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This issue of the elementary edition of Science Class features the theme Writing to Learn Science. Please tell us what you think of the issue by using the Feedback link on the left of Science Class or by sending an e-mail to us at enewsletterfeedback@nsta.org.

If you have a text-only browser or are having any difficulties accessing our links, please visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-11/member_elementary.htm.


Identifying students' misconceptions and preconceptions can be difficult, but your students’ writing assignments may expose gaps in knowledge that discussions or traditional assessments may not reveal. As students write about a topic, they explore it in greater depth than they would in a class discussion. Students' writing skills sharpen when they write in specific content areas, and their critical-thinking skills improve as well. Take the advice from the authors of an article in Science and Children, and make students’ thinking visible by encouraging them to write.

Writing to Learn Science in the News

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

This month’s news stories discuss various writing techniques that teachers use to help students learn science, such as creating a living lab or writing text to accompany cartoons in a chemistry comic book.

Visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-11/news_stories_elementary.htm to learn more.

Writing to Learn Science on the Web

In this month's elementary journal, Science and Children, NSTA members can read "Five Good Reasons to Use Science Notebooks." The link to that article is http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=sc&n=51160.

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

Writing for Science: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=92635621111110551011

NSTA Journal Articles on Writing to Learn Science

The archives of Science and Children provide a range of opportunities to incorporate writing into your lessons.

Click here to read more:


Books, Books, Books

To read about Writing to Learn Science in NSTA Press books, visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2005-11/books_elementary.htm.

To read about the newest titles available from NSTA Press, visit


To receive the latest NSTA catalog for your specific grade level, visit


Professional Development

NSTA Symposia

These face-to-face professional development opportunities at NSTA conventions are half-day, standards-based programs designed to enhance educators' scientific content and pedagogical practices. Presenters include scientists, engineers, and educational specialists from NASA, as well as renowned NSTA Press authors. Three exciting programs are scheduled to take place this fall at the NSTA Area Conventions in Chicago and Nashville. For more information, visit http://institute.nsta.org/symposia.asp.

NSTA Web Seminars

These 90-minute live professional development experiences use online learning technologies to allow participants to interact with nationally acclaimed experts; NSTA Press authors; and scientists, engineers, and education specialists from NSTA government partners, such as NASA and NOAA—all from the convenience of your desktop!

Educators use online tools that allow them to mark up and annotate presenters' slides, share desktop applications, or engage in chats and surveys and respond to poll questions with others online. Seminars may be archived and are available for viewing after the live event has occurred. Be sure to check out the fall schedule for these exciting learning opportunities and register by going to http://institute.nsta.org/web_seminars.asp.

Global Science Teaching

Educating the World's Children: Patterns of Growth and Inequality

"Many developing countries have made dramatic progress over the past several decades to enroll their children in school. Still, too many children—especially girls and those in rural areas—are out of school or leave school before graduating from the primary level and have little opportunity to attend secondary school." This excerpt is from the recently released report Educating the World's Children: Patterns of Growth and Inequality, authored by the Education Policy and Data Center at the Academy for Educational Development (AED). To read the report, visit http://eportal1-ssdc.aed.org/extend/en/external/epdc_reports/EducatingTheWorldsChildren.pdf.

NSTA Opportunities

NSTA Unveils New Name for Time-Honored Conventions

NSTA has unveiled a new name—and an enriched format—for its time-honored annual conventions. Long considered the premiere professional development events for science educators, NSTA’s national and area conventions will now be called NSTA Conferences on Science Education. The change reflects the growth and evolution of conventions into deeper, more meaningful professional development experiences for teachers. NSTA will debut the new name at its 54th National Conference on Science Education, which takes place April 6–9, 2006, in Anaheim, California, and is expected to draw more than 13,000 attendees. "Science, The Universal Language" is the theme. To read the NSTA Reports article on this announcement, visit http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/nsta_story.php?news_story_ID=51210.

NSTA Treasurer Post Open

NSTA seeks applicants for the NSTA Treasurer position. Responsibilities include oversight of the association’s financial and budgetary matters. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors for a three-year term of office, which may be renewed for another three-year term. Appointees will be expected to devote 10-12 days of service a year for this nonstaff position. An honorarium will be provided, as well as reimbursement for required meeting attendance (travel and per diem).

For additional information about the position’s responsibilities, visit http://careers.nsta.org/job_detail.asp?jobid=308. Application deadline: January 15, 2006. Interested individuals are invited to submit their resume, along with a cover letter that specifies interest in being considered for appointment, to NSTA Executive Director, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3092.

The Early Years

Science and Children (S&C) and NSTA have established a blog devoted to early childhood science (see http://science.nsta.org/earlyyearsblog). Here you’ll find teaching advice, management tips, favorite resources, and activity ideas specifically for teachers of grades preK–2. The blog accompanies Science and Children’s column The Early Years. To view the first column, visit http://www.nsta.org/main/news/stories/science_and_children.php?category_ID=86&news_story_ID=50933. Highlights from the online conversations will appear in the print column. Teachers who post a comment that gets chosen for publication in S&C will receive one free book from a select group of NSTA Press publications.

Call for Papers

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


Looking for Evening Skies?

Regrettably, Science and Children will no longer include the Evening Skies Monthly Star Map and Sky Calendar. However, yearly subscriptions to the map and calendar are available from the Abrams Planetarium for $11 and can begin at any point in the year. To subscribe, visit http://www.pa.msu.edu/abrams/SkyCalendar/Index.html. Subscribers will be mailed hard copies of three star maps and calendars four times a year to cover the entire calendar year. Or check out http://skymaps.com/downloads.html for free star map downloads from StarMaps.com (permission is required for multiple copies for classroom or science club use). In addition, Skywatcher's Diary at http://www.pa.msu.edu/abrams/diary.html posts a monthly detailing of sky happenings. Happy stargazing!

Next Month's Theme

Science, Technology, and Society

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


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