By: Catherine Oates-Bockenstedt and Michael Oates
|$22.36 - Member Price |
$27.95 - Nonmember Price
Earth Science Success: 50 Lesson Plans for Grades 6–9
|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
based on 1 review
|Grade Level:||Middle School, High School
|Read Inside:||Read a sample chapter: Meteorology
You can download an electronic version (PDF) of the student handouts (part 3) here: Student handouts
Our reviewers—top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators—have determined that this resource is among the best available supplements for science teaching.
[Read the full review]
Author Catherine Oates-Bockenstedt is a middle school earth science teacher, and the focus of the book is as a supplement
to the earth science curriculum for grades 6-9. It has 33 detailed labs and 17 detailed projects that are correlated with
National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Each lesson builds on the next lesson and a
strong foundation of content knowledge is imperative from the beginning. Earth science teachers will find it most useful,
but all science teachers can gain something from it.
Readers won’t have to read the book cover-to-cover; however, a thorough understanding of the first chapter is imperative
because the chapter sets up procedures that need to be reinforced from the beginning to maintain consistency with lab
formats and procedures. Labs and procedures follow the same pattern for each chapter after that.
What did I like best about the book?
-Organization. The book is very organized, but the teacher/reader must buckle down and have a thorough understanding of the first chapter and provide that same understanding and consistency DAILY for the students to have lab notebooks set up correctly. Procedures are established and must be reinforced.
-Page references are everywhere. If you should forget anything or need a reminder, you will never have to look too far. All that is needed is on the page you are reading including the page you may need to refer to in case you forgot. Everything is spelled out for the reader including how to title something and charts that should be used or distributed.
-Great kick-off activities. Very practical and usable beginning-of-the-year activities that can benefit all science teachers.
-Web links are everywhere. I love them. The book has a supplemental Web site that is very user friendly. A Web link and a specific code is provided for each section. You view expansion activities, read about grade-level appropriate activities, download handouts, and lots of other goodies. In fact, I enjoyed the Web site more than the book. http://www.scilinks.org/
-Lab notebooks. Lab notebooks included a student/teacher contract showing acceptance of roles and responsibilities of everyone. This contract is displayed at the beginning of each notebook. LOVE IT!
-Outlines and overviews. Loved the fact that each lab/chapter contains teacher lesson plan outline, student lab notebook entries, and student handout that could easily photocopied from the book or downloaded from the website as a separate handout or printed directly to an interactive whiteboard. Each chapter was set up the same way, and each lab was set up similarly with similar questions and reflections and practice options.
-Appendices. The appendices (sp) A, B, C are nicely organized , very useful, and are referenced throughout the book. Appendix A is the materials list, Appendix B includes additional activities and strategies that were very helpful, and Appendix C contains assessments and any procedural documents.
-Vocabulary. Page 1 of the lab notebook is a Taxonomy of Science Words. Students would continue to complete that taxonomy as the year progresses. GREAT IDEA!
What I didn’t like about the book?
-Dry. It was a pretty dry read, and had I been in the book store and flipped through the pages, I would have returned the book rather quickly. Outside of the cover of the book, there is nothing that grabs you and sucks you in. You would have to be a teacher and know precisely what you are looking for and look carefully as you peruse the book.
-Special needs students. There are expansion activities that state modifications and accommodations for special needs kids or kids that may need additional time, but I never felt as though accommodations for lower level students were fairly represented. For every chapter I read, I kept questioning whether or not my lower level students would be able to complete such labs.
The bottom line:
The price of $27.95 seems to be a reasonable price, but the book isn’t too exciting or it didn’t have anything that held my interest for very long. It didn’t feel like a book that MUST be in my collection, and I didn’t feel as though I had a wealth of new information. If the book happens to be there, I will take a look at it, but it is not a book to go out of your way for. The Web site was much more exciting and had much more to offer than the book itself. There are books that I have read that have had major impacts on me as a teacher that will be kept in the collection forever. This book is not one of those books. This is just one of many books that crossed my path with no major impact—positive or negative. I read it and picked up a few good ideas from reading it, but it didn’t inspire or motivate me.
Amanda H. Barnett earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with a Minor in Health Education from the College of Charleston and pursued careers in the medical/health sciences field. She was accepted to pharmacy school when she chaperoned a middle school field trip and realized working with teens was her calling. Barnett received Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education grades 1-8. She has been teaching 7th grade in South Carolina ever since. Barnett is a member of Inside the School’s advisory board.
Inside the School
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