|To Be Most Effective...||Other Full Year Curricula|
|ENSI-Oriented Teaching Sequence||Strategies for Teaching Evolution|
|Introductory Units||Power Point Presentations|
|Terrific Teaching Tips||Lesson Suggestions to Develop|
|Bioinformatics Lessons on ENSI||Teacher Planning Tips & Tools|
BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE TEACHER YOU CAN BE,
you've GOT to add this widely acclaimed book to your toolkit:
Harry Wong's excellent book, filled with an abundance of practical, important, easy-to-find and use ideas for being the most effective teacher you can be. For practicality, this book may very well be the most important tool in your toolbox, the best well-spent money for your teacher education. Central is the critical importance of what you do the first day of school, and the few days which follow:
The First Days of School, by Harry K. & Rosemary T. Wong
Tel. (650) 965-7896. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS.
An Overall Course Outline, Incorporating Evolution and
the Nature of Science Thematically
Teaching Evolution Without Conflict
by Larry Flammer
from The American Biology Teacher March, 2006
and raise tantalizing questions.
Show how evolution answers those questions
and provides unity throughout your course.
Detailed suggestions for effectively introducing
the nature of science and evolution
early in your biology course,
suggesting sequence and content derived largely from
the ENSI lessons, and reflecting the ENSI philosophy.
Offered by ENSI teacher and webmaster, Larry Flammer, ENSI 1992
by Steve Randak (ENSI 1990)
NABT's first "Evolution Teacher of the Year" 2003
A suggested sequence which has worked well
and reflects much of the ENSI philosophy.
7th GRADE LIFE SCIENCE
by Nate Fairchild
A suggested course sequence that works well,
(especially with students who oppose evolution),
with his NEW
Integrated Introduction to Evolution and the
Nature of Science
(Contact ENSI Webmaster for Info on this if interested)
Nate Fairchild, is a dynamic middle school science teacher
in Redding CA. He has a website on which he details his approach
to teaching a very effective and comprehensive introductory unit
on evolution (as well as incorporating the concept throughout
his course) in a community with many anti-evolution families.
He sent me this comment recently:
Nate's NEW site:
Nate adds: "Welcome to Discovering Evolution, the result of years of combing the web and researching methods of teaching introductory evolution to middle school students. Here you can find everything you need to teach a unit on evolution including lessons, downloadable documents and images, and links for more ideas. Extensions are included as well, particularly the excellent GEMS Life Through Time unit that my masters research showed was essential in cementing the early understanding of how life evolves over time." [In that study, his students increased their acceptance of evolution from an initial 31% to an amazing 60% (a 93% improvement!). As for understanding evolution, pre-test and post-test comparison indicated that 74% of his students either improved their scores or retained good scores after the unit (N=38). Twenty-six percent had low scores and showed no gains. - ed.]
ENSI Co-Director, Craig Nelson, has compiled a collection
of about a dozen
Craig's comments about his article in that book:
"I realise that some of the strategies I have used and present may not be prudent in some local political situations (though we have found that many high school teachers do find them useful even in quite conservative communities)."
An example of one spin-off from this rich reservoir of teaching ideas is a one-page summary and example for teaching the criteria for critical thinking and how we can use the Fair Test to get the best explanation. Take a look at this: "Fair Tests: A Basic Model for Critical Thinking in Science". If you use this in your classes, be sure to let us know how it went, and what additonal ideas you may have used to improve its effectiveness.
Another spin-off from Craig's rich reservoir of teaching ideas is an activity which has students comparing the strengths of different scientific ideas in "Is Evolution Weak Science, Good Science, or Great Science?" Take a look at it, and TRY it!
In addition, please let us know about ANY of your efforts to implement ANY of the suggestions presented by Craig. We are anxious to share these ideas with other teachers.
A CENTRAL DILEMMA AND ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES
CRAIG E. NELSON, Professor of Biology, Indiana University
McGill Journal of Education · vol. 42 no. 2 Spring 2007, pp. 265-283.
Click Here for Abstract and Review
The Natural Selection:
Identifying & Correcting Non-Science Student Preconceptions
Through an Inquiry-Based, Critical Approach to Evolution
We hope that all teachers using our material will want to be as effective as they can, stimulating interest and understanding in all their students. Whenever we find useful articles that provide practical ideas for doing this, we will post them in this section. Likewise, if you discover (or write) such articles, please share with us.
Larry's Tips: A number of teaching strategies that have worked for many years.
Big Classroom Models: A sampling of classroom-size models to dramatize your studies and surround your students all year. Big impact on student learning.
Teach for Understanding: A collection of ideas for teaching and assessing for student understanding.
Tips and Tools for planning the school year, unit plans, and lesson plans. Early organization facilitates ordering of supplies, especially living materials needed in the course. It also includes accommodations and timing around Test Days, Teacher Work Days, school and district Off Days, etc. Plans assure that required and desired content will be included, and allotted appropriate time blocks. The whole year flows more smoothly if you've planned carefully. Note that the Planning Tips and Tools are also in PDF format for easier downloading.
There are many ways that elementary teachers can prepare their students for the science they will be studying in middle school and high school. These are just suggestions that will help them to avoid learning misconceptions and misuse of terms and concepts that would get in the way of understanding at higher levels.
First, it doesn't hurt for them to be introduced to aspects of the nature of science (NOS). There are several NOS lessons on the ENSI site that will help with this. Elementary teachers should go to the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) Appendix H. They should read it carefully, and especially notice, on the two tables on pp. 5 and 6, the appropriate grade level column on those two pages. Listed there are the Learning Outcomes (LOs) expected in science for those grade levels. Teachers should incorporate interactive experiences that will help their students to learn about those LOs. Again, several of the ENSI NOS lessons will help do this.
For more details on helping students learn material that will help them later on in science, go to the Science Preparation for Elementary Students page.