NSTA Conference Coolness…
How great is it to have a couple of days to shop for ideas, get energized with great stuff happening all over the country AND have time to go for lunch with Karen, when we usually fly by, flinging worksheets at each other at school while cramming in a sandwich?
Here’s the best bits…
Safety – need to do a better job of this after a DuPont workshop. But lots scary chemicals can be avoided with next ideas…
Food Science + Chemistry – www.NBCLearn.com highlights the chemistry making a cheeseburger with 5 minute clips on each bit to get classes engaged. This is an NSF/NBC collaboration and the science is therefore top-notch. The clips are professionally produced, accessible, fun and have extra resources too. For free….
Then need to develop some curriculum with little, tiny frying pans to be used over bunsen burners… Thinking to work with Nai Wang of KPO to develop their h.s. food science in chemistry curriculum for middle school .
“Natural Chemistry” from Lab-Aids was also recommended, with a heater/shaker/stirrer hot pad and tiny amounts of chemicals allowing for much safer labs than bunsen burners and test tubes. Also see Living by Chemistry for organic chem from LHS.
Better Discussion Techniques: So bored of call and response. Relieved to find this instead, for MONDAY morning, literally. Kids, cards and making concept connections while developing academic vocabulary from www.teachersforlearners.com. Surprisingly LOW tech and fun way to get kids really thinking about what we are doing in class. Using this to wrap up the research stage of POP.
Project-Based Learning: Rather few presentations on this. An NSTA rep said something like ‘that was a few years ago.’ Please don’t get me started on 21st C skills, today’s learner etc. Too cross.
The Disney Planet Challenge PBL for environmental projects: Teachers from two winning class projects energized us with the sweetness of seeing kids making stuff happen in their community. These were class projects done in elementary schools so they had 30 kids most of the day. Different from TAP but great to see the sense of community among the class mates in the pics.
Good news from the State (Ca): Finally, there may be movement around the science standards with a new govenor who won’t veto every suggestion we should have a review process. Plus some much better national standards are likely to come out in the next year or so, and Ca will be under pressure to adopt/adapt those. The state school board has also changed significantly. :-)))))))). Imagine science standards that mention the word ‘inquiry’…. Thanks to Christine Bertrand of CSTA for this update. Hope I got it right.
Oh, and we presented TAP and Snapshot Science – very kind audiences who turned up early on Sunday morning on the last day of the conference. We had a great time presenting and enjoyed meeting you. Thank you for coming. Want PBL help? We can do that.