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Learning Science by Doing Science
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Learning Science by Doing Science
10 Classic Investigations Reimagined to Teach Kids How Science Really Works, Grades 3-8

  • Alan Colburn - California State University, Long Beach, USA


© 2017 | 208 pages | Corwin

Time-tested activities to teach the key ideas of science—and turn students into scientists!

Science education is becoming more rigorous than ever, but that doesn’t have to make it more difficult. In this straightforward and witty book, Alan Colburn has adapted classic investigations to help students in grades 3 through 8 truly think and act like scientists. Chapter by chapter, this accessible primer walks you through classic science investigations, discussing how each one illustrates a “big idea” about the nature of science, and offering clear links to the Next Generation Science Standards and its Science and Engineering Practices. You’ll also find:

  • A reader-friendly overview of the NGSS
  • Guidance on adapting the activities to your grade level, including communicating instructions, facilitating discussions, and managing safety concerns
  • Case studies of working scientists to highlight specifics about the science and engineering practices.

With this elemental guide, you’ll teach your students not just what scientists do, but how scientists think—giving them the 21st-century skills they need to become the next generation of scientists.

“Now that the real work of NGSS implementation has begun, there is a high demand for quality instructional resources that show how core ideas and concepts, practices, and the nature of science come together in meaningful, intellectually engaging science investigations supported with content and pedagogical background information for the teacher. Thank you Alan Coburn for providing a resource that addresses the challenges and practical reality of transitioning to quality classroom instruction that mirrors our current best thinking about teaching and learning science.”
— Page Keeley, Past-President of the National Science Teachers Association

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Take Us Out, Mr. Data: What’s the most important thing to know about scientific knowledge?
 
2. Think Different: How is scientific thinking different from everyday thinking?
 
3. I’ve Got a Theory About That: How do scientists explain observations?
 
4. Elementary, My Dear Watson: Why is there no such thing as the scientific method?
 
5. I Must Be a Bit Indirect in This Chapter: Why is indirect evidence important to science?
 
6. Scientists Do Experiments . . .: What procedures do scientists use when answering questions?
 
7. We’re Counting on You: What do I need to know about data?
 
8. Bob the Builder and You: What about engineering and NGSS?
 
9. Learning to Fish: Where do you go next?
 
Appendix A. An Introduction to the Next Generation Science Standards
 
Appendix B. Teacher to Teacher: Advice From Elementary and Middle School Colleagues
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

"Now that the real work of NGSS implementation has begun, there is a high demand for quality instructional resources that show how core ideas and concepts, practices, and the nature of science come together in meaningful, intellectually engaging science investigations supported with content and pedagogical background information for the teacher. Thank you Alan Coburn for providing a resource that addresses the challenges and practical reality of transitioning to quality classroom instruction that mirrors our current best thinking about teaching and learning science."

Page Keeley, Past-President
National Science Teachers Association

“A lot of research points to elementary teachers not feeling comfortable with science education because they don’t have strong background knowledge in science. This book provides an easy to understand method of teaching elementary students how to do science. The sample activities and implementation pointers will help novice teachers approach science education in a thoughtful manner.”

Ryan McDonnell, EdD, Assistant Principal
Animo Jackie Robinson Charter High School

“Most books of this sort concentrate on theory. This one includes practice, and well thought out and explained examples of how to get your students to meet the chapters’ objectives… Elementary teachers may do little to no science teaching that doesn’t involve reading the book and answering the questions. This is a ‘how to’ manual for hands-on, minds-on science inquiry.”

 

Deanna Brunlinger NBCT Science Teacher, Science Department Chair
Elkhorn Area High School

“I think this would be a great book for college classes in teacher education. Future teachers can think about this before ever beginning teaching and go into [it] with the expectation that this is how they should approach science teaching.”

Mandy Frantti, Teacher
Munising Public Schools

“Many science teachers are struggling when planning using the NGSS. The alignment is not evident. This book shows how to establish connections between science content and the standards (NGSS).”

Rosario Canizales, PhD, Science Lead Teacher
Irene C. Hernandez Middle School
Key features

 

  • Introductory information on the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Activities in every chapter that clearly illustrate the big idea around the Nature of Science and the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs)
  • Sidebars and callouts with facilitation notes for conducting the activities for different grade levels 3-8
  • Clear links to NGSS standards and SEPs
  • Case studies of working scientists to highlight specifics about the SEPs and the nature of science

Purchasing options

Volume Discounts Available

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ISBN: 9781506344614
$32.95

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