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Resources for Teaching Middle School Science
7.44Helen Ross Russell. Ten-Minute Field Trips: A Teacher's Guide to Using the School Grounds for Environmental Studies.
2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: National Science Teachers Association, 1990. 175 pp.
Price: $16.95 (ISBN 0-87355-098-6)
Ten-Minute Field Trips is based on the concept that a school site and its surrounding neighborhood can serve as an environmental studies laboratory where elementary and middle school teachers and students can actively investigate natural and built environs. The ideas for school ground field trips listed in the book are many and varied; such trips provide a resource for relating classroom learning to everyday life and for understanding relationships that tie the world together. The guide covers such subjects as animals (birds, insects, earthworms, and others); weather and weather prediction; seasonal changes (leaf coloration, sun and shadows); building materials, rocks, and soil formation; water and its effects; and recycling and natural decomposition. Each subject is introduced with a page or 2 of background information, followed by related classroom activities, a section on teacher preparation, and a list of suggested field trips. Specific directions for conducting field trips are not provided.
7.45Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century.
New York, N.Y.: Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, 1989. 106 pp.
Price: $9.95 (ISBN 0-9623154-1-9)
This report on preparing American youth for the twenty-first century has 2 parts. The first part examines the condition of America's young adolescents and how well middle-grade schools presently serve them. The second part presents a series of recommendations for a fundamental transformation in middle-grade schools and in relations among parents, schools, and communities. Among the recommendations for transforming middle schools are these: creating a community for learning, teaching a core of common knowledge, ensuring success for all students, empowering teachers and administrators, preparing teachers for the middle grades, improving academic performance through better health and fitness, re-engaging families in the education of young adolescents, and connecting schools with communities. The specific steps or structures needed to achieve these changes are outlined, and case studies from innovative middle schools provided. Several of these case studies address science and mathematics learning.
7.46David Macaulay. The Way Things Work.
Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 1988. 384 pp.
Price: $29.95 (ISBN 0-395-42857-2)
This illustrated guide to how machines and other technologies work is divided in 4 sections—the mechanics of movement, harnessing the elements, working with waves, and electricity and automation. Large, hand-drawn illustrations and brief explanations provide an overview of all the key inventions that shape our lives today. The book brings potentially difficult concepts into the context of everyday life. The Way Things Work demonstrates how machines, from the simplest lever to the most sophisticated computer, do what they do. It also shows how the concept behind 1 invention is linked to the concept behind another. The scientific principles that govern the action of different machines are also explained (for example, how gears make work easier, why jumbo jets are able to fly, what the computer actually does); readers can see why a plow and a zipper are actually similar devices. Some of the hundreds of machines and devices in The Way Things Work include holograms, hang gliders, airliners, telephones, parking meters, robots, televisions, can openers, and compact discs. The book also catalogs the origins or invention of nearly 100 machines, and provides a dictionary of technical terms.