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Tseng, ChingMei; Chen, Shu-Bi Shu-Bi; Chang, Wen-Hua – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Guiding students to generate testable scientific questions is essential in the inquiry classroom, but it is not easy. The purpose of the BDC ("Big Idea, Divergent Thinking, and Convergent Thinking") instructional model is to to scaffold students' inquiry learning. We illustrate the use of this model with an example lesson, designed…
Descriptors: Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Inquiry, Grade 5, Concept Teaching
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Parker, Joyce M.; de los Santos, Elizabeth X.; Anderson, Charles W. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Our society is currently having serious debates about sources of energy and global climate change. But do students (and the public) have the requisite knowledge to engage these issues as informed citizenry? The learning-progression research summarized here indicates that only 10% of high school students typically have a level of understanding…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Climate, High School Students, Secondary School Science
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Valauri-Orton, Alexis; Bernd, Karen K. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
For many middle school students, connections between their lives and concepts like chemical reactivity, microbial contamination, and experimental sampling are not obvious. They may also feel that, even if there were connections, understanding the monitoring and quality of natural resources is something for grown-ups and beyond their…
Descriptors: Middle School Students, Secondary School Science, Microbiology, Chemistry
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Çil, Emine – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Students need to be aware of plants in order to learn about, appreciate, care for, and protect them. However, research has found that many children are not aware of the plants in their environment. A way to address this issue might be integration of plants with various disciplines. I investigated the effectiveness of an instructional approach…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Elementary School Students, Elementary School Science, Plants (Botany)
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Chen, Ying-Chih; Steenhoek, Joshua – American Biology Teacher, 2014
Argumentation is now seen as a core practice for helping students engage with the construction and critique of scientific ideas and for making students scientifically literate. This article demonstrates a negotiation model to show how argumentation can be a vehicle to drive students to learn science's big ideas. The model has six phases:…
Descriptors: Persuasive Discourse, Science Instruction, Grade 5, Scientific Principles
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Gerido, Leona; Curran, Mary Carla – American Biology Teacher, 2014
Technology use in science classes can enhance lessons and reinforce scientific content. The creation of multimedia projects is a great way to engage students in lessons about estuarine ecosystems. In this activity, students can learn about estuarine organisms and use their creativity to write a story, create artwork, and develop a multimedia…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Teaching Methods, Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education
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Cavanagh, J. William; Martinez, Kimberly M.; Higgins, Benjamin A.; Horn, Michael H. – American Biology Teacher, 2014
A collaborative effort between a junior high school and a nearby university allowed 40 eighth-grade honors students to engage in a scientific investigation within a university laboratory. These students, with their science teachers and university researchers, gathered data on egg cannibalism in a beach-spawning fish and thereby contributed to an…
Descriptors: Animals, Science Instruction, Science Laboratories, Grade 8
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Wu, Jen-Yi; Tung, Yu-Neng; Hwang, Bi-Chi; Lin, Chen-Yung; Che-Di, Lee; Chang, Yung-Ta – American Biology Teacher, 2014
Various sequences for teaching genetics have been proposed. Three seventh-grade biology textbooks in Taiwan share similar key knowledge assemblages but have different knowledge arrangements. To investigate the influence of knowledge arrangements on student understanding of genetics, we compared students' reading comprehension of the three texts…
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Science Instruction, Grade 7, Reading Comprehension
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Pavlova, Iglika V.; Lewis, Kayla C. – American Biology Teacher, 2013
Science is a complex process, and we must not teach our students overly simplified versions of "the" scientific method. We propose that students can uncover the complex realities of scientific thinking by exploring the similarities and differences between solving the familiar crossword puzzles and scientific "puzzles."…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Biology, Teaching Methods, Puzzles
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Woody, Scott; Himelblau, Ed – American Biology Teacher, 2013
We present a collection of analogies that are intended to help students better understand the foreign and often nuanced vocabulary of the genetics curriculum. Why is it called the "wild type"? What is the difference between a locus, a gene, and an allele? What is the functional (versus a rule-based) distinction between dominant and…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Genetics, Logical Thinking, Elementary School Science
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Cisterna, Dante; Williams, Michelle; Merritt, Joi – American Biology Teacher, 2013
This study explores upper-elementary and early-middle-school students' ideas about cells and inheritance and describes patterns of understanding for these topics. Data came from students' responses to embedded assessments included in a technology-enhanced curriculum designed to help students learn about cells and heredity. Our findings suggest…
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Heredity, Teaching Methods, Educational Technology
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Prud'homme-Genereux, Annie – American Biology Teacher, 2013
"What is life?" This deceptively simple question lies at the heart of biology. In this activity, students work in groups to come up with their own definition using a set of prompting cards that differs for each team. In doing so, students gain an appreciation of the complexities of addressing this question. The activity takes approximately 60-90…
Descriptors: Discussion (Teaching Technique), Cooperative Learning, Elementary Secondary Education, Undergraduate Students
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Curtis, Anthony D. – American Biology Teacher, 2010
I describe three activities that allow students to explore the ideas of evolution, natural selection, extinction, mass extinction, and rates of evolutionary change by engaging a simple model using paper, pens, chalk, and a chalkboard. As a culminating activity that supports expository writing in the sciences, the students write an essay on mass…
Descriptors: Expository Writing, Biology, Science Instruction, Evolution
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Bergwerff, Ken; Warners, David – American Biology Teacher, 2007
In our college course, "Life Science for Elementary School Teachers," our investigation assesses the germination success of an invasive plant, purple loosestrife, compared to native wildflowers. Topics addressed include the scientific method, experimental design, seed dormancy, plant competition, ethno-botany, and success of non-native plants. The…
Descriptors: Plants (Botany), Science Activities, Scientific Methodology, Elementary School Teachers
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Barman, Charles R.; Stein, Mary; McNair, Shannan; Barman, Natalie S. – American Biology Teacher, 2006
Because the National Science Education Standards (1996) outline specific things K-8 students should know about plants, and previous data indicated that elementary students had difficulty understanding some major ideas about plants and plant growth, the authors of this article thought it appropriate to initiate an investigation to determine the…
Descriptors: Middle School Students, Elementary School Students, Student Attitudes, Misconceptions
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