Want to increase your effectiveness as a science teacher for the middle grades? Join us and learn about the nature and history of science as well as how to help students in this age group grasp the scientific method. You’ll receive lots of worksheets and specific examples of some great experiments you can use in your own classroom. You will discover the principles of direct instruction and many different learning and organizational tools that will benefit your students. You’ll even learn how you can use science class to improve the emotional climate in your classroom!
All through the course, you will discover worksheets and checklists you and your students can put to immediate use. You’ll see how helpful they are in the lessons on the scientific method, writing a research paper, and producing a science fair. You will cover foundational content in both physical science and life science. You will learn how to use a study of the earth’s atmosphere to teach students how to make and interpret a variety of graphs—an important skill for standardized testing. You will learn about some of the best Web sites available. By the end of this course, you will have many new skills that will benefit both you and your students.
In your first lesson, you will examine the challenges and joys of teaching science to middle school students. You will learn why science can be difficult to teach and some specific ways to overcome those difficulties. You will discover some ways to help your students use textbooks effectively and some great tricks to help improve memory. Then you will examine some different types of scientific research. You will focus on using the scientific method to design great experiments and you will become an expert at identifying control and experimental groups, and control independent and dependent variables.
In this lesson, you will learn about the lives of four scientists who challenged a conventional theory about our solar system. You will see how our present understanding of the solar system changed over time. You will discover the differences between, models, theories, and laws and discover a lesson plan that will help your students understand the nature of science. Then you will learn about direct instruction and how it lays a strong foundation for higher-level thinking skills. You will learn about a valuable concept called the Zone of Proximal Development, which will free you to meet the needs of individual students. You will examine scaffolding and go through a lesson plan step-by-step that us can use as a model.
Examine steps successful students follow when they learn new information. You will learn to help students go through these steps and how you can meet four distinct objectives when teaching new material. You will learn to use outlines, charts, and concept maps and a checklist to help keep students organized. Then you will discover a guide to help your students in writing research papers including: pages to help organize notes, questions they should answer, a way to record references, and templates for bibliographies.
In this lesson, you will learn specific ways you can become a teacher who understands the importance of emotional climate in the classroom to foster learning and encourage students’ efforts. Then you will review some basic principles of chemistry. You will examine states of matter. By the end of this lesson you will understand thermal, mechanical, and chemical equilibrium and how to teach those concepts to your students.
Review common characteristics that all living creatures share. You will discover the way all living creatures are organized and the different roles of organ systems. You will examine modern cell theory and discover ideas for activities to teach these concepts to your students. Then you will learn about homeostasis, which is the maintenance of a stable internal environment no matter what is happening in the environment. You will also examine equilibrium in eco-systems and discover a unit study—-the development of an environmental notebook.
This final lesson will show you how to use a topic in earth science to help students master the skill of reading and interpreting several types of graphs, which are found on standardized tests. You will cover pie charts, single and multiple bar charts, single and multiple line charts, and scatter plots. Then you will discover some worksheets and checklists to guide you and your students through a science fair. The process will be made more manageable through a guide for oral presentations and a sample sheet for judging science fair entries.
Prerequisites / Requirements
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
When can I get started?
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
How does it work?
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
How long do I have to complete each lesson?
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
What if I need an extension?
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.