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Middle Level Edition

High School Edition

In this issue, the elementary edition of Science Class focuses on Assessment. This theme is supported by a range of NSTA-approved teaching resources: news stories, Internet SciLinks, books, and NSTA journal articles. To view the middle level and high school editions of Science Class, please click on the links at left. If you have any comments about this issue, send them to: enewsletterfeedback@nsta.org.

If you have a text-only browser or are having any difficulties with our links, please visit: http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2004-09/member_elementary.htm.


Assessment results are the key factor in many of the decisions made in education today, but assessing our youngest learners is an ongoing challenge. Elementary students cannot always offer full explanations of what they know and why. As a teacher, you also have to find ways to discover what preconceived notions your students have and how those ideas will affect what they learn. It's a tall order.

As more and more emphasis is placed on assessment results, you may be bewildered by which tests matter most, what the results really indicate, and what decisions should be based on them. We have assembled various educational resources—news articles, books, and websites—to help you gain a better understanding of the role that assessment plays in education today.

Assessment in the News

Article summaries provided by the NSTA WebNews Digest (Visit http://www.nsta.org/mainnews for nationwide news for science educators).

Learn new strategies on how to handle assessing students in science by reading a column from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and an article from District Administration magazine.

Click here to read more:


Assessment on the Net

In this month's elementary journal, Science and Children, NSTA members read "A is for Assessment." The link to that article is:


SciLinks is a web-based service from NSTA that provides online content chosen for printed articles and books. It does so through keywords; the keyword from this issue is:

Assessment: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=9263562110991044

Books, Books, Books

Click here to view the NSTA Catalog books on assessment:


NSTA has put together a catalog of the latest NSTA Press books for the elementary teacher. To view the catalog, click here:


Professional Development

The real crisis in school reform, writes Frederick Hess in Common Sense School Reform, is that so few of our schools are excellent, so many are mediocre, and yet we, the adults responsible, are content to tinker and theorize. Demands for radical change are often met by protestations of good intentions, pleas for patience, and an endless stream of ineffectual reforms. Read his "common sense agenda" for tough-minded accountability:


Global Science Teaching

"Creationism is not taboo in classroom discussions in other Western countries. But generally the topic is fodder for religion classes. If teachers do discuss the idea in science class that God created all life on Earth, they stress that evolution is the theory almost universally accepted by scientists for explaining how humans came into being," writes Michelle Galley in Education Week.

Read more on how other countries deal with the teaching of evolution:


NSTA Opportunities

Dive into the NSTA Online Book Club

Coming in October, the NSTA Online Book Club features trade books and
activities about the science of water. Log on to the Book Club forum and
win! Visit http://www.nsta.org/bookclub for more details.

Write for NSTA's Journals

Science and Children (Grades PreK–5) has issued a Call for Papers on specific topics. Click here to find out more:


Share Your Good Ideas—Present a Session at an NSTA Convention

Make plans now to share your expertise at an upcoming NSTA convention (2005–2006).

Click here to find out how:


Next Month's Theme:

Our Evolving Earth

If your colleagues would like to subscribe to Science Class, please direct them to: http://www.nsta.org/newsletters.


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