From the digestive system to Newton’s Second Law, online science tools offer guidance to teachers on how best to navigate students from one lesson to the next

New science resources promote critical thinking and problem solving


From the digestive system to Newton’s Second Law, online science tools offer guidance to teachers on how best to navigate students from one lesson to the next

New resources from the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) are intended to help K-12 educators, including parents homeschooling their children, plan their science lessons.

Based on the best research available on how to engage all students in learning science, NSTA Daily Do Playlists are suggested instructional sequences of NSTA lessons that can be used to help students coherently build science ideas over time. NSTA plans to feature a new NSTA Daily Do Playlist each week at www.nsta.org.

“Now, more than ever, it is important for students to have access to high-quality experiences—whether they are learning in the classroom or at home in a virtual learning environment—that expand their perspective about science and help them make sense of the world around them,” said Dr. Elizabeth Allan, NSTA president. “We are thrilled to provide educators with these wonderful new resources that will enhance student engagement and inspire and excite student interest in science.”

Each lesson–called NSTA Daily Dos–is grounded in student sense-making, which actively engages students in trying to figure out how the world works (science) or how to design solutions to problems (engineering) using the science and engineering practices.

The NSTA Daily Dos that make up a Playlist have been updated to include tailored, Google Docs, Slides, and/or Jamboard templates to facilitate students’ science learning in the classroom or virtual learning environment. These added resource materials make implementing NSTA lessons easier and provide the framework for students to share ideas.

For instance, one lesson in a Daily Do Playlist elementary-level playlist focuses on pushes and pulls and examines how students can become good marble players. Students and families experience the phenomenon of marbles moving by engaging in a game of marbles, and use patterns and cause-and-effect as thinking tools to make sense of the science idea that when objects touch or collide, they push on one another and can change motion.

In another related lesson that investigates how kites fly, students and families have an opportunity to experience firsthand the phenomenon of a flying kite. They build and fly a sled kite, which leads to questions about how kites fly. Subsequent investigations and the thinking tool of cause-and-effect support them in making sense of the science ideas that pushes and pulls can have different strengths and directions.

NSTA Daily Do Playlists are free to access. However, to view NSTA resources–including the Daily Dos that make up a Playlist–you must register. Once registered, you can enjoy access to up to three free resources a month. NSTA members do not need to register, as they already receive unlimited access to all NSTA digital resources.

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