa; Marousky, Annamargareth – Science and Children, 2019
Computer science (CS) and computational thinking (a problem-solving process used by computer scientists) teach students design, logical reasoning, and problem solving--skills that are valuable in life and in any career. Computational thinking (CT) concepts such as decomposition teach students how to break down and tackle a large complex problem.…
Descriptors: Computation, Thinking Skills, Computer Simulation, Computer Science Education
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Brown, Patrick – Science and Children, 2019
Students come to class with ideas about science content and the practices used to generate knowledge. Their lived experience provides them with basic ideas about how the world works. Tapping into their innate understandings and testing their ideas allows them to construct a more accurate understanding. Research shows that all students are ready to…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Scientific Concepts, Energy
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Hanuscin, Deborah; King, Karen; Cisterna, Dante – Science and Children, 2019
In this article, the authors present a 5E learning cycle for fifth grade that focuses on using a model of matter to explain the properties they observe, and how those properties can help identify whether two objects are made of the same type of matter. That model also helps explain phenomena such as why a specific material floats, no matter how…
Descriptors: Grade 5, Elementary School Science, Models, Scientific Concepts
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Benedict-Chambers, Amanda; Fortner, Terra – Science and Children, 2019
Effective teachers understand the importance of asking the right kind of questions to facilitate the learning of all their students. By learning what questions to ask and when, teachers can engage their students in instruction that aligns to the vision of the "Next Generation Science Standards" (Benedict-Chambers et al. 2017; NGSS Lead…
Descriptors: Elementary School Science, Science Instruction, Equipment, Electronics
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Mendez, James; Baird, Kate; Patino, Greicy – Science and Children, 2019
Picture this: a PhD chemist, PhD science educator, and a preservice Latina elementary educator walk into an aftercare program for primary and intermediate students from a rural school. These students are identified as low income and at risk and therefore eligible to participate in this school-provided aftercare. While across the state, these same…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, After School Programs, Low Income Students, At Risk Students
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Edelen, Daniel; Bush, Sarah B.; Nickels, Megan – Science and Children, 2019
Teachers have the daunting task of preparing students for a future that they cannot predict. In an age of information where students have the world quite literally at their fingertips, and with the ever-growing momentum of integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), it is not enough that students experience STEM subjects…
Descriptors: Teaching Methods, STEM Education, Academic Achievement, Interdisciplinary Approach