Reviewed by Susan Hartley
High School Science Teacher
The author’s purpose in writing this book was to provide readers with a ready-to-use, lab-focused, survival guide for teaching Earth science. She has succeeded! These terrific ideas are worth sharing—from how to organize the school year to teaching students how to keep lab notebooks. The great advice is priceless.
All teachers want students to meet certain standards, but many of us need advice on how to communicate our expectations. The book's first chapter provides readers with the essential tools needed to set the standards in our science classes. There's a 10-day plan to start the school year off right through which students are exposed to many of the processes that will be used in the classroom throughout the year. Learners are guided through labs in a manner that prepares them to become more independent during future labs.
The next four chapters address four basic divisions of Earth science: astronomy, geology, meteorology, and physical oceanography. The meaningful scientific ideas covered for each of these topics are referenced in the introduction and meet National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Each chapter is rich with student handouts, labs, and teaching ideas. The labs use readily available materials, and a complete list of lab supplies for the year is provided. Reproducible materials including a pretest are provided in the appendix. References to SciLinks topics and codes are given throughout the text, allowing teachers and students to access online tutorials and interactive explorations.
Because the author is a busy classroom teacher, she understands what teachers truly want and need. Teachers don’t always have time to compile the best materials from several resources. This NSTA press publication puts it all together in one convenient collection. Earth Science Success is a must-read for new teachers of grades 6–9. While not a textbook, this publication will assist teachers in providing their students meaningful learning during their Earth science studies.
Review posted on 5/26/2009