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Full-Text Articles in Education

Title Page - Table Of Contents Jan 2010

Title Page - Table Of Contents

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

No abstract provided.


Pulling Students In: Creating Concrete Experiences Through A Simple Pulley Device, Joe Kohlhaas, Teresa Morales Jan 2010

Pulling Students In: Creating Concrete Experiences Through A Simple Pulley Device, Joe Kohlhaas, Teresa Morales

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

Physics is often taught with an emphasis on mathematical relationships. Many teachers use equations to teach, assuming that the content will fall into place. In reality, all students benefit from concrete representations and familiar objects and properties before learning abstractions (Karplus, 1977). Since mathematics is inherently abstract it must be reserved until after students have a firm conceptual understanding. This article provides a concrete activity that encourages students to explore pulleys. This activity promotes National Science Education Content Standards A, B, E, and F. It also addresses Iowa Teaching Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.


How Does Water Become Polluted? Helping Elementary Students Learn How To Prevent Pollution, Kelsey Bentzinger, Lindsey Thilges, Ken Vacek Jan 2010

How Does Water Become Polluted? Helping Elementary Students Learn How To Prevent Pollution, Kelsey Bentzinger, Lindsey Thilges, Ken Vacek

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

Through making observations of mixing various items with water, students develop ideas about how pollution happens. The cumulative effect of what happens when many people add only “a little something” to the water provides students with a concrete representation of what can happen in their own communities. Students complete the lesson by determining what they can do to prevent pollution from happening in their own communities. This activity promotes National Science Education Content Standards A, B, and F, and Iowa Teaching Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.


Confronting Doubts About The Intelligibility, Plausibility, And Fruitfulness Of Inquiry-Based Instruction, Jerrid Kruse, Michael P. Clough Jan 2010

Confronting Doubts About The Intelligibility, Plausibility, And Fruitfulness Of Inquiry-Based Instruction, Jerrid Kruse, Michael P. Clough

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

Our two prior ISTJ editorials in the Iowa Science Teacher Journal (Clough & Kruse, 2010a & 2010b) have applied a conceptual change framework (Posner, Strike, Hewson & Gertzog, 1983; Pintrich et al., 1993; Abd-El-Khalick & Akerson, 2004; Clough, 2006a) to understand the difficulties students have in abandoning their intuitive ideas about the natural world and, for the same reasons, the difficulties teachers have in jettisoning their intuitive and learning. Our last editorial noted that in both cases, dissatisfaction with prior ways of thinking must be achieved before alternative ways of thinking will be seriously sought and considered. To initiate a …


Temperature Rising: Investigating Rates Of Temperature Change, Jacob Norlin, Daryl Miller Jan 2010

Temperature Rising: Investigating Rates Of Temperature Change, Jacob Norlin, Daryl Miller

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

This exploratory activity, designed for secondary physical science or earth science students, investigates rates of temperature change over bodies of water and land. Students discuss temperature trends of several cities across the United States, which creates an opportunity to conduct classroom experiments to explain these trends. Students write procedures and generate data of temperature changes between areas of water and land. Students gain a valuable, concrete experience of temperature changes which in turn enables them to better understand and explain why similar cities experience vastly different temperature patterns. This activity can then serve as a basis to address the abstract …


Conceptual Change: It’S Not Just For Teaching Science, Michael P. Clough, Jerrid Kruse Jan 2010

Conceptual Change: It’S Not Just For Teaching Science, Michael P. Clough, Jerrid Kruse

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

Mark Twain is often given credit for saying, “It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” Science teachers likely resonate with this quote because we know our students come to class confidently holding many ideas about the natural world that “just ain't so.”


Exploring The Depths: Inquiry To Apply And Deepen Students’ Understanding Of Density, James M. Sleep, Lee Johnson Jan 2010

Exploring The Depths: Inquiry To Apply And Deepen Students’ Understanding Of Density, James M. Sleep, Lee Johnson

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

This activity is designed to deepen students' understanding of the concept of density through scientific inquiry. Students devise procedures to determine the relative and absolute (qualitative and quantitative) densities of several solutions of salt water, and establish a class consensus on their results. Students then apply their findings to estimate the density of an unknown solution. The targeted grade-level for this activity is 8 grade physical science. However, because we know students at all grade levels struggle to understand density, this activity could also be useful in high school Earth science and chemistry. This activity promotes National Science Education Content …


Title Page - Table Of Contents Jan 2010

Title Page - Table Of Contents

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

No abstract provided.


Keeping It Green: Using A Compost To Improve Student Learning, Spencer Mesick, Kayla Hendrix Jan 2010

Keeping It Green: Using A Compost To Improve Student Learning, Spencer Mesick, Kayla Hendrix

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

This article discusses ways in which composting might be used to mentally engage students with science content. Incorporating a compost pile in the classroom provides ample connections to future science content (e.g., conditions necessary for the life of organisms in a well running aerobic compost, what decomposition means in a biological sense, aerobic vs. anaerobic decomposition, food webs, respiration, recycling of nutrients, landfill issues, etc.). Also, reflecting the complexities of effective science teaching, the article makes clear the crucial role of the teacher during the activity. The science content and activity addressed in this article are appropriate for 9th - …


Why Charlie Darwin Matters More Than Ever: Introducing Students To Evolution And The Nature Of Science, Brian Ellis, Anne H. Weaver Jan 2009

Why Charlie Darwin Matters More Than Ever: Introducing Students To Evolution And The Nature Of Science, Brian Ellis, Anne H. Weaver

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

In celebration of Charles Darwin's 200 Birthday and the 150 anniversary of the publication of his seminal work, On the Origin of Species, this is the first in a series of articles that highlight Darwin's relevance for teachers today and provide lesson plans to bring his work into your classroom. We begin with an introduction to Charles Darwin's life and work through storytelling, a first person monologue as a way to introduce students to several key concepts including the nature of science and a basic understanding of what lead Darwin to the concept of evolution.


Simple Machines: Promoting Student Application And Reflection, Sarah Borzo Jan 2009

Simple Machines: Promoting Student Application And Reflection, Sarah Borzo

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

Simple machines are a common elementary grades science topic. This article describes how I frame my simple machines unit using a problem and have students reflect on their initial designs as we learn about each machine. The students then apply their learning by preparing proposals for how they might use simple machines to aid in the building of a pyramid. This article promotes National Science Education Standards A, B, and E and Iowa Teaching Standards 1, 2, 3, and 5.


Title Page - Table Of Contents Jan 2009

Title Page - Table Of Contents

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

No abstract provided.


Weaving The Web Of Inquiry: An Activity Introducing Students To Marine Food Webs, Jena Kline, Ryan Dickinson Jan 2009

Weaving The Web Of Inquiry: An Activity Introducing Students To Marine Food Webs, Jena Kline, Ryan Dickinson

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

This activity engages students in a biological investigation focusing on marine life. Students receive pictures of several marine organisms, make observations, and propose a possible food web which includes each of the organisms. Students also explain to the class their rationale behind the construction of their food web. This activity promotes increased familiarity with food webs, ecosystems, and energy flow. While this activity focuses on marine life, the activities and strategies could be used with most any ecosystem of interest. This activity promotes National Science Education Standards A, C, F and G, and Iowa Teaching Standards 2, 3, 4, and …


Investigating Solutions Through Inquiry, Dana Frits, Chris Siguenza Jan 2009

Investigating Solutions Through Inquiry, Dana Frits, Chris Siguenza

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

In this article we discuss how many activities have valuable ideas, but important modifications must be made to make the activity more effective and mentally engaging. This article discusses the modification of a “cookbook” solubility lab into an inquiry activity, which increases student decisions and the promotion of higher-order thinking skills. We also address the critical role of the teacher in making the lesson effective. This article promotes National Science Education Standards A, B and G and Iowa Teaching Standards 2, 3, 4, and 6.


Title Page - Table Of Contents Jan 2009

Title Page - Table Of Contents

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

No abstract provided.


Wow! Dna In My Food?: The Anatomy Of A Smoothie, Mike Zeller Jan 2009

Wow! Dna In My Food?: The Anatomy Of A Smoothie, Mike Zeller

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

While many students are able to speak at length about DNA, their fundamental understanding of the pervasiveness of DNA may still be unchanged. This activity is ideal for helping student link their classroom learning to their own daily experience and observations about DNA. Students also mentally engage by critically thinking about the physical and chemical properties of DNA. This article promotes National Science Education Standards A and C and Iowa Teaching Standards 1, 2, 3, and 6.


Kicking The Tires Of Natural Selection: The Carriage Still Runs After 150 Years Jan 2009

Kicking The Tires Of Natural Selection: The Carriage Still Runs After 150 Years

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

Science is both tentative and durable. This is its great strength: as we discover new evidence, or find new ways to interpret existing evidence, scientific ideas can be modified, offering us a more complete and reliable picture of the universe. Helping your students understand this aspect of science not only reduces their resistance to learning about evolution, but also encourages deeper understanding about how science works.


Title Page - Table Of Contents Jan 2009

Title Page - Table Of Contents

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

No abstract provided.


Nuts About Inquiry: Peanut Variation And Natural Selection, Lindsay M. C. Kasuga, Christine Evans Jan 2009

Nuts About Inquiry: Peanut Variation And Natural Selection, Lindsay M. C. Kasuga, Christine Evans

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

Despite the numerous advantages of using inquiry, many teachers do not use this method because of issues such as time constraints and increased workload. In addition, content such as evolution is particularly problematic to teach because of the perceived lack of hands-on activities and societal pressures. This inquiry activity is designed to help students understand an important component of evolution by natural selection. Through this activity students better understand natural variation within populations using peanuts. Students are encouraged to make links between population data, population diversity and evolution by using collected data to construct and interpret graphs. This article promotes …


Heavy Metal, Emerald C. Wilson, Grant M. Kellogg Jan 2009

Heavy Metal, Emerald C. Wilson, Grant M. Kellogg

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

We use this metal oxidation inquiry activity to encourage students to investigate the law of conservation of matter by performing combustion reactions on readily available metals such as aluminum, copper, iron, tin, and zinc. After observing mass changes, we challenge students to consider from where additional mass of products comes. This activity promotes National Science Education Content Standards A, B, and G and Iowa Teaching Standards 1, 2, and 3.


Learning Theories: Pillars Of Teacher Decision-Making, Jerrid Kruse Jan 2009

Learning Theories: Pillars Of Teacher Decision-Making, Jerrid Kruse

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

In the last issue, I articulated the argument that learning “styles” are not the most valuable way to understand learners. Yet, if learning “styles” do not sufficiently explain learning, how can we better conceptualize learning to inform our instruction?


Heating Up The Classroom: Exploring Relationships Between Temperature And Thermal Energy, Shannon Mclaughlin, Mahima Bajpai Jan 2009

Heating Up The Classroom: Exploring Relationships Between Temperature And Thermal Energy, Shannon Mclaughlin, Mahima Bajpai

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

Thermal energy, internal energy, temperature, and heat are words that carry very specific meanings. However, common usage and the lack of consistent usage from texts and teachers can interfere with students' abilities to develop a strong conceptual foundation of thermal energy (Westphal, 2003). Stiles (2006) suggests that using experiences to investigate relationships is an integral part of moving students from simple knowledge to deep understanding. Understanding, higher-order thinking skills, the ability to work and think collaboratively, effective communication skills, and the ability to make informed decisions are all important goals teachers should support through their instruction. Smith (1996), Freedman (1997), …


Earthwatch Expedition: Taking Research Experiences To The Classroom, Katherine J. Megivern Jan 2009

Earthwatch Expedition: Taking Research Experiences To The Classroom, Katherine J. Megivern

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

I participated in the Live from the Field Earthwatch Expedition - Mammals of Nova Scotia, through a fellowship awarded by Wells Fargo. During this experience I participated in research to study the abundance of mammals in Nova Scotia and determine the effect of climate change on natural systems. After this experience I developed an inquiry project for my students in which they study the populations of insects. The students develop their own questions, collect data and make sense of their research. By investigating populations, students are encouraged to see the wonderful biodiversity right in their backyard! This article Promotes National …


That’S Not My Style: Myths About Learning And Teaching, Jerrid Kruse Jan 2009

That’S Not My Style: Myths About Learning And Teaching, Jerrid Kruse

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

The notion of “Learning styles” seems to be very popular these days in education. The idea that we all learn differently is intuitively appealing with the varied personalities, successes, and struggles of our students. However, the notion that each person learns differently is likely a myth (Olson, 2006; Feldon, 2005; Willingham, 2005). Students don't possess different learning styles; rather every student has unique prior knowledge, experiences, and developmental levels.


Stepping Stones: How Variation Leads To Natural Selection, Anne H. Weaver, Brian Ellis Jan 2009

Stepping Stones: How Variation Leads To Natural Selection, Anne H. Weaver, Brian Ellis

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

This is the second of a series of articles in celebration of Charles Darwin's 200 birthday and the 150 anniversary of the publication of his seminal work On the Origin of Species. In the article below we discuss ways to introduce students to variation and develop their understanding of Natural Selection.


Time.....Is On Our Side?, Jerrid Kruse Jan 2009

Time.....Is On Our Side?, Jerrid Kruse

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

Several articles in this issue explicitly note that their approach to the activity about which they write takes extra time. They make clear there is an “easier way to do it”. Yet the authors also note how the goals they have for students are better promoted through their “slower” activity. Whenever I discuss education reform with fellow teachers, the number one constraint that consistently arises is “time”.


Divide & Conquer, Lauren Hackman, Audrey Pohlmann Jan 2009

Divide & Conquer, Lauren Hackman, Audrey Pohlmann

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

This article presents a modified biology lab used to teach the cell cycle. Many traditional versions of the onion root tip lab are delivered in a “cookbook” format to review what students have already learned about the phases of the cell cycle. This modified version illustrates how the onion root tip lab can be much more meaningful when turned into an inquiry-based, exploratory activity to scaffold from a concrete experience to the more abstract process of cell division. This article promotes National Science Education Standards A, C, and G and Iowa Core Curriculum Standards 1, 2, and 5.


Title Page - Table Of Contents Jan 2008

Title Page - Table Of Contents

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

No abstract provided.


Teaching As A Sacred Activity, Michael P. Clough Jan 2008

Teaching As A Sacred Activity, Michael P. Clough

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

Many years ago I received an e-mail from one of my students that directed me to a writing of Louis Schmier titled “Holiness in Teaching.” Most of my former students have recognized my deep conviction that teaching is a very important undertaking. During the first fifteen or so years of my career they must have perceived this from the way I interacted with them and spoke about the responsibilities of teachers and schools, because I rarely stated explicitly that teaching is a sacred activity.


Tracking Mass: Putting The Thinking In Students’ Hands Leads To Deeper Conceptual Understanding Of Conservation Of Mass, Christopher J. Kurtt Jan 2008

Tracking Mass: Putting The Thinking In Students’ Hands Leads To Deeper Conceptual Understanding Of Conservation Of Mass, Christopher J. Kurtt

Iowa Science Teachers Journal

This article first presents a cookbook activity that leads students step-by-step through determining the density of a gas produced in a chemical reaction. This activity is problematic for two reasons. First, students may simply follow the provided directions without really understanding the investigative set-up and procedure. Second, the cookbook activity ignores the difficulties students have accepting that gases have mass and that mass is conserved in chemical reactions. I illustrate how the activity may be modified to address the common misconception that gases have no mass, and develop a deeper understanding of conservation of mass. This article promotes National Science …