Content Area Research: Science

Carmen Fiscal


Martin Kratt and Chris Kratt

Focuses on Biology and the animals around us!

  • Chris graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in Biology. His goal is to help children see that they can help the wild animals around the world.
  • Martin is an innovative wildlife filmmaker, zoologist, and is dedicated to teaching people about the animals around them and working to help all the endangered species.
  • The brothers founded The Earth Creatures Company that specializes in wildlife entertainment. These entertainments shows are great for helping children and adults learn about the animals around them. I know that my children have learned a great deal of information from the Kratt brothers.
  • Our school also uses some of their videos in our enrichment lab for teaching our students.
  • They have also published many wildlife books that are geared for children. The Kratt brothers are a great resource for teachers because they produce things that are meant to teach children.

Just a few of their many books.

Teacher Interview

Mrs. Royon

Jacksonville ISD

Jacksonville High School Physics Teacher (multiple grades)

How do you help your struggling and ESL students?

  • Vocabulary exercises!! Knowing the words is half the battle.
  • Pairing the students with a peer buddy. Yes we even do elbow to elbow partners in high school.
  • For my ESL students I always have a Spanish English Dictionary out for both of us to use.
  • Lots and lots of graphic organizers!! They help tremendously.
  • I keep in contact with my parents regularly. If they know you are working as a team with their parents they are going to work that much harder for you.

How do you reach all your students when they are on all different levels?

I just teach them where they are at. It is more time consuming and work for me, but it is what works best for the students. Eventually I am able to bring my low ones up to a higher level which is great for everyone. I also do small group work with my students that are on similar levels working on similar skills.

What do you find is your students biggest struggle?

This is easy...organization and time management skills. I haven't meet very many high school students that didn't struggle with both of those. It's important to try and get them to see how much easier their life would be if they just get organized!!!

What kind of instruction do you use? (small group/whole group)

I use both. Variety is important when it comes to teaching. You need to work on meeting the various learning styles of your students. They way I instruct a lesson may change from class to class since each class is so different. You learn early on that it is important to be flexible, and able to change things on a dime. I also use use kinesthetic learning along the way. You just never know what you are going to see when you step into my classroom.

How do you keep your students engaged while you are teaching? I can imagine that in a high school classroom they have lots going on and their minds can wander pretty easily.

It depends on my classroom and the day, but some of the things I do are:

  • Cold calling.
  • Vary activities
  • Student centered activities
  • Students as teachers activities
  • Active monitoring
  • We enter the working zone. (a zone where we are working and nothing else is important)

High school is a lot like the younger grades, but the kids are a lot bigger. They still need the same types of engagement. I also set expectations for each of my students which helps them stay on track. When you know what is expected of you during each activity you tend to stay engaged the entire time.


The 5E Model: A Strategy for the High School Chemistry Classroom

In this video students are trying to get a homemade race car to travel 6 meters using a baking soda and vinegar reaction. The teacher in the video starts off by stating "It is not my job to tell them how to solve the problem, but allow them to figure out for themselves. " This video presents students in a safe environment where they are able to explore and figure out the solution for themselves. I loved this video because it went step by step through the 5E lesson plan. Of course it is a training video, but it was great to see these high school students involved and exploring and coming up with solutions on their own. In all the sections were you are watching the students you can tell that they are engaged and have an active part in their learning. The teacher talks about how the students fail, but do not give up. They work together within their group, and between their groups to try and solve the problem they are having. This is just a great example of how science should look in the classroom. It inspired me to give my students more room for error so that they will be able to discover more on their own.
The 5E Model: A Strategy for the High School Chemistry Classroom

High School Chemistry Class


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Amy Brown Science

Amy Brown has over 30 years of teaching experience. She is currently teaching in a high school that has about 1800 students. She has taught Biology 1, Honors Biology, Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, Biology 2, and A&P. She loves to get her students in the lab doing experiments. She loves to get her students excited about science and you can tell that by her blog. She has tons of information and ideas for the science classroom. She has a store that she sells many of her items in, but she gives out tons of freebies. This blog is very interesting and full of great information!!