News & Announcements

A Beginner’s Guide to Interactive Notebooks

It doesn’t matter if you are new to notebooking or a veteran – INBs are for every teacher and every classroom, and set-up and consistent implementation is key. Interactive notebooks, also known as INBs or ISNs, keep students organized for the year, prevent work from...

NGSS, GSE, TEKS and Getting Nerdy

Doesn't it feel like your state standards are ever-changing? Just when you think you've mastered your teaching style and have come up with a perfect method for delivering life science content to your knowledge-hungry students, something happens - sequences get...

Lesson Plan: Create and Use STEAM Science Stations

Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a newbie to science lab stations, let us fill you in on why they should be a staple lesson for your curriculum - and why making them CROSS-CURRICULAR by using STEAM science lab stations will help your kids to transcend the basic...

15 Strategies for Using Interactive Notebooks in your Classroom

Interactive notebooks aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so you might as well learn all the tricks of trade for these student-centered hands-on learning tools. Don't know where to look? Don't worry - we've done the work for you. Here are 10 of the best blog posts...

Bill Nye… Our Favorite Science Guy

It's February, the month of LOOOOOOVE, and as nerdy science chicks to the core, it's hard to de-Nye our love for the science icon, Bill Nye. It’s hard to sum up a guy like Bill Nye. He’s a scientist, inventor, science advocate and educator, comedian, actor, writer and...

February Thinkers and Tinkerers

Ah, the month of love.  February is a fantastic month for so many reasons - Valentine's Day, Washington and Lincoln's birthdays , groundhog day, and the birth of  Steve Jobs to name a few. So snuggle up with your significant other, and learn all about other great...

Teacher Tools: Using REDDIT to Discover Top Education Trends

We have been playing around with different ways of "Getting Nerdy" online.  The main avenues teachers use to search for new ideas, teaching tips, and trending educational trends tends to be through the standard sites of Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the...

Lesson Plan: Skeletal System Project

There ain't no bones about it - humans would be a big pile of muscles, skin and gooey organs if it weren't for the skeletal system!  We love teaching our human body unit from the inside out - skin, muscles, bones, and all the other systems that work in-between. Our...

Lesson Plan: Muscular System Blinking Lab

When you're teaching the human body systems, it can be fun to start from the outside and work your way in. After completing the Integumentary system, we liked to move in another layer, the muscular system.  Here's how we taught this lesson in our class - the kids...

Lesson Plan: Integumentary System Sensory Lab

We love teaching our Human Body Unit from the inside out. Skin, muscles, bones, and all the other systems that work in-between. Before we begin though, we like to introduce important vocabulary using prefixes/suffixes/root words used in the medical community - it's a...

January Thinkers and Tinkerers

Start your year off by teaching your students about the scientists, inventions, and discoveries of the world.  The scientists, inventions and discoveries highlighted in each monthly installment are great starting points for interactions with your kiddos, such as...

Zero G and Mel’s Weightless Adventure

It was the fall of 2008, and we had just started our first year of teaching together. Mel had just cut off her long locks for a shorter, "cute new teacher" bob.  Gerdy's hair was like a lion's mane, fierce to match her teaching style (she's gonna kill me later for...

December Thinkers and Tinkerers

It's a holly, jolly season, and what better way to celebrate the holidays than with a fond look back at some of our favorite gadgets and gizmos and their creators. Here's our list of great scientist's birthdays, awesome inventions and amazing discoveries for the month...

Lesson Plan: Earthworm Dissection

Ya...they're kinda slimy.  They can be a bit smelly too.  No matter how you slice 'em, kids love to explore the earthworm!  These invertebrates make for some of the easiest dissections and they are great way to introduce comparative anatomy when discussing the human...

Women of Science: Patricia Era Bath

Patricia Era Bath was born in 1942 in New York City to Rupert and Gladys Bath. Her father was an educated man with wide-ranging work experiences. He was the first African-American motorman on the New York City subway system, a newspaper writer, and a merchant seaman...

5 Tips for Managing Dissection in your Class

Dissections are a great way to introduce comparative anatomy to middle and high school students.  They love to see relationships between their bodies and other organisms and they are always blown away when you tell them that so many animals and humans are similar in...

15 Ways to Use Task Cards in Class

Task Cards... woohoo! They are the new go-to teaching tool for teachers and what most don't know is that they make superb secondary study tools, too! They are versatile, easy print-and-go resources, and they can serve so many uses in your classroom.  Here are fifteen...

3 Tips for Differentiating Lessons in Science

Differentiation... every instructional coach, administrator and professional development seminar's favorite buzz word.  It can be overwhelming, but it does't necessarily mean that you need to call the school nurse for the defibrillator. Do these questions seem like...

10 Tips for Teaching Cells

Knock knock... Who's there? Egg cell... Egg cell who? Egg-Cell-ent ideas for teaching cells!  If you're looking for some ideas to "cell" kids on your cells unit, these tips might be just  what "eu" need... :-)Graphic Organizers and Analogies: As students learn the...

10 Ways to Teach the Scientific Method

At the start of the school year it can be a daunting task to reteach the scientific method to your students, especially considering they were just in school two months ago! To help you combat scientific method regression, we've gathered 10 easy ways to teach the...

Lesson Plan: Observation and Inference Activity

Your students may have a difficult time understanding how science class relates to what scientists do in the real world. What do scientists do to learn about their surroundings?  How do scientists gather data and determine which data is reliable? A great way to kick...

Women of Science: Rita Levi-Montalcini

To say that neurobiologist and Nobel Laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini faced some speed bumps along the road to attaining her goals would be a wild understatement. It’s far more accurate to say that, for Rita, there was no path blazed by scientists and women before her,...

Teacher Tools: Lab Safety Tips

Once you have introductions and classroom logistics out of the way, it's time to get down to the real meat of your lessons: LABS.  But wait!  How are you going to ensure that your budding scientists are aware of the dangers that lurk in the science laboratory?  Here...

September Thinkers and Tinkerers

For those of you just heading back to school, welcome back! If you've already gotten a few weeks under your belt, then kick your feet up and take a few minutes to breathe! Wherever you are in your semester, it's time to check out our September  Thinkers and Tinkerers...

Lesson Plan: The Characteristics of Living Things

Every year, before we start digging into the topic of cells, we want students to be able to tell the difference between living and non-living things. You wouldn’t believe how many students think water is alive – but that’s a great starting point. At the end of this...

Teacher Tools: Refresher Course in the Scientific Method

It's the first thing kids learn when they enter into their very first science class - the backbone of all scientific inquiry - the scientific method. You'd think that students would know and understand how to implement those six little steps that have been required...

Women of Science: Mary Anning

We are women scientists - hear us ROAR! Or, at least watch us discover some stuff! That's right, we're embracing our roots and taking a new turn with our blog to feature women in science. Ladies of the lab coat often times don't get the credit they deserve when it...

Lesson Plan: Scientific Method in Review

We know the standards have changed. They change, what seems now, almost EVERY year. The newest change we’ve seen happening is the integration of the scientific method into the other disciplines of life science, and of course this makes total sense. BUT, when your kids...

August Thinkers and Tinkerers

Welcome back, Scientists! We're so excited to be kicking off the 2016-2017 school year with you and to be able to bring you some awesome August Thinkers and Tinkerers in the coming year. We hope that our monthly posts about the world's best and brightest will inspire...

Top Science Websites for Interactive Learning

Over the 12+ years that we have been teaching, we spent a lot of time searching for engaging websites to use in our lessons. We love to incorporate games, online labs, videos, and any other site that is both educational AND fun for our students (and us too!). Not to...

Lesson Plan: IceBreakers for Getting To Know Your Students

  Welcome to the first week, teach! Ready to start the new semester? Wait a minute... who ARE these people? ALL new faces and ALL new names, it's a wonder we can remember our own in those first few days of awkward introductions and mispronunciations. Instead of...

Lesson Plan: Reinforce Scientific Principles using this Cube Activity

Whether you're just starting the year or you're already at the home stretch, discussing scientific principles is important in any science classroom. Grab students' attention and maintain their interest throughout your class using this FREE Science Cubing Activity and...

Teacher Tools: First Week of School Survival Tips

The first week of school is considered by many to be a "bust." Buses arrive late, student schedules are changing daily, kids can't find their classrooms, homeroom is extended to discuss rules and regulations, dismissal is a mess... you name it! In order to start your...

Teacher Tools: Word Wall Construction

Word walls are SO important in today's diverse schools.  They make academic vocabulary visible to your students, exposing them daily to the words they need to succeed in class.  Word walls are a necessary component to any classroom, but they can be tedious and...

How to Effectively Use Interactive Notebooks

Interactive Notebooks, INBs, ISNs…  whatever you call them, they are proving to be THE MOST popular and talked about way to engage students in the classroom.  We used our interactive notebooks from day one and we found that our students loved them because it was their...

Ten Things You Should Do for a Great Back to School

Welcome back to school! Whether you’re new to the classroom or a seasoned vet, the first week is ALWAYS nerve-wracking, conjuring up nightmares of dissections gone awry and showing up to work in only your lab coat... yikes! We know all too well how hard those first...

The Importance of Interactive Notebooks in Secondary Grades

In the summer of 2009, we had the most fortunate luck to land a professional development workshop that literally changed our lives. That summer, we spent two weeks on Skidaway and Sapelo Islands, studying the coastal Georgia ecosystems alongside ecologists and UGA...

Six Ways to Save Time Using Interactive Notebooks

Dear Mel and Gerdy, "I buy your products, and my students take FOREVER to cut the pages out. What suggestions do you have to minimize the time it takes to cut and paste the pages into their interactive notebooks? I don't want to cut pages myself on my prep time...

July Thinkers and Tinkerers

To give you a little break from the summer heat, we've got some COOL inventors and discoveries for you to check out this July - from the first  old school car that began our love for automobiles to a couple of guys walking on the moon!  Read all about them in this...

Teacher Tools: Making Word Walls Accessible to All Students

We’re so glad that vocabulary instruction has moved well beyond #writethedefinition. We’ve all read brain-based research. We’ve studied Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences. We’ve seen it first-hand in the classroom - kids all learn in different ways. The vocabulary...

June Thinkers and Tinkerers

Schoooool's out for SUMMER! Well, maybe - if you don't teach in a year round school. Either way, scientists were still discovering things and getting born in the summer months of June and July, so we're still going to celebrate their lives and amazing inventions....

Lesson Plan: Making Seed Bombs

As teachers, it's always tough to find time to work on a lesson plan AND make time with our loved ones. This week was all about making moments count with my little Nugget, so I decided to combine family time and lesson planning by putting our little seed bomb project,...

May Thinkers and Tinkerers

It's May. The flowers are in bloom, Summer is peeking out from around the corner, and the discoveries and inventions are "springing up" from everywhere, with two familiar names this month, our pals Ben Franklin and Thomas Huxley, mental giants of the scientific world....

Lesson Plan:  Student Teacher Project

What's not to love about a project that can be used in any subject area? This lesson is great any time, but especially at the end of the year. The Student Teacher Teach-A-Class project will have your students gearing up for an unforgettable day in the classroom as...

April Thinkers and Tinkerers

April is the month of showers that bring May flowers, so we'll shower you with some awesome inventors and inventions. Enjoy! Birthdays April 1, 1776: Sophie Germain, French mathematician, known for work in numbers theory and contributions to the applied mathematics of...

Lesson Plan: Top Ten Test Taking Strategies

When it comes to test taking, middle and high school students have a lot on the line. They worry about how their scores compare to their peers, how it affects the classes they get into in years to come, its influence on their acceptance into college, what their...

Teacher Tools: Fortune Tellers and Cootie Catchers as Study Tools

Some might call them cootie catchers, to others they are fortune tellers, but to US, they are an amazing way to review classroom material!  These are hands-on study tools that get secondary students active and engaged in their learning plus they're really fun to use...

March Thinkers and Tinkerers

March roars in like a lion, and boy do we have some BEASTS of invention, design and discovery Check out the madness of science going on in this month’s Thinkers and Tinkerers. Birthdays March 1, 1864: Rebecca Lee Crumpler, M.D., first African-American woman to become...

Lesson Plan: Hybrid Cards Assembly Tutorial

Have you ever thought of using matching cards as an activity in your science classroom? Our Hybrid Animal Activity is one of our favorite ways to get students thinking about what happens when two organisms of different species mate. This hands-on genetic engineering...

Teacher Tools: Five Things to Do Now for a Safe Lab

As science teachers, we all know that safety is key. Students can't learn in a chaotic classroom, especially with the hazards that some lab experiments create. Every student needs to understand and adhere to the rules of the science lab. Every parent or guardian needs...

Lesson Plan: STEM Lab for ANY Classroom

How does a water strider bug walk on the surface of a lake? Why does water bead and roll off of a duck’s back?  Why does water come out of a faucet in large  droplets?  Surface tension, that’s why! In this STEM Lab you’ll be swimming in science as you try to break...

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