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Hodgson, Jay Y. S.; Mateer, Scott C. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The compound microscope is an important tool in biology, and mastering it requires repetition. Unfortunately, introductory activities for students can be formulaic, and consequently, students are often unengaged and fail to develop the required experience to become proficient in microscopy. To engage students, increase repetition, and develop…
Descriptors: Inquiry, Biology, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
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McKernan, Lisa N. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
The challenge of teaching in the sciences is not only conveying knowledge in the discipline, but also developing essential critical thinking, data analysis, and scientific writing skills. I outline an exercise that can be done easily as part of a microbiology laboratory course. It teaches the nature of the research process, from asking questions…
Descriptors: Microbiology, Teaching Methods, Research Methodology, Scientific Research
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Robischon, Marcel – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Genetic drift is a concept of population genetics that is central to understanding evolutionary processes and aspects of conservation biology. It is frequently taught using rather abstract representations. I introduce three real-life zoological examples, based on historical and recent color morphs of tigers, tapirs, and ravens, that can complement…
Descriptors: Genetics, Animals, Science Instruction, Teaching Methods
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Zeeh, Ann; Quell, Andrew – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Teachers are being challenged to engage students in ways that will elevate student interest and understanding of concepts in science and encourage students to gather evidence to support what we know about science. It is critical for teachers to have budget-friendly, supporting activities that are aligned with current educational standards, that…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Student Interests, Science Activities
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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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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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Allchin, Douglas – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Playing the sounds of whales during a class period can initiate the awareness of the role of wonder in education. Students are inspired to avidly collect fascinating facts to pique their interest and open the door to learning science. Indeed, when asked, teachers typically identify their foremost practical challenge as trying to motivate…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Animals, Auditory Stimuli, Student Interests
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Bramschreiber, Terry; Westmoreland, David – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Science educators often teach topics that are largely resolved in the scientific community yet remain controversial in broader society. In such cases, students may perceive the teacher as biased. We present two exercises that foster more objective learning about the scientific underpinnings of socially controversial topics. The first exercise…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Controversial Issues (Course Content), Social Attitudes, Sciences
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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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Davenport, K. D.; Milks, Kirstin Jane; Van Tassell, Rebecca – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Analyzing evolutionary relationships requires that students have a thorough understanding of evidence and of how scientists use evidence to develop these relationships. In this lesson sequence, students work in groups to process many different lines of evidence of evolutionary relationships between ungulates, then construct a scientific argument…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Evaluation, Misconceptions, Scientific Concepts
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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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Kelley, Amanda L.; Hanson, Paul R.; Kelley, Stephanie A. – American Biology Teacher, 2015
Ocean acidification, a product of CO[subscript 2] absorption by the world's oceans, is largely driven by the anthropogenic combustion of fossil fuels and has already lowered the pH of marine ecosystems. Organisms with calcium carbonate shells and skeletons are especially susceptible to increasing environmental acidity due to reduction in the…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Climate, Oceanography, Animals
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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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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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Puttick, Gillian; Drayton, Brian; Cohen, Eliza – American Biology Teacher, 2015
We analyzed the practitioner literature on lab-based instruction in biology in "The American Biology Teacher" between 2007 and 2012. We investigated what laboratory learning looks like in biology classrooms, what topics are addressed, what instructional methods and activities are described, and what is being learned about student…
Descriptors: Biology, Laboratories, Laboratory Training, Literature Reviews
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