greenspun.com : LUSENET : Middle School Science : One Thread

The Middle School Science Q&A forum is designed to provide an easily accessible place for middle school science teachers to ask questions about science teaching. The idea is for a community of science teachers and other educators to share information in a non-threatening, relaxed online environment. Collaboration is crucial to our profession yet seemingly impossible during the school day, given our heavy teaching loads and (often) physical separation. This forum provides an after hours meeting place for discussion.

Response Time
You should get a response within 24 hours, usually much sooner than that, and sometimes almost immediate feedback can be expected. We invite multiple answers, perspectives, angles on each question and expect to have a lively discussion of some topics where distinctions and definitions are ambiguous or unclear. I encourage you to add your name to the e-mail alert list so that you get instant notification of new messages on this forum (be sure to click the "instant" notification box when you set up your e-mail alert).

This is not a place for a discussion of ethical issues, except as to how to present such issues in the classroom. This is also not a place for high school teachers whose questions and needs are different from those of the middle school teacher, some of whom have science degrees and some who do not. Questions should largely be geared toward helping you the teacher understand a concept from the science standards in order to help your student reach the standards. Questions and answers should be as conceptual as possible, ie, let's not get into a lot of mathematical formulas (obviously there are cases where math is not only unavoidable but enlightening as well). First, middle school students will have a hard time with a mathematical understanding of scientific phenomena, and second, it's difficult to present mathematical formulas in this forum unless they are quite simple.

Finally, please spread the word to your colleagues to use this forum. We are a community of educators pooling our knowledge and experience to help one another. The more voices we hear the more valuable the discussions will be. There are no "official experts" on this forum. If you or someone you know, however, has a particular area of interest, we encourage you to post answers to questions as a regular contributors.

The Middle School Science Discussion Forum is open to all middle school science teachers. The format is quite simple and user friendly. If you have problems, however, feel free to e-mail me or, in District Six, you can ask me directly by telephone or when I visit your schools. It is my belief that the internet, through the Middle School Science Teachers' Lounge and this discussion forum, will be an invaluable tool for teachers as we work together to improve science instruction in the classroom.

-- Michael Gatton (mg143@aol.com), June 27, 2000

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