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Learn how to increase your effectiveness as a science teacher for the middle grades. This course will equip you with engaging experiments, practical worksheets, winning lesson plans, and direct instruction methods you can use immediately in your own classroom.
Want to increase your effectiveness as a science teacher for the middle grades? Come 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 websites available. By the end of this course, you will have many new skills that will benefit both you and your students.
What you will learn
How you will benefit
In this lesson, you'll go over the challenges and joys of teaching science to this age group. You'll learn why this subject can be so difficult to teach and some specific ways to overcome those difficulties. The lesson will also discuss how you can help your students use their textbooks most effectively and teach you some great tricks to help your students improve their memories.
You'll begin this lesson with a short history lesson. You'll learn about some of the wrong beliefs scientists held just a few centuries ago and how some courageous scientists challenged those beliefs. There will then be a discussion about different types of scientific research where you'll learn the distinctions between correlational studies, demonstrations, and experiments. You'll next focus on using the scientific method to design great experiments and become an expert at identifying control and experimental groups, and control, independent, and dependent variables. Most importantly, you'll be able to convey that knowledge to your students!
For most of human history, people believed that the sun and other planets orbited the earth. To help you gain a firm understanding of the nature of science, this lesson will discuss the lives of four scientists who challenged that conventional theory about the solar system. You'll see how humanity's understanding of the solar system changed over time, an important illustration of the development of scientific thought. After you learn about the differences between models, theories, and laws, the lesson will walk you through a lesson plan that will help your students understand the nature of science, and give you some suggestions for special projects your students might enjoy.
Research shows that using direct instruction increases achievement in the science classroom. This lesson will explain exactly what direct instruction involves and show you how it lays a strong foundation for higher-level thinking skills. You'll learn about a valuable concept called the Zone of Proximal Development, freeing you to meet the needs of the individual children in your classroom. The lesson will also discuss scaffolding, a great technique related to this concept. To demonstrate these principles, you'll go through a lesson plan step-by-step that you can use as a model.
This lesson will continue to discuss different teaching methods. First, though, you'll examine the steps that successful students follow when they learn new information. You'll see how excellent instruction helps students go through these steps and how you can meet four distinct objectives when teaching new material. You'll then move on to using outlines, charts, and concept maps. You'll view an example of an assignment checklist that you can give your students to help them stay organized. The lesson will also include a teacher's checklist to help you plan your chapter and unit studies.
Students must write research papers throughout their educational careers. Now is a great time to help them acquire great writing skills through direct instruction. To help your students succeed, you'll take a look at a guide that was developed to help them, which includes pages to help them organize their notes, a set of questions they should answer, a way to record the references they used, and templates for their bibliographies. For further assistance, you can give them a checklist to keep them on track. The lesson will also talk about why you should reduce your support during subsequent papers so that your students will become more independent.
You know those teachers who seem to possess a special magic? Their students love them, yet they aren't pushovers. Successful teachers understand the importance of a positive emotional climate in the classroom. They know it fosters learning, encourages students' efforts, and builds great relationships. This lesson will discuss specific ways you can be one of those teachers. It will even address the special needs of this age group, since many will begin puberty during this time.
In this lesson, you'll concentrate on the driving force that exists in both chemistry and physics—the drive for equilibrium. You'll start by reviewing some basic principles of chemistry, including the structure and behavior of atoms, ions, and molecules. Then, the lesson will cover the states of matter and the differences between their shape, volume, structure, molecular movement, and energy level. By the end of the lesson, you'll have a good understanding of thermal, mechanical, and chemical equilibrium and you'll know how to teach those concepts to your students. As a bonus, the lesson will also include some fun activities you can share with your students that they'll really enjoy.
Amazingly, all living creatures, no matter how different, share some common characteristics. Once your students understand these characteristics, they'll have a greater appreciation for all living organisms. This lesson will go over these characteristics and talk about the way all living creatures are organized. You'll learn more about the different roles of the organ systems and about modern cell theory. Throughout the lesson, you'll receive some ideas for activities you can use to teach these concepts to your students.
Everything that happens inside living organisms, and much of their behavior, is driven by the need to maintain homeostasis. Homeostasis is the maintenance of a stable internal environment, no matter what's happening in the environment. It's an essential concept for both you and your students to understand, so you'll spend some time on it in this lesson. You'll then move on to a discussion about equilibrium in ecosystems. You'll also look at a unit study that your students will love—the development of an environmental notebook.
As you probably know, school districts put a big emphasis on standardized tests. Students are expected to master the ability to read and interpret several different types of graphs. This lesson will use a topic in earth science, the atmosphere, to show you ways to help your students master this skill. You'll learn how to construct graphs one step at a time so that you can pass that skill on to your students. When students can construct their own graphs, they're more likely to accurately interpret those that others have made. The lesson will also cover pie charts, single- and multiple-bar charts, single- and multiple-line charts, and scatter plots.
If your school puts on a science fair, you know that it's something teachers, parents, and students often greet with a mixture of fear and dread. It doesn't have to be that way. This lesson will give you worksheets and checklists to guide you and your students every step of the way, making the process more manageable. You'll also receive a guide on oral presentations and a sample judging sheet. You'll soon come to see the value of science fairs after you finish with this lesson!
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
If you are an Irish citizen you may be eligible to receive financial support, meaning you can defer payment of your course fees. Additionally, if you are a resident of Ireland, you may also be eligible to receive a student grant under the Student Grant SchemeStudent support
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How will this course advance my career?
Learning Cloud programs have been developed in response to industry demand and are specifically designed to equip graduates with work-ready skills. Each participant will be trained and assessed in theory and in practical tasks and Real-world exercises are used throughout the program.
Studies prove, time and again, that college-educated workers earn more than those with only a high school qualification. College graduates often enjoy additional benefits, including greater job opportunities and promotions. Though the proof for greater earning potential exists, some might wonder whether the cost of the education warrants the overall expense in the long run.
College Graduate vs. Non-Graduate Earnings
The National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES) analyses employee earnings data biennially, according to education level. Findings indicate that workers with a qualification earn significantly more than those without. Since the mid-1980s, education has played a large part in potential wages, with bachelor's degree holders taking home an average of 66% more than those with only a high school diploma do. While college-educated workers' wages have increased over the past two decades, those with only a high school education have seen decreases in annual salaries in the same time period (nces.ed.gov).
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