Shift Happens: Tips for shifting to a student-centered classroom

So, you want to shift your classroom to be more student-centered. Research shows that inquiry learning, a more student-centered approach to instruction, has many positive benefits across subject areas. While the payoffs may be plentiful, this change doesn’t happen overnight; students and teachers have to adapt to a new way of existing in the classroom. …

Is My Science Classroom Biased?

This is the first in a year-long series of blogs about the Nature of Science and Culture in the Classroom. We have just celebrated the birthday of Abraham Lincoln and the chosen birthday of Frederick Douglass and we are in the midst of Black History Month for 2021. In honor of Black History Month, I …

The Importance of Science in Out of School Time

Kids are in school for only a quarter of their day, and only a small portion of that time is devoted to Science and STEM related learning, particularly in the early grades. But it is clear that the skills needed for our evolving workforce are increasingly STEM related. Out of school time learning is crucial …

How to Take Science Notebooking to the Next Level

We introduced the concept of a Science Notebook in a previous blog. Now, we will outline how teachers might use notebooks for formative or summative assessment.   Either way you decide to use your students’ notebooks — to drive further instruction or as a way to gauge student learning — it is key that you provide …

Who is the Mandell Academy?

Whether you are an educator, parent, or member of the community, most people know that the Connecticut Science Center is a premier destination for student field trips (in 2018 we served more than 30,000 K-12 students on field trips!). Educators bring their students here to support classroom learning and create rewarding experiences with tools that …

This is Just a Test

Talk to any educator, administrator, or support staff member and you’ll hear concern about our new next generation assessments. With the slow roll out of the Next Generation Science Standards, a lot of districts focused on curriculum. Specifically, preparing ourselves to incorporate the disciplinary core ideas, the science and engineering practices, as well as the …

Modeling a Growth Mindset During the Pandemic

As educators, we believe in the kids in our classrooms. We push them. We cheer them on. We know they can do it and we do our best to convince them to share that belief. We may even talk to them about the importance of a growth mindset – the idea that intelligence is malleable, …

Using Summary Tables to Create Cohesion

As a former high school science teacher, I can attest to the fact that it is difficult to remember the specific lessons I taught, the order I taught them, and the key takeaways from each. My plan book was my best friend. A student was absent? Check the plan book. Support staff wants to know …