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What Successful Science Teachers Do

What Successful Science Teachers Do
75 Research-Based Strategies

Foreword by Page Keeley

September 2010 | 272 pages | Corwin

"I found several strategies mentioned to be helpful to my own practice and tried them right away with immediate success."
—Deanna Brunlinger, National Board Certified Science Teacher, Elkhorn Area School District, WI

"The research is strong and well presented. The book addresses all aspects of science education and focuses on developing scientific thinkers."
—Loukea Kovanis-Wilson, Chemistry Instructor, Clarkston High School, MI

Supercharge your science lessons with proven strategies!

The experience and science expertise of these award-winning authors makes this easy-to-use guide a teacher's treasure trove. This latest addition to the popular What Successful Teachers Do series describes 75 research-based strategies and outlines best practices for inquiry-oriented science. Each strategy includes a brief description of the supporting research, classroom applications, pitfalls to avoid, and references for additional learning. Teachers of students in Grades K–12 will find a host of novel ways to engage children's natural curiosity, concern, and creativity in science learning. Highlights include how to:

  • Promote collaborative learning
  • Use formative assessment to engage students in content and instruction
  • Develop culturally responsive practices that invite contributions from diverse students
  • Build students' scientific literacy and reasoning skills
  • Incorporate students' Internet skills into their studies

When it comes to teaching science, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Learn from the experts today and jump-start your science curriculum tomorrow!

Foreword by Page Keeley
About the Authors
1. General Science Instruction
Encourage Students to Become More Involved and Interested in Science  
Guide Students to Engage in Science-Appropriate Discourse  
Utilize Graphic Organizers in Your Classroom  
Increase Depth of Coverage to Improve Student Learning  
Foster Self-Efficacy and Motivation in Your Students  
Challenge Your Students With Different Levels of Questioning  
Try Using the 5E Instructional Model  
Support Your Students to Engage Effectively in Disciplinary Argumentation  
Utilize Mind Mapping to Improve Student Achievement  
Test Students' Ideas to Facilitate Reasoning Skills  
Create an Emotionally Positive Science Classroom Environment  
Engage Students Who Have a History of Poor School Achievement  
Include Students With Special Needs in Student-Centered Instruction  
2. Scientific Inquiry and Laboratory Experience
Engage Your Students in Inquiry-Based Science  
Teach Model-Based Inquiry Over the Scientific Method  
Use Problem-Based Learning to Introduce Students to Inquiry-Based Science  
Implement Inquiry-Based Instruction in Low-Track Classes  
Attain Educational Goals Through Laboratory Experiences  
Convert Traditional Labs to Inquiry-Based Activities  
Align the Goals of Dissection to the Curriculum  
3. Collaborative Teaching and Learning
Fine-Tune Collaborative Student Relationships With the Socratic Seminar  
Teach Your Students Collaborative Strategies and Skills  
Utilize Formal Cooperative Learning Methods in the Classroom  
Introduce Students to Constructive, Cooperative, and Academic Controversy  
Communicate Beyond the Classroom by Using Electronic Pen Pals  
4. Utilizing Technology for the Classroom and Professional Development
Add Technological Tools to Your Students' Learning  
Put Your Students' Internet Skills to Use in the Classroom  
Use Technology to Accommodate Students' Different Learning Styles  
Give Students Opportunities to Use Media Production for Classwork  
Incorporate Mobile Technology into Student Assignments  
Model Inquiry With Students Using Limited Resources  
Update Your Approach to Literacy-Related Content Activities  
Foster Literacy Development Through Visual Texts and Media  
Utilize Portable Media Players to Bring Exemplary Resources Into Teaching  
Find Opportunities to Record Yourself Teaching to Share With Peers  
5. Science Assessment
Look at Formative Assessment in a Coherent and Cohesive Way  
Use Standards-Based Inquiry to Prepare Students for Standards-Based Tests  
Align Instruction and Assessment Tools to State Curriculum Standards  
Utilize Formative Assessment to Better Engage Students in Content and Instruction  
Add a Classroom Response System for Instant Formative Assessment  
Design Formative Assessment for Data to Inform Instruction  
Encourage Assigned Textbook Reading by Giving Open-Book Tests  
Focus on Students' Writing Strengths  
6. Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning
Avoid Culturally Stereotyping Science Students  
Make Academic Success Your First Priority for All Students  
Reach Out to Students From Unfamiliar Cultural and Linguistic Backgrounds  
Structure Homework for Success for Students From Nondominant Backgrounds  
Develop Science Standards With a Multicultural Perspective  
Broaden Discourse Opportunities to Invite a Diverse Range of Contributions  
Provide Diverse Learning Opportunities for Student Discourse  
Manage and Change Your Students' Misconceptions  
Guide Students to Choose Authentic Problems to Solve  
Utilize Meaningful Cues With Your English Language Learners  
Provide ELLs With Opportunities for Extended Interactions in Group Work  
7. The Complex Nature of the Gender Gap in Science
Examine the Evolving Nature of Gender Issues in Science Classrooms  
Change the Opportunities and Experiences of Girls in the Science Classroom  
Represent Science in Ways That Encourage Girls to Stay Interested  
Improve Attitudes Toward Science Through STS Approaches  
8. Science and Literacy
Address the Three Key Elements of Reading Fluency in Science Instruction  
Use Scaffolding to Improve Science Reading Comprehension  
Consider Reading as Inquiry With Primary Literature  
Focus on Developing Scientific Literacy and Student Reasoning  
Use Paraphrasing to Promote Reading Comprehension in Science Textbooks  
Utilize Think-Alouds to Reveal Students' Thought Processes While Reading  
Select Commercial Reading Programs That Can Improve Scientific Literacy  
Use a Variety of Print Materials to Inspire Student Reading and Writing  
Expand Vocabulary Instruction to Improve Comprehension and Motivation  
Use Students' Native Languages in Science Literacy Instruction  
9. Families and Science Instruction
Avoid the "Blame Game" Mindset  
Involve Low-Income Parents in Their Children's Academic Learning  
Understand How Homework Can Present Problems for Students and Families  
Change Parents' Attitudes Toward Science to Change Students' Attitudes  
Involve Community Members in Learning to Explore Home-Based Discourse  
Recognize the Diverse Needs of Language-Minority Students and Families  
Consider Parental Responses to a Child's Learning Disability  

"This book encompasses an extensive collection of strategies supported by research and enhanced with practical classroom applications. I recommend it a must-have for novice teachers, mentoring struggling teachers, and refreshing, enhancing experienced teachers in their practice of the art and craft of teaching today’s and tomorrow’s learners."

J-Petrina Puhl, Secondary Science Teacher
Robert McQueen High School, Reno, NV

"The research is strong and well presented. The book addresses all aspects of science education and focuses on developing scientific thinkers."

Loukea Kovanis-Wilson, Chemistry Instructor
Clarkston High School, Clarkston, MI

"Bridging the gap in science education between research and practice just got easier, due to this organized guide to research-based science teaching strategies."

CHOICE, May 2011
American Libraries Association

"I found several strategies mentioned to be helpful to my own practice and tried them right away with immediate success. For example, in addition to including the unit objectives in an email to parents concerning an upcoming test, I will include suggestions on ways parents can help their children prepare."

Deanna Brunlinger, National Board Certified Science Teacher
Elkhorn Area School District, WI

“As the author of Corwin's bestselling book, Science Formative Assessment?75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning (P. Keeley, 2005), I am often asked to write a similar book that focuses on instructional strategies. The simple answer is there is no need for me to do so. This book serves that very purpose and is a wonderful companion to Science Formative Assessment. After all, instruction and assessment are two sides of the same coin?you can’t have one without the other?they are inextricably linked and complement each other.”

Page Keeley, Author
Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance

"Concise and well-defined strategies can be readily adapted to various learning styles and are designed to enhance critical and higher level thinking skills and help facilitators move from traditional to inquiry-based teaching methods. This is a valuable resource for in-service training on all levels."

Jean Worsley, Retired Teacher
NSTA Recommends,

This book lacks the depth and focus needed to be useful in the courses that I teach.

Dr Georgia Hodges
Science Education Dept, University of Georgia
March 29, 2011
Key features
A winning format that allows busy teachers to:

  • jump in and immediately find the topics of most interest and usefulness for their own classroom
  • read just enough about the research to satisfy their curiosity about the basis for the recommended practices
  • be forewarned about potential problems with each strategy
  • go to the sources, if they want to know more


Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword by Page Keeley


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ISBN: 9781412972345