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This issue of the middle level edition of Science Class features the theme Writing. 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.

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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 typically explore it more deeply than they would in a class discussion. Students' composition skills sharpen when they write in specific content areas, and their critical-thinking skills improve as well.

In this issue of Science Class, read about the different ways that teachers employ writing in their science classrooms. News stories, SciLinks®, and appropriate journal articles reveal the many benefits of using writing to teach science.


Writing 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 articles discuss how two forms of writing share a fundamental pattern and a new teaching tool for writing.

Visit http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2006-04/news_stories_middle.htm to learn more.

Writing on the Web

In this month's middle level journal, Science Scope, NSTA members can read "Whiteboarding Your Way to Great Student Discussions" at http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=ss&n=51894. For the complete April/May Science Scope Table of Contents, visit http://www.nsta.org/gateway&j=ss&n=51905.

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 keyword for this issue is

Science Writing: http://www.scilinks.org/retrieve_outside.asp?sl=92635655104410661011

NSTA Journal Articles on Writing

The archives of Science Scope contain many articles in which writing is incorporated into science activities.

Click here to learn more:


Books, Books, Books

To read about writing in NSTA Press® and NSTA Recommends® books, visithttp://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2006-04/books_middle.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

ASCD Issues Special Report on Professional Development

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) issued a two-part special report on professional development in March. Part I of the report (http://www.smartbrief.com/alchemy/servlet/encodeServlet?issueid=F0CE2287-6DC8-43F8-8C88-6D9D332FC944) examines the link between preservice teacher training and success in the classroom, as well as the key aspects of successful in-service learning. Part II (http://www.smartbrief.com/alchemy/servlet/encodeServlet?issueid=14DC2CE6-1E78-4675-9412-48F5B40E8101) digs into the thorny topic of how government policies affect professional development, then surveys some best practices.

Global Science Teaching

Students Take on World's Challenges

A recent Christian Science Monitor article examines a new initiative called Challenge 20/20. Organized by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) in Washington, D.C., it engages students as young as preK in finding local ways to address 20 urgent issues—after students have thought about them first on a global level.

To read more, visit http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0322/p16s01-legn.html?s=hns%20.

NSTA Opportunities

NSTA Web Seminars

Ten NSTA Web Seminars are scheduled between April 2006 and June 2006. These 90-minute, live professional development experiences allow distant participants to interact with recognized experts including NSTA Press authors, and scientists, engineers, and education specialists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Seminars are from 6:30–8 p.m., EST. These online events are grant-funded, so they are offered at no cost; however, the number of participants is limited, first come, first serve on the day of the program. Register early to receive a username. Password and other program information will follow via e-mail. For a full schedule of Seminar topics, dates, and times, and to register, visit http://institute.nsta.org/web_seminars.asp.

Call for Papers

Science Scope (grades 6–9) has issued a Call for Papers on selected topics. Click here to read more:



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