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Thomas, Robert A.; Thomas, Aimée K. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We present a new use for a poorly preserved turtle specimen that teachers can easily use in demonstrating vertebrate anatomy or adaptive herpetology at the high school or college level. We give special attention to illustrating the sigmoid flexure of the neck as certain turtles withdraw their heads. This ability is anatomically and biologically…
Descriptors: Preservation, Anatomy, Demonstrations (Educational), Animals
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Bouwma-Gearhart, Jana; Bouwma, Andrew – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS Lead States, 2013) recommend that science courses engage communities of students in scientific practices that include building accurate conceptual models of phenomena central to the understanding of scientific disciplines. We offer a set of activities, implemented successfully at both the…
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Scientific Literacy, Scientific Principles, Science Activities
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Davenport, K. D.; Milks, Kirstin Jane; Van Tassell, Rebecca – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Interpreting cladograms is a key skill for biological literacy. In this lesson, students interpret cladograms based on familial relationships and language relationships to build their understanding of tree thinking and to construct a definition of "common ancestor." These skills can then be applied to a true biological cladogram.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Biology, Genetics, Language Usage
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Briju, Betsy J.; Wyatt, Sarah E. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Instructors often present Mendelian genetics and molecular biology separately. As a result, students often fail to connect the two topics in a tangible manner. We have adopted a simple experiment to help link these two important topics in a basic biology course, using red and white onions bought from a local grocery store. A lack of red coloration…
Descriptors: Genetics, Molecular Biology, Science Laboratories, Science Experiments
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Hopkins, Robert, II; Alberts, Halley – American Biology Teacher, 2015
This activity is designed as a primer to teaching population dispersion analysis. The aim is to help improve students' spatial thinking and their understanding of how spatial statistic equations work. Students use simulated data to develop their own statistic and apply that equation to experimental behavioral data for Gambusia affinis (western…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Spatial Ability, Thinking Skills, Equations (Mathematics)
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Baumgartner, Erin; Biga, Lindsay; Bledsoe, Karen; Dawson, James; Grammer, Julie; Howard, Ava; Snyder, Jeffrey – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Quantitative literacy is essential to biological literacy (and is one of the core concepts in "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action"; AAAS 2009). Building quantitative literacy is a challenging endeavor for biology instructors. Integrating mathematical skills into biological investigations can help build…
Descriptors: Numeracy, Biology, College Science, Science Instruction
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Nguyen, Phuong D.; Siegel, Marcelle A. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Project-based learning and action research are powerful pedagogies in improving science education. We implemented a semester-long course using project-based action research to help students apply biotechnology knowledge learned in the classroom to the real world. Students had several choices to make in the project: working individually or as a…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Biotechnology, Student Projects, Action Research
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Schultheis, Elizabeth H.; Kjelvik, Melissa K. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Current educational reform calls for increased integration between science and mathematics to overcome the shortcomings in students' quantitative skills. Data Nuggets (free online resource, http://datanuggets.org) are worksheets that bring data into the classroom, repeatedly guiding students through the scientific method and making claims…
Descriptors: Inquiry, Science Process Skills, Educational Change, Statistical Analysis
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Korb, Michele; Colton, Shannon; Vogt, Gina – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Students often find it challenging to create images of complex, abstract biological processes. Using modified storyboards, which contain predrawn images, students can visualize the process and anchor ideas from activities, labs, and lectures. Storyboards are useful in assessing students' understanding of content in larger contexts. They enable…
Descriptors: Production Techniques, Story Telling, Visual Aids, Teaching Methods
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Zanin, Mary K. B. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Over the years, many of my students have reported that they enjoy lectures that include short, simple animations. To keep students engaged, I have developed a small set of teaching animations using PowerPoint and Camtasia Studio software packages. A survey of students who learned four difficult topics with traditional written lessons and with…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Biology, Cytology, Animation
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Countryman, Lyn L.; Maroo, Jill D. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Considerable anecdotal evidence indicates that some of the most difficult concepts that both high school and undergraduate elementary-education students struggle with are those surrounding evolutionary principles, especially speciation. It's no wonder that entry-level biology students are confused, when biologists have multiple definitions of…
Descriptors: Secondary School Science, College Science, Evolution, Scientific Principles
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Carter, B. Elijah; Infanti, Lynn M.; Wiles, Jason R. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Students who enter college with a solid grounding in, and positive attitudes toward, evolutionary science are better prepared for and achieve at higher levels in university-level biology courses. We found highly significant, positive relationships between student knowledge of evolution and attitudes toward evolution, as well as between…
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Evolution, College Science, Scientific Literacy
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Garcia, Rebecca; Rahman, Alvina; Klein, Janette Gomos – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We designed a human biology course that interests nonmajors while improving science literacy through student engagement, using a constructivist-inspired, topic-centered approach. This way of learning highlights common diseases that provide a basis to incorporate specific biological concepts. The topic-centered approach triggers interest and…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, College Science, Nonmajors, Undergraduate Students
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Firooznia, Fardad – American Biology Teacher, 2015
I describe and evaluate a fun and simple role-playing exercise that allows students to actively work through the process of translation. This exercise can easily be completed during a 50-minute class period, with time to review the steps and contemplate complications such as the effects of various types of mutations.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Role Playing, Teaching Methods, Genetics
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Pecor, Keith W.; Lake, Ellen C.; Wund, Matthew A. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Optimal foraging theory attempts to explain the foraging patterns observed in animals, including their choice of particular food items and foraging locations. We describe three experiments designed to test hypotheses about food choice and foraging habitat preference using bird feeders. These experiments can be used alone or in combination and can…
Descriptors: Animals, Food, Ecology, Science Experiments
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