Understanding what AT is and how it works is the first step toward finding the right tools for your child. TTS can take words on a computer or other digital device and convert them into audio. TTS is very helpful for kids who struggle with reading, but it can also help kids with writing and editing, and even focusing.
Assistive technology AT can be a powerful way to help children with reading issues, including kids with dyslexia. This guide is an introduction to AT tools for reading and where to find them. Assistive technology AT can help kids with different types of writing challenges. AT tools can make the physical act of writing easier, as well as help kids who have trouble with spelling and grammar, and with organizing and expressing their thoughts. This guide provides an introduction to AT writing tools and where to find them.
Dictation is an assistive technology AT tool that can help kids who struggle with writing. Kids can use dictation to write with their voices, instead of writing by hand or with a keyboard — helpful for kids with dysgraphia, dyslexia and other learning and attention issues that impact writing. A mother describes the warning signs for dyslexia in her daughter that she didn't see clearly. She also shares the life-changing resources that helped her understand what dyslexia is and how to get her daughter the support she needed to thrive.
Universal Design for Learning UDL is a way of thinking about teaching and learning that helps give all students an equal opportunity to succeed. This approach offers flexibility in the ways students access material, engage with it and show what they know. Developing lesson plans this way helps all kids, but it may be especially helpful for kids with learning and attention issues. In recent years, these books have evolved into five distinct categories.
Learn more about the characteristics of traditional nonfiction, browse-able nonfiction, narrative nonfiction, expository literature, and active nonfiction. Special literacy events and celebrations can be a great way to get kids excited about books and reading. But for kids who struggle with reading, these kinds of events can challenge their self-confidence. Here are 15 strategies to help you plan a successful, joyful reading event for all kinds of readers and learners. This ILA brief explains the basics of phonics for parents, offering guidance on phonics for emerging readers, phonological awareness, word study, approaches to teaching phonics, and teaching English learners.
Structured Literac y prepares students to decode words in an explicit and systematic manner. This approach not only helps students with dyslexia, but there is substantial evidence that it is effective for all readers. Get the basics on the six elements of Structured Literacy and how each element is taught. Discover what kinds of books are especially popular with children who struggle with reading. Todd Cunningham, you'll learn the basics about assistive technology AT and how AT tools can help students with language-based learning disabilities to reach their full potential in the classroom.
Make time to speak in person. In this article, you'll find tips for opening the conversation with example conversation starters.
Cognition and Instruction/Problem Solving, Critical Thinking and Argumentation
Find out what works with children who have weaknesses in concept imagery or symbol imagery. It includes all children who are struggling — whether their issues have been formally identified or not. Learning and attention issues are brain-based difficulties, and they often run in families. Find resources that can help kids be successful in school and in life! To thrive in today's English Language Arts classroom, students need rapid recall of words they know and the ability to capture, learn and remember new terms.
You'll also find an analysis of how the norms differ from the norms. High-leverage practices HLPs and evidence-based practices EBPs when used together can become powerful tools for improving outcomes for students with disabilities and those who struggle. This brief shows the promise of these practices in advancing educator preparation and practice. It is important for parents to understand the "language" of assistive technology so they can be informed advocates for their child's technology needs.
The following glossary of terms can help parents learn about the kinds of assistive technologies that are currently available and how they can be used. Assistive technology is any kind of technology that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a physical or cognitive disability. Get the basics in this fact sheet from the Center on Technology and Disability. Reading Rockets helps parents and teachers address the aftermath of natural disasters with children through reading and books.
Self-advocacy is an important skill for even young kids with dyslexia to develop. Find out how you can help your child by rehearsing common situations she may face. With careful and creative planning, literacy instruction can be adapted to meet the needs of every student in the classroom. Five ways teachers can provide a literacy education for all learners are offered here. Learn about and watch some of the compelling in-depth news stories and documentaries about autism developed by public broadcasting. PBS Kids has been a leader in autism awareness, developing original programming for television, web, and mobile platforms.
Recent documentaries have taken a fresh look at what it means to "be on the spectrum" and how to celebrate the gifts of neurodiversity. Discover five graphic organizers that can help kids with dysgraphia, executive functioning issues, and other issues that can cause trouble with writing.
Handwriting involves more than just making letters on a page — it requires strong fine motor and visual-motor skills. Here are some multisensory techniques to try if your child is struggling with writing. Whether your child has mild or severe Autism Spectrum Disorder, making reading a fun activity can help your child's learning and social skills. You'll find sharing books together can be a good way to connect with your son or daughter. Reading also helps your child's language development and listening skills. In this webinar from the Center on Technology and Disability, you'll learn about accessibility features available in a range of devices as well as apps, websites, and other AT resources across academic areas.
Here are 10 simple yet powerful things that parents can do at home to support teachers in their daily work of teaching our young children. Browse this list of organizations and web resources focused on advocacy, information, and support for families and educators of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We've also identified helpful federal agencies and ASD projects funded by the U.
Sesame Workshop has introduced Julia, a muppet with autism, to the world of Sesame Street. In this webinar from the Center on Technology and Disability, two experts demonstrate and discuss various apps and Assistive Technology AT options, including wearable technology to support students with autism. Children's magazines are a wonderful supplement to classroom instruction. Students are exposed to a wide variety of texts and lots of interactive content. Similar to comic books, graphic novels weave rich, lively visuals with a limited amount of text to drive the narrative. They can be especially appealing to young readers who are reluctant to pick up a more traditional book.
Graphic novels are a great way to help struggling readers strengthen vocabulary, build reading confidence and stamina, and develop a deeper appreciation of storytelling. Audio books are a wonderful way to expose your child to complex language, expressive reading, and fantastic stories. Dialogic reading involves an adult and child having a dialogue around the text they are reading aloud together. Learn how to use this strategy effectively to help kids build vocabulary and verbal fluency skills and understand story structure and meaning. Downloadable handouts to help guide parents in using dialogic reading are available in English and 14 other languages.
- Mylon Sinclair: Space Cowboy;
- 103 Kids Animal Jokes (Kids Joke Books Volume 2);
- The Tatters Treasure Chest (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace).
In this webinar from the Center on Technology and Disability, you'll learn about assistive technology funding sources for children with and without IEPs. In this webinar from the Center on Technology and Disability, AT professionals from Fairfax County, VA public schools demonstrate how to develop and conduct AT assessments, and implement activities in early childhood classrooms and at home.
For children with print-based reading disabilities, accessible formats provide alternate versions of print-based books that function in much the same way as a print-based textbook. Learn about the different kinds of accessible formats, including digital talking books, enlarged text, electronic publications, and more. Learn more about books across multiple genres that are representative of the diverse world in which we live, including diversity in race, class, disability, and religion.
You'll also find innovative approaches for bringing children and books together, as well as content analyses and descriptions of titles that share common features. Research shows that students need at least 90 minutes of uninterrupted reading instruction each day to become strong readers, and that this instruction must be systematic, explicit, scaffolded, and differentiated across the classroom. Graphic novels for elementary and middle grade children have become enormously popular and widely accepted by parents, teachers, and librarians.
In this resource section, learn more about this highly visual form of storytelling and how it can be used in the classroom, meet some writers and illustrators of graphic novels, and browse the "best of" booklists. When spelling is taught in ways that emphasize the patterns of the English language, it can be a beneficial use of class time. Get tips on how to choose word lists that help students learn these patterns and their exceptions. In a world where children are "growing up digital," it's important to help them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship.
Parents play an important role in teaching these skills. Here are a few tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents manage the digital landscape they're exploring with their children. This resource guide identifies high-quality, useful resources that address various aspects of accessibility: developing an accessibility statement, conducting an accessibility audit, acquiring accessible technology, and building professional development resources on accessibility for school staff and others.
By actively and independently reading text, students simultaneously can build their word identification, fluency, vocabulary, and text-dependent comprehension skills. Learn about three key steps teachers can take to help students experience success with independent active reading. How do you choose books to read aloud with your child? There are many things to think about: how interesting the topic or characters might be for your child; an intriguing setting, time period, or plot; the liveliness or beauty of the language; or how engaging the illustrations are.
Some books are more appropriate based on social and emotional development at each stage of a young child's life. Find guidance here in choosing great read alouds. This guide focuses on ways to encourage the independence of a student with learning disabilities while in school and as they transition to college or work. In this video from the Center on Technology and Disability, find out about the impact of apps and screen time on early childhood learning and development.
How young is too young? These 27 identified evidence-based teaching practices have been shown through scientific research to be effective when implemented correctly with students with ASD. A veteran reading teacher shares takeaways from her 'Teachers as Readers' learning group.
What teachers need: enough time to teach language arts, well-stocked classroom libraries, student input, and meaningful professional development. Take this simple quiz to help you become more mindful in using digital technology with young children. It's all about content that is educational and developmentally appropriate, a context that encourages conversation and learning, and the needs of each individual child.
Choose wisely! This list is not exhaustive, but gives parents and educators a good idea of what to look for when considering an app and evaluating its educational value. Use app review sites and advice from literacy experts — including your local media mentor or librarian — to find materials that match children's needs. In this webinar from the Center on Technology and Disability, AT specialists demonstrate AT tools to support students with dyslexia and discuss teaching interventions that are explicit, systematic, and multisensory, with plenty of opportunities for practice.
Teaching experience supports a multi-sensory instruction approach in the early grades to improve phonemic awareness, phonics, and reading comprehension skills. Multi-sensory instruction combines listening, speaking, reading, and a tactile or kinesthetic activity. Children's picture books about autism can be a valuable resource for teachers in inclusive classrooms attempting to teach awareness, empathy, and acceptance among students.
This article provides instructional tips for educators and offers suggestions for using children's picture books about autism to encourage positive, inclusive instruction. How can parents support their children when they encounter an unknown word while reading? Fortunately, there are other ways to help a beginning reader figure out the unknown word. Here are nine suggestions for what you might say. Many children are living with autism spectrum disorder ASD , and they need services and support, now and as they grow into adolescence and adulthood.
More can be done to ensure that children with ASD are evaluated as soon as possible after developmental concerns are recognized. A veteran teacher describes how she used visualization, Google images, video, and Skype to build background knowledge and enrich her students' classroom read aloud of a fiction book about ospreys in the UK. Effective IR programs require active teacher engagement, time, a broad range of leveled texts, talk around texts, and differentiated instruction. The benefits are well worth it: increased student achievement, motivation, and a love of reading.
Many struggling and special needs students have a print disability. Learn about the seven features of "born accessible materials " and how to select these materials for your school and classroom. In this overview for parents, learn more about what Common Core is and how to know whether a teacher is providing developmentally appropriate instruction to address the CCSS for your child.
Here are some of the questions you might ask yourself. Learn how to use two different Augmentative and Alternative Communication ACC activity boards to help toddlers and preschoolers expand what they are able to communicate. Autism spectrum disorder ASD can be easy to miss in young children. Treating communication and language difficulties early on can prevent potential problems with behavior, learning, reading and social interaction.
Learn more about the five ways that early intervention can help your child and your family. In this webinar from the Center on Technology and Disability, you'll learn about the current research on the use of technology for children birth to 8 years, and the implications of using these tech tools for early learning.
There are many people at your child's school who are there to help your child learn, grow socially and emotionally, and navigate the school environment. Here's a selected list of who's who at your school: the teaching and administrative staff as well as organizations at the district level. You might want to keep this list handy all year long. This article explains how to create and use a daybook in the literacy classroom.
Readers learn what a daybook is, how the daybook in one fourth and fifth grade classroom is structured, and how students in this classroom use that daybook during reading instruction to engage, record important information, and discuss a text. Three patterns of reading difficulties are common. This article explains how recognizing these three patterns can provide a valuable starting point for planning reading instruction and interventions.
Inferential comprehension requires both emotional intelligence and cognitive skills, however instructional comprehension strategies typically underemphasize the emotional contribution. This article documents an intervention used by diverse third grade students which centers on teaching story comprehension through character perspective-taking i. Go on a heroes reading adventure! Teachers can support reading together at home with our reading adventure packs — designed to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books.
Level: Second or Third Grade. Reading Rockets has developed a set of reading adventure packs to encourage hands-on fun and learning centered around paired fiction and nonfiction books. Teaching children with autism to comprehend text can be challenging. Here are some strategies educators can incorporate into daily lessons to meet the literacy needs of their students.
Go on a birding reading adventure! Find out the characteristics of students with autism spectrum disorder ASD that make writing difficult, and how use of technology can help support writing development. To comprehend a story or text, young readers need a threshold of knowledge about the topic, and new, tougher state standards place increasing demands on children's prior knowledge.
This article offers practical classroom strategies to build background knowledge such as using contrasts and comparisons and encouraging topic-focused wide reading. Drawing on instructional materials, classroom images, and observational data from research, the authors illustrate these principles: establishing efficient, rich routines for introducing target word meanings; providing review activities that promote deep processing of word meanings; responding directly to student confusion; and fostering universal participation in and accountability for vocabulary instruction.
9 Facts About Telepathic Communication - Operation Meditation
Wordless picture books may be better defined by what they do contain — visually rendered narratives — rather than what they do not contain. This article challenges traditional ways of looking at wordless picturebooks and offers a few approaches for integrating wordless picturebooks into a wider range of classrooms, preschool through middle school. Oral language development facilitates print literacy. In this article, we focus on the ways in which teachers can ensure students' speaking and listening skills are developed.
We provide a review of effective classroom routines, including some that can be enhanced with technology. This teaching tip highlights a strategy that assists teachers in structuring classroom discussions about texts. Specifically, this conversational technique helps students think and talk about a text beyond its literal meaning. Students learn to make decisions about why a particular phrase is the Most Valuable Phrase MVP within a text as a whole.
Find out how to help your students improve their writing through activities and tools that support the drafting stage. Show your students how to use technology tools to create, revise, and store their drafts in a digital writing portfolio. An effective way to begin the writing process is to focus on prewriting, which involves organizing ideas, setting goals, and exploring topics.
Learn about technology-enhanced strategies to help students create a "road map" that can guide them through the writing process. When students engage in "word analysis" or "word study," they break words down into their smallest units of meaning — morphemes. Discover effective strategies for classroom word study, including the use of online tools, captioning, and embedded supports to differentiate instruction. Interactive writing is a dynamic instructional method where teacher and students work together to construct a meaningful text while discussing the details of the writing process.
The writing demands of the Common Core standards require explicit and efficient teaching guidance, which is at the heart of interactive writing. Learn four specific ways teachers can adapt this practice when working with children in grades who are more developed writers. Semantic maps or graphic organizers help students, especially struggling students and those with disabilities, to identify, understand, and recall the meaning of words they read in the text. Vocabulary lies at the heart of content learning. To support the development of vocabulary in the content areas, teachers need to give their students time to read widely, intentionally select words worthy of instruction, model their own word solving strategies, and provide students with opportunities to engage in collaborative conversations.
This commentary discusses what disciplinary literacy is and why it is important. It then discusses the ways in which elementary school teachers can infuse aspects of disciplinary literacy into elementary instruction. It argues that the Common Core Standards, even those at the K-6 level, are providing avenues for preparation for disciplinary literacy. When a student is trying to decipher the meaning of a new word, it's often useful to look at what comes before and after that word.
Learn more about the six common types of context clues, how to use them in the classroom and the role of embedded supports in digital text. A classroom teacher examines the importance of the nonfiction read aloud as part of ongoing daily instruction, and highlights the need to empower students in both academic achievement, and as life long lovers of nonfiction, through focused informational literature. For years, the field of reading education has been engaged in thinking about best practices. Explicit instruction in vocabulary, rereading and using digital textbooks to motivate children's reading are among some of these updated best practices.
Those in the reading community are urged to consider best practices, and how we may promote their uses, with high fidelity in classroom instruction. Just a few pages from your newspaper can be turned into lots of early learning activities. Here you'll find "letters and words" activities for the youngest, plus fun writing prompts and tips on how to read and analyze the news for older kids. For some, every step of the writing process is difficult — including spelling, handwriting and getting organized ideas onto paper.
In this edition of Growing Readers, you'll learn more about dysgraphia and how you can support your child's writing. The birth of a child with a disability, or the discovery that a child has a disability, can have profound effects on the family. In this article, you'll find information to support the life cycle, health, and well-being of the family when a son or daughter has a disability.
One potential way of fostering empathy in young children is through picturebooks. Learn about empathy, theory of mind, the development of emotional intelligence, and the role of picturebooks in the classroom. Preschool aged children love to write — they're always in search of a marker or crayon. Those early scribbles are an important step on the path to literacy. Parents and preschool teachers can support a writer's efforts in some very simple ways.
And it's never too early to start! Go on an archaeological reading adventure! Coding builds logical thinking and problem-solving skills. It's also creative and collaborative! Find out how you can introduce your child to the basic concepts of programming. Concepts of print need to be expanded to include graphics, with instruction in how to read and analyze graphical devices such as diagrams, timelines, and tables.
Learn more about how to teach young students to read and understand visual information. Is your school using the new Common Core standards? This is a big change for students — and their parents. Get to know the four "anchors" of the Common Core writing standards and simple things you can do at home to help your child build skills in all of these areas.
Go on a reading adventure to learn all about our government! Get to know what the four main areas of the Common Core reading standards mean and simple things you can do at home to help your child build skills in these areas. How can we supplement the limited time available for vocabulary instruction while motivating students to attend to the words they are learning? As a part of an academic word vocabulary intervention, the authors challenged sixth-grade students to find their words in the world around them.
Writing for an audience gives kids a reason to use their developing reading and writing skills. Here are some tips to get you and your child started with free, safe blogging sites. In many states, third graders who cannot read proficiently are required to repeat that year. This policy, known as mandatory retention, can greatly impact students' emotional and cognitive development. In an effort to reconcile the academic and social needs of young learners, this article addresses the pros and cons of mandatory retention, global treatment of the problem, and possible solutions.
Learn more at the National Center on Response to Intervention. Daniel Willingham, Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, answers questions about effective teaching, reading comprehension, cognitive science, and more. Tracy Gray, a nationally recognized expert in education and technology implementation, answers questions about the use of technology to support struggling readers and writers, including children with learning disabilities. For most parents, it's a challenge to keep kids reading and writing all summer.
Suddenly 10 weeks of summer can feel like a very long time! We've got 10 ideas to help make this summer full of fun, creativity and learning. Smartphones and tablets are everywhere, and even our youngest children interact with technology on a daily basis. Find out what you as a parent can be doing to help your young learner navigate the digital world — you may need to reconsider how you connect with your child during technology use.
Go on a "robot" reading adventure! Learn about the features in e-books that may distract, support, or extend comprehension and the need for more scaffolding of reading instruction with e-books. The article also addresses ways to familiarize students with multi-touch tablet devices while encouraging students and teachers to transfer print-based reading strategies to this new medium. Providing young children with rich writing experiences can lay a foundation for literacy learning.
This article presents a framework for individualizing early writing instruction in the preschool classroom. April 22nd is Earth Day, an annual celebration dedicated to environmental awareness. Discover five ways you and your family can participate in Earth Day while also practicing reading and writing skills. Go on a "gardening" reading adventure! Learn the basics about Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD , including incidence and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention.
From activating prior knowledge to exploring language to capturing character, discover ten ways to integrate poetry into your language, reading, and writing lessons. Discover ways to support literacy skills such as predicting, inference, cause and effect, and categorizing, as well as build STEM vocabulary and background knowledge, at home and in the classroom.
Sharing wordless books is a terrific way to build important literacy skills, including listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension and an increased awareness of how stories are structured. Electronic books are becoming more and more commonplace. Here you'll discover practical tips for sharing e-books with your child, and how to keep the focus on reading and the story. Learn more about the English spelling system, how spelling supports reading, why children with dyslexia and dysgraphia struggle, which words should be taught, and instruction that works.
Give your students a chance to deepen and share their travel experiences through narrative writing, diagrams and illustrations, and the reading of all kinds of print including maps, brochures and menus. Authentic reading and writing experiences help students connect what's happening in class to the real world outside.
Your child may be at a school where they are using an approach called "flipped classroom" or "flipped lesson. Nonfiction books give kids a chance to learn new concepts and vocabulary, as well as broaden their view of the world. Learn how to take a "book walk" with a new nonfiction book and how to model active reading.
Most kids love stories, but not all love to read. Discover 10 creative ways to encourage active kids who would rather run than read, to enjoy digging into books. The winter holidays are a great time to create low-key learning opportunities centered around books, storytelling, writing, and family adventures. Learn about AT devices that can be used to help children with disabilities participate more fully in literacy-promoting activities and routines.
Our interconnected and digital world demands a lot of our learners. Here are five simple ways to help build your child's critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Discover simple at-home activities you can use to help your child understand the connection between the letters of the alphabet and the sound associated with each letter. Finding the right book for your child means finding something your child wants to read AND making sure it's at the right level for your child.
Children's author and historian Marc Aronson discusses the importance of reading nonfiction in developing critical thinking skills. The Lead for Literacy initiative is a series of one-page memos for policymakers and early literacy leaders on how to improve young children's literacy, birth to age 9. Using evidence from research, these briefs are designed to help leaders avoid common mistakes and present solutions and strategies for scalability and impact. If you've been around classrooms and teachers, you've probably heard the term "fluency.
Read on to find out what it is and how to develop it in your young learner. In plain language, find out what the Common Core Standards are, how student progress will be measured, their impact on English language learners, and how to stay informed. Calendars help young children learn the basics of the days of the week and the months of the year. Your family calendar offers opportunities for other learning as well, including vocabulary, sequencing, and math. Go on a "money" reading adventure! Level: Third Grade.
John Henry Newman
To get the most out of a shared reading, encourage your child to appreciate the pictures, and also guide their attention to printed words. Doing so may help your child's reading, spelling, and comprehension skills down the road. Reading stamina is a child's ability to focus and read independently for long-ish periods of time without being distracted or without distracting others.
Find out how you can help your child develop reading stamina. This practice guide provides four recommendations for improving elementary students' writing. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common roadblocks. The recommendations also summarize and rate supporting evidence. This guide is geared toward teachers, literacy coaches, and other educators who want to improve the writing of their elementary students. Go on a "night sky" reading adventure! Go on a "flying" reading adventure!
Science fiction is a type of fiction where the stories revolve around science and technology of the future. As exciting as these books can be, it's good to remind your child that while science fiction may be based loosely on scientific truth, it is still fiction. Learn how technology tools can support struggling students and those with learning disabilities in acquiring background knowledge and vocabulary, improving their reading comprehension, and making connections between reading and writing.
Learn about a partnership between Georgetown University and a local community outpatient care clinic to help improve the early identification of autism in young Latino children, including lessons learned that are relevant to school settings, such as effective communication approaches and building strong relationships with diverse families. Universal Design for Learning UDL provides the opportunity for all students to access, participate in, and progress in the general-education curriculum by reducing barriers to instruction.
Learn more about how UDL offers options for how information is presented, how students respond or demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and how students are engaged in learning. Go on a "bees" reading adventure! Go on a "river" reading adventure! Read and discuss poetry with nature imagery with students. Take students on a poetry walk around the school, neighborhood, or community to observe and collect sensory images from direct experience with nature: the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of things outdoors.
Students can take a poetry journal with them to write down words as they observe, listen, smell, and touch things outside the classroom. Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects a child's handwriting. Children with dysgraphia usually have other problems such as difficulty with written expression. Learn more about causes, the importance of early assessment, dysgraphia and spelling, and effective instructional strategies that strengthen written language skills. Creativity is an important characteristic to foster in your child. Fostering a creative spirit will give your child experience identifying a problem and coming up with new ideas for solving it.
Here are four ways to encourage creativity in your young child. This checklist helps parents find out how well they are doing in creating a literacy-rich environment in their home, and what more they can do to enrich their child's exposure to books and reading. Explore two ways you can help your child begin to develop information literacy: learning to tell the difference between fact and opinion, and figuring out if a source of information is reliable. Interactive writing makes the writing process visual to the whole class.
Reading literature is an excellent way to initiate interactive writing in the class, and the teacher can continue using literature as the class does interactive writing with any new book that is read throughout the year. Science learning involves lots of new vocabulary words. Focusing on root words, prefixes and suffixes can help your child learn new science words more quickly and become a word detective! Parents are a child's first teacher, and there are many simple things you can do every day to share the joy of reading while strengthening your child's literacy skills.
Writing in journals can be a powerful strategy for students to respond to literature, gain writing fluency, dialogue in writing with another student or the teacher, or write in the content areas. While journaling is a form of writing in its own right, students can also freely generate ideas for other types of writing as they journal. Teachers can use literature that takes the form of a journal by reading excerpts and discussing them with students. Go on a "building" reading adventure! Level: First or Second Grade. Many kids love to read about science and nature as well as real people, places, and events.
Nonfiction books present information in engaging and interesting ways. Find out how you can help your child learn to navigate all the parts of a nonfiction book — from the table of contents to the diagrams, captions, glossary, and index. Almost every week there is a news story about a new finding or discovery in science. These news stories are one of the exciting steps in the science world: sharing what you find!
Helping kids share their own scientific findings will make them feel like part of the scientific community. In addition to the unique gifts and interests that autistic students bring to the classroom as people, their responses can serve as an early warning system for pedagogical problems that are happening in the classroom as a whole. Real-life scientists use charts and graphs as a way to organize and understand the information they have gathered.
Young scientists can do the same! These activities will help you and your child create simple bar charts together, learn the vocabulary of graphing, and have fun building graphs using real objects. Inferences are what we figure out based on an experience. Helping your child understand when information is implied or not directly stated will improve her skill in drawing conclusions and making inferences.
These skills will be needed for all sorts of school assignments, including reading, science and social studies. Regardless of the different names, the intent is the same — to develop fluent readers by providing time during the school day for students to select a book and read quietly. Nearly every classroom provides some time during the instructional day for this independent silent reading. Despite its widespread use in classrooms, silent reading hasn't enjoyed much support in the research literature. Go on a "weather" reading adventure! Discover some simple hands-on activities and games that can be done at home or in the backyard to help your child develop a deeper understanding of cause and effect — and strengthen reading comprehension and scientific inquiry skills.
Get the basic facts about what it takes for a young child to learn to read, best practices in teaching reading, the importance of oral language in literacy development, why so many children struggle, and more in this overview. Helping children understand the concept of sequence develops both literacy and scientific inquiry skills. Here are a few simple activities that families can do together to give kids opportunities to observe, record, and think about sequencing. Go on a "cooking" reading adventure! If you are planning to purchase an intervention program for instruction, get as much information as you can about a program's benefits and effectiveness.
This article provides basic comparative information about a range of commercially available intervention programs. The struggling second and third graders in this study increased their reading comprehension after a week Readers Theatre podcasting project. Podcasting made the students aware of a wider audience, which enhanced the authenticity and social nature of the strategy, and made their performances permanent so they could be stored and conveniently retrieved for later listening and evaluation.
Keeping a science notebook encourages students to record and reflect on inquiry-based observations, activities, investigations, and experiments. Science notebooks are also an excellent way for students to communicate their understanding of science concepts, and for teachers to provide students with feedback. When fiction and nonfiction books are integrated into the teaching of a content area such as science, graphic organizers are useful for organizing information and enabling students to classify observations and facts, comprehend the relationships among phenomenon, draw conclusions, develop explanations, and generalize scientific concepts.
Research has shown that fluent oral reading learned through performance reading leads not only to engagement in and enjoyment of reading for students, but to reading comprehension. Learn how to integrate performance reading activities into your classroom. Children begin using their senses to recognize patterns and categorize things at a young age — skills that play an important role in early learning. This tip sheet provides some simple activities, as well as recommended books, that parents can use to help their kids build pattern recognition and categorization skills in science and math.
Go on an "ocean" reading adventure! Level: First Grade. Go on a "rocks" reading adventure! Young kids love technology, gadgets, and nature! While parents may be looking for ways to reduce screen time for their kids, here are a few helpful suggestions for integrating simple technology and books into your outdoor adventures in a fun and educational way.
This study of first and second graders looked at teacher-led read-alouds as a way to introduce science concepts. Results suggest that multiple exposures to a related concept across different stories gave students more time to build a mental representation of important ideas. This evidence suggests that moving beyond a single text as a source for building students' understanding is an important instructional approach.
Science and math explorations give your growing reader a chance to strengthen observation and writing skills by keeping a special journal to fill with sketches, notes, and graphs. Try these ideas to get your child started. Teachers often find it difficult to integrate writing and mathematics while honoring the integrity of both disciplines. In this article, the authors present two levels of integration that teachers may use as a starting point. The first level, writing without revision, can be worked into mathematics instruction quickly and readily.
The second level, writing with revision, may take more time but enables teachers to connect the writing process more fully with mathematics instruction. Six examples are provided, including student work, in which teachers have successfully attended to the goals of both writing and mathematics. One motivating, engaging, and inexpensive way to help build the foundational reading skills of students is through the use of closed-captioned and subtitled television shows and movies.
These supports can help boost foundational reading skills, such as phonics, word recognition, and fluency. These seven steps provide an approach to spelling instruction that encourages word study based on the words students experience in their daily writing activities. The goal of intentional spelling is to shift spelling instruction from a focus on the number of words spelled correctly to developing an understanding of how words work. Hands-on measurement activities are fun to explore with children.
Introduce your young learner to these interesting new vocabulary words and knowledge, and help your child develop an early love of measuring everything in sight! Children with speech and language problems may have trouble sharing their thoughts with words or gestures. They may also have a hard time saying words clearly and understanding spoken or written language. Reading to your child and having her name objects in a book or read aloud to you can strengthen her speech and language skills.
You'll find sharing books together is a great way to bond with your son or daughter and help your child's development at the same time. Give your child a great gift that will last for life — the love of books. This article presents a developmental framework of informational writing developed from a study of children's writing in K-5 classrooms. See examples of children's compositions at each developmental level, and learn how to use this continuum to support increasingly more mature forms of informational text. How will they affect teaching and assessing mathematics and English language arts?
What are the benefits and what can parents do to prepare for the CCSS? Go on a "Lorax" reading adventure! Scientists, just like readers, make predictions all the time. Help your child begin to see the connection between what she does as a reader and what she can do as a scientist. Here are two simple ways you can encourage your child to put her prediction skills to work as a scientist. Many of the "tools" needed for science, math, and engineering exploration are right inside your home! Here are five ideas for putting everyday tools to work for some everyday fun:. Drawing on research-based principles of vocabulary instruction and multimedia learning, this article presents 10 strategies that use free digital tools and Internet resources to engage students in vocabulary learning.
The strategies are designed to support the teaching of words and word learning strategies, promote students' strategic use of on-demand web-based vocabulary tools, and increase students' volume of reading and incidental word learning. Expository text can be challenging to young readers because of the unfamiliar concepts and vocabulary it presents.
Discover ways to help your students analyze expository text structures and pull apart the text to uncover the main idea and supporting details. The What Works Clearinghouse reviewed the research on two practices used in center-based settings with 3- to 5-year-old preK children, as well as a number of specific curricula. Positive results are shown for 1 Phonological awareness training and 2 Interactive and dialogic reading. Explore the five recommended practices for teaching literacy in English to English language learners: 1 Screen and monitor progress, 2 Provide reading interventions, 3 Teach vocabulary, 4 Develop academic English, and 5 Schedule peer learning.
One way parents can help children become interested in science is by explaining the scientific process. The scientific process is the way scientists go about asking and answering scientific questions by making observations and doing experiments. It starts with asking a question. Familiarity with Greek and Latin roots, as well as prefixes and suffixes, can help students understand the meaning of new words. This article includes many of the most common examples. All parents want their children to receive the best education possible.
One way to help your child succeed is to know if the school is using effective teaching and intervention practices.
The Kindergarten Program 2016
But how can schools and parents know if a practice is effective? One method is to see if there is any research or "evidence" to prove that the practice works. This handout explains the meaning of "evidence-based practices" and why they are important. It also lists resources where parents can learn more. The purpose of report cards is to communicate about a child's progress across subject areas.
Some kids, especially those having difficulty in school, dread report card time. Here are some suggestions for making report card time a little less scary and a little more productive. Students often have difficulty understanding abstract map symbols. Learn how to introduce map skills with literature that contextualizes mapping in a narrative, can be related to where in the world each student lives, and engages students by actively "doing geography.
Music stories are compositions of a narrative or descriptive sort. Students can listen for the story in the music, and this type of music can be integrated with literature, literacy, social studies, science, mathematics, and the other arts. Learn about evidence-based practices that encourage first graders' engagement with texts. The authors review reading as a transactional process, revisit the benefits of reading aloud to students, discuss three literacy strategies implemented in one first-grade classroom, and share examples of student work. Stepping outside is a simple way to set foot into nature's laboratory.
Backyards and neighborhood walks can lead to interesting conversations, new vocabulary words, observations, predictions, and investigations. Try these fun outdoor exploration activities to nurture the budding scientist or mathematician in your home! Homework is important, but helping children with homework isn't always easy.
Here are some ways you can make homework easier for everyone! Classrooms can be perilous in a number of ways for students with learning disabilities. Here are some tips to remember when working with students with LD. Find out how it benefits all students to read challenging texts. Rather than avoiding any use of more difficult texts, teachers can use instructional support to help students gain access to a more challenging reading experience. Learn how to make shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading more powerful and effective in your classrooms.
Critical thinking, the ability to think deeply about a topic or a book, is an essential skill for children to develop. Here are some helpful tips and recommended books to strengthen your child's ability to think critically. Students with autism may have unique needs with learning, social skills, and communication. These ten simple ideas will help teachers address some of these needs and provide guidance for bringing out the best in learners with autism.
For many learners with autism, transitions are the toughest part of schooling. These four strategies are designed to prepare the learner with autism for a new school or a new schooling experience and can be used days or months before the student arrives as well as throughout the school year. To create environments most conducive to learning for students with autism and their peers without disabilities, teachers may need to examine ways in which classroom spaces are organized.
Specifically, teachers may need to consider the sounds, smells, lighting, and seating options in the classrooms. Speech recognition, also referred to as speech-to-text or voice recognition, is technology that recognizes speech, allowing voice to serve as the "main interface between the human and the computer. No one wants to start their day in a frenzied mess of untied shoes and breakfast in hand as the school bus approaches. Follow these five short recommendations for smoothing out those rough mornings. Go on a "snowy day" reading adventure! Level: Kindergarten. Our Top 8 back-to-school tips for parents emphasize communication, organization, and staying up-to-date on special education news.
The framework provided in this article for viewing students' science writing offers teachers the opportunity to assess and support scientific language acquisition. Go on a "farm" reading adventure! Our top 10 back-to-school tips for special education teachers emphasize communication, organization, and a focus on student success. Learn how to teach children to write informational text through the use of focused read-alouds that include discussions of information book genre elements, features, and organizational structure.
See examples of book compositions by second-grade authors that demonstrate how read-alouds can support young writers' genre knowledge development. Summer's temperatures often send kids and parents inside to cooler air. Here are a few tips to make the most of those hot afternoons with some literacy and math fun using only your newspaper, computer, or other household items. The text feature walk guides students in the reading of text features in order to access prior knowledge, make connections, and set a purpose for reading expository text.
For our bioinformatics curricula, teacher feedback led to the expansion of teacher background and procedure instructions in each lesson, as well as incorporation of multiple screen capture images in student instruction handouts to help students navigate and use bioinformatics tools and databases. Improved visual aids permitted most lessons to be completed in the time allotted to the average high school class and reduced reports of student frustration.
During professional development workshops, Stars and Wishes forms, group discussions, and opportunities for teachers to critique curriculum lessons provided ongoing program feedback and assessment and helped to foster a sense of community among teachers and program staff. Respecting teachers as peers and active participants in the iterative curriculum-development process is likely to increase their sense of ownership of the curricular materials, as well as improve the likelihood of successfully meeting program goals.
Following the 2-wk professional development for teachers in Summer , teachers demonstrated significant gains in the areas of career awareness, self-efficacy, and engagement, and these gains were largely sustained throughout the — academic year. Comments from teachers revealed numerous benefits of the professional development model utilized by NWABR. This provided opportunities to ask questions and gain insights about how each lesson could be implemented in their classrooms, to learn how advances in technology had contributed to the materials presented, and to make more explicit connections between curriculum content and STEM careers.
Teachers also noted that hands-on wet labs and computer activities provided many opportunities for them to become more familiar with computational and bioinformatics tools. Having teachers experience the curriculum lessons helped uncover a number of teacher misconceptions related to bioinformatics and molecular biology. These included a lack of understanding or knowledge about: the presence of genes on both strands of DNA in a given chromosome; the strand of DNA anti-sense vs.
These misconceptions were explicitly addressed in later versions of the lessons and teacher professional development workshops. Ample time for teacher feedback, opportunities and diverse venues for questions, and support by program staff and guest scientists are especially valuable when teaching complex subjects such as bioinformatics. It became clear during the workshops that teachers varied widely in their technical skills.
During the Summer workshop, it became clear that there was a need for instruction in the basic computer skills necessary for bioinformatics analyses, such as finding downloaded files, copying and pasting text DNA and protein sequences , understanding file formats, finding specific text or sequences within a document or on a Web page, capturing screen images, and bookmarking Web pages. This led to the implementation of Computer Skills in subsequent Summer professional development workshops i. Many of these skills also proved to be useful for teachers in other settings. Preworkshop surveys of teacher computer skills, practice exercises on preworkshop homework, and having additional program staff and guest scientists available to assist early in the workshops also helped improve instruction.
Peer mentoring pairing more experienced teachers with less experienced teachers during workshop activities was also an effective approach, resulting in both enhanced learning and a sense of teamwork and camaraderie. Hands-on experiences using the tools of science, time for questions and uncovering common misconceptions that can present barriers to learning, preassessment of existing skills, and peer mentoring are all effective approaches to teacher professional development that can be implemented in a variety of STEM fields.
Teachers indicated that the chance to network with professional scientists, as well as with other science teachers, was of great benefit to them. Including scientists throughout the sessions—as tour guides, members of panel discussions, and during one-on-one interactions—allowed teachers to interact with and question the scientists about their work and experiences using bioinformatics on a daily basis. Personal stories from scientists, such as how they chose their current career and what they love most and least about their jobs as scientists, resonated with teachers and students alike.
These anecdotes help humanize scientists for both teachers and students. Exposure to diverse career professionals illustrates the many different approaches that are utilized in a particular field, and the diversity of career professionals themselves may help to dispel many of the stereotypes of scientists that persist in the American psyche. Similar gains were found among advanced unit students.
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Intentional integration of careers into each curriculum lesson, as well as the culminating career lessons, helped students understand the many different careers related to genetic testing and genetic research. Interviews and photos were provided with each career to help students connect that career with a real-world STEM professional. Diversity of STEM individuals featured was a key consideration in lesson development, with an emphasis on women and individuals from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM, including people who were the first in their families to attend college.
Many students do not have access to STEM professionals as role models. I struggle to incorporate this piece into my teaching on a regular basis. To have the career tie-in treated with intentionality and structured in a way that encourages students to really pay attention, was fabulous.
They also were able to see an application of technology in science, and for my students, I think that was greatly valuable as well. Including stories or examples of STEM professionals throughout curriculum units may be an effective approach in a number of different STEM fields to promote career awareness among students. The sense of self-efficacy that can arise from the ability to use the same tools used by practicing scientists may be a key factor in encouraging young people to consider a science career.
A Bio-ITEST teacher noted that, while the incorporation of career profiles and work responsibilities may have increased student career awareness, actually performing the types of computer analyses used by scientists is also compelling for students:. Emphasis on the practices of science via bioinformatics databases and tools is particularly timely, given the release of A Framework for K—12 Science Education NRC, The fact that the tools used including BLAST, Cn3D, and FinchTV are authentic bioinformatics tools used by scientists, not simplified or scaled-down versions made specifically for students, was also compelling:.
While postunit measures of self-efficacy were significantly higher among students who experienced both the introductory and advanced units, only the advanced postunit survey showed significant gains in student engagement. This could be a result of a number of factors. Only the advanced unit contained hands-on wet-lab activities that, coupled with the computer-based activities, may have promoted greater engagement among these students. Students participating in the introductory unit were much more likely than advanced unit students to experience significant technology problems, such as limited access to computers and required programs e.
In addition, students who participated in the advanced unit spent more time on the Bio-ITEST activities a total of 10—15 lessons for the introductory plus advanced unit students vs. It is important to note, however, that self-efficacy and engagement are intrinsically related to one another. When students are engaged with lessons or activities, they may be more motivated to improve their skills, leading to increases in self-efficacy.
Conversely, a sense of self-efficacy can encourage students to explore subject matter more deeply, promoting greater engagement. In other words, students started the introductory unit having a positive relationship between self-efficacy and engagement i. Further, this relationship grew stronger over the course of the introductory unit intervention. If a student made gains in self-efficacy, he or she also tended to make gains in engagement. Importantly, this correlation works in either direction: if a student made gains in engagement, he or she also tended to make gains in self-efficacy. Because this is a correlational study, we cannot untangle the causal direction of the two variables and suspect that for some students self-efficacy may lead to greater engagement, while for other students engagement may lead to greater self-efficacy.
Additional research is needed to disentangle these effects. Whether by means of self-efficacy or engagement, or both, providing ample opportunities for students to use the authentic tools from a particular STEM field helps them understand what a career in that STEM field might entail. The National Education Science Standards NRC, and A Framework for K—12 Science Education NRC, emphasize not only science content and processes, but also the social contexts of science and the real-world decision making that students will face in their everyday lives.
NWABR has successfully utilized socio-scientific issues and ethical discussion strategies to promote student interest in science content Chowning, , a , b. In our prior program evaluations, NWABR teachers have also reported increases in student interest in science-related material when it is framed within a socio-scientific narrative. Our prior work and the input of our curriculum-development teachers provided the foundation for our selection of genetic testing as the focus of the introductory unit and informed the inclusion of bioethics lessons in both curriculum units.
However, students began the unit with fairly high scores measuring their interest in how science knowledge guides ethical decision making a measure of relevance , and these scores changed little postunit. In addition, students reported significant gains on a related retrospective question evaluating their understanding of ethical issues in genetic testing and similar gains on a retrospective question about their understanding of the connection between biology content and issues they might face in their personal lives.
These scores changed little postunit, suggesting that students did in fact believe that having society learn about science is important, and exposure to the curriculum unit did not change those beliefs. During our research, we noted the key role of teachers in facilitating STEM career awareness; this role and its implications are discussed in detail elsewhere Cohen et al. Many schools or districts require notification of the IT department weeks or months in advance of unit instruction to ensure computer availability and program installation.
For some teachers, even this advanced notice was insufficient to overcome logistical issues, such as the extensive use of school computers for high-stakes testing. As a result, in some classes, computer-based lessons were covered out of their intended lesson-order sequence or were skipped entirely. More than half of the teachers reported difficulty obtaining access to computers for student use. This approach still covered lesson material, but the hands-on experience for her 28 students was compromised.
In classes with limited access to computers, computer activities were performed in medium 3—4 or large 8—10 groups of students working together on a single computer. Students in the three classes that participated in the advanced unit showed significant retrospective postunit gains in all areas measured, including engagement.
The third advanced unit class had a ratio of three to four students per computer. The evaluation was not designed to stratify student responses based on access to or challenges with computer technology. When implementing technology-rich curricula, it is important to be aware of school and district policies regarding installation of computer programs, request access to student computers well in advance of unit instruction, and develop backup plans in the event of technology problems.
Questions of student access to technology i. While the evaluation did not document permutations in implementation, it is important to note that even for those who trialed most or all of the lessons, fidelity of implementation varied. Some teachers were constrained by school or district mandates on curriculum content, and thus did not teach courses in which the material would be relevant during that academic year, or believed that the material was too difficult for their introductory biology students.
Some lessons were skipped, taught out of sequence, or modified due to the technical issues described above. In some instances, these derivations led to new ideas and approaches to lesson implementation, extension exercises, and other lesson revisions. For example, the mock job interview and social networking activities in the culminating career lessons were initially developed by field-test teachers as lesson permutations prior to their incorporation into the final version of the curriculum units.
Nonetheless, the gains in student career awareness, relevance, self-efficacy, and post—advanced unit engagement were encouraging, given the length of the intervention usually six to nine lessons taught in a 1- to 2-wk period and the challenges to implementation noted above. One can view fidelity and flexibility as two sides of the same implementation coin.
However, flexibility and teacher adaptation of lesson components has the potential to dilute what may already be a short-term intervention, which makes measuring the outcomes of the intervention more challenging. The survey instruments and career constructs utilized in this study provided a valuable means to assess program impacts on teachers and students; however, they have their limitations. The development of STEM identities among students is not a linear process, nor do all students experience to the same degree every component of the career development model that guided this study.
The limited number of teachers who participated in the research study may have impacted the ability to detect a correlation between teacher change and student change. In addition, variations in fidelity of implementation could also influence these results. Finally, there may be some areas in which a correlation might not be expected.
For example, students may be more comfortable with some aspects of technology than teachers are, so some areas in which teachers needed professional development and showed gains on survey items may not be the same areas in which change among students would be expected.
Future studies would benefit from a greater number of teacher participants, as well as additional refinement of survey instruments, such as inclusion of a measure of engagement on the retrospective postintroductory unit survey. It would also be valuable to determine the generalizability of these findings to other STEM fields that utilize curriculum development and teacher professional development to promote student interest in STEM careers.
For example, we believe that the effects of socio-scientific discussions on student interest in course content and careers in other STEM fields warrant further investigation. High school science curricula that explore real-world problems and utilize authentic science tools appear to be an effective way to interest students in STEM content and promote self-efficacy. Additionally, incorporating ethical theory and discussing the socio-scientific issues arising from emerging genetic technologies appears to help students understand the relevance of the science material.
Intentionally integrating career components into the curriculum helps acquaint students with the types of STEM careers available, the type of work each STEM professional performs, and the training and education requirements. Like many emerging areas of STEM, bioinformatics tools are complex and their use is challenging to teach. In addition, their user interfaces change often. However, utilizing the same bioinformatics tools that scientists use, such as the NCBI databases, BLAST, and Cn3D, promotes student interest and provides access to the wealth of biological data accumulated by scientists around the world.
Familiarity with these tools will serve these students well if they pursue careers in STEM fields. For students who do not pursue careers in STEM, understanding the applications and limitations of bioinformatics tools and emerging genetic technologies will assist them in making informed decisions about medical advances they read about in the popular press or in the ballot booth. Pang, PhD, for their assistance in program development and implementation and their review of the manuscript components. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Potential conflict of interest: D. No promotion of these curricula to the exclusion of other curricula should be construed. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Dina N. Davis G. Elizabeth A. Karen A. Sandra G. Linnea Fletcher, Monitoring Editor. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Address correspondence to: Jeanne Ting Chowning gro. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author s.
It is available to the public under an Attribution—Noncommercial—Share Alike 3. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract We investigated the effects of our Bio-ITEST teacher professional development model and bioinformatics curricula on cognitive traits awareness, engagement, self-efficacy, and relevance in high school teachers and students that are known to accompany a developing interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics STEM careers.
Bioinformatics and the Data-Driven Nature of Today's Biology Advances in data-intensive sampling methods, such as high-throughput DNA sequencing, proteomics, metabolomic characterization of complex biological samples, and high-resolution imaging of various living systems, have led to exponential growth in the amount of biological data available and rapid changes in how biological information is used.
Introductory Curriculum: The introductory bioinformatics curriculum, Using Bioinformatics: Genetic Testing , introduces students to a collection of bioinformatics tools and explores the ethical issues surrounding genetic testing. Table 1. Title Learning objectives Activities Featured career and rationale Lesson 1: Bioinformatics and Genetic Testing Genetic tests are available for many conditions, but vary in their clinical validity and usefulness.
Genetic tests can have social and ethical implications. Genetic tests are developed using the biological information available in databases such as the one at the NCBI. Ethical principles can be applied to many situations, assist in considering alternative perspectives, and facilitate engagement in discussion and decision making. Structured academic controversy using a short case study about a woman considering BRCA1 genetic testing Genetic counselor: helps people consider the risks and benefits of genetic testing Lesson 4: Understanding Genetic Tests to Detect BRCA1 Mutations Reference sequences are used to determine whether patient DNA sequences contain mutations.
A mutation can impact the three-dimensional structure and therefore the function of a protein. Student-led exploration of macromolecular structure using Cn3D Teacher-led exploration of the impact of mutations on the BRCA1 protein using Cn3D Three-dimensional animator: utilizes biological information to make difficult concepts understandable such as the animation featured in this lesson Lesson 6: Evaluating Genetic Tests: A Socratic Seminar Discussion Genetic tests differ in their clinical validity and usefulness.
There are some conditions for which there are genetic tests but no effective treatment. Medical conditions differ in their penetrance and the number of genes involved. Socratic seminar discussion utilizing one of two readings Bioethicist: helps scientists and society consider the ethical implications of scientific endeavors, including genetic testing Lesson 7: An Introduction to Bioinformatics Careers Bioinformatics tools are used by people in many different careers. Different careers require different skills and education. Open in a separate window. Table 2. Title Learning objectives Activities Featured career and rationale Lesson 1: The Process of Genetic Research Science is a process involving observations about the natural world, and the generation and testing of hypotheses.
Genetic research and bioinformatics can be used to answer research questions in many different STEM fields. DNA sequence data can be used to evaluate species relatedness. Phylogenetic trees can be used to draw conclusions about evolutionary relationships. There are six potential reading frames for protein translation in each strand of DNA. Bioinformatics tools can be used to identify open reading frames and compare protein sequences. Paper exercise to understand the complementary nature of DNA and six reading frames of protein translation Use ORFinder to identify the likely reading frame for a DNA sequence Perform multiple sequence alignment using a group's protein sequences Biological anthropologist: uses genetic data to study the evolution of humans and other hominids Lesson 5: Protein Structure and Function: A Molecular Murder Mystery Mitochondria are the site of ATP production in the cell.
Cytochrome c oxidase is involved in ATP production. The active site of a protein is vital to the function of the protein. Substances that bind to the active site can interfere with protein function. Identify the active site of cytochrome c oxidase using Cn3D Identify a foreign substance a poison bound to the active site of cytochrome oxidase Molecular diagnostics researcher: uses genetic information about infectious organisms to develop diagnostic tests Lesson 6: Assessment: Writing Research Reports Scientists share their work with other scientists in the spirit of collaboration and to advance scientific knowledge.
The components of a research report correspond to the steps of the scientific method. Write a research report with instruction, methods, results, and discussion sections and figures Assessment alternatives: scientific poster, scientific abstract, or a science-related magazine article Science and technical writer: helps scientists communicate effectively to the public and to other scientists Lesson 7: Who Should Pay?
Funding Research on Rare Genetic Diseases Rare genetic conditions affect a limited number of people but can cause great suffering. Much scientific research in the United States is funded by taxpayer money. There is a limited amount of money that must be allocated based on our values and the needs of stakeholders. Bioethical principles can provide a structure for making complex decisions.
Job interviews include questions about your skills and experience optional. For increased accuracy, both strands of DNA are often sequenced. Data can be used to guide decision-making when reconstructing a DNA sequence. DNA must be purified through a process involving cell lysis and separation of the DNA from the rest of the cell debris.
PCR is used to make many copies of a gene or region for use in subsequent analyses. Agarose gel electrophoresis is performed to confirm whether a PCR was successful. Bioinformatics Teacher Professional Development NWABR's professional development workshops are based on five principles of professional development consistent with research on adult learning Sparks and Hirsh, Bio-ITEST Program Evaluation and Research Study An external evaluation team conducted a formative and summative program evaluation that addressed two questions: 1 In what ways does the Bio-ITEST model of curriculum development and teacher professional development add to our understanding of how to best prepare teachers to develop the knowledge and skills necessary among their students for participation in the STEM workforce?
Table 3. Characteristics of teacher participants a. Qualitative Findings. Teacher Survey Findings. Figure 1. Figure 2. Table 4. Characteristics of student participants a. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5. Teacher and Student Comments on Student Effects Teachers and students were asked to reflect on their most significant take-aways or lessons learned from the bioinformatics curriculum units. Table 5. Teacher and student comments on student effects. Now they understand and can use some bioinformatics tools, and they have a clear understanding that there are jobs available in this area, as well as some knowledge about the types of jobs, and the education required to get them.
Infusing career-awareness into my curriculum has not been something I have really done before, so the bioinformatics unit was really the only exposure the students had all year. Understanding how technology has changed science and how many different career options there are in biology.
They are so good on computers anyway, one kid became the class teacher. He helped everyone else. Some of them were surprised they could use a tool like that even though they are not scientists. It was fabulous! They really used it. I took it one step further, and did a genetics project. I had them look for diseases in their families on the website e. They learned more by them doing the research themselves. Before I considered science careers using primarily databases to be boring jobs but now I think it would be very interesting and more than just sitting at a computer all day.
I love science and I never knew much about this type of science and it is very fascinating. Support Teachers as Students. Balance the Challenges of Curriculum Fidelity versus Flexibility. Supplementary Material Supplemental Material: Click here to view. Footnotes Potential conflict of interest: D. In: Ramachaudran VS, editor. Encyclopedia of Human Behavior. New York: Academic; A self-determination perspective of exploration and interests in career development. How to have a successful science and ethics discussion. Sci Teach. Commentary: why science and society issues belong in science class.
Socratic seminars in science class. Fostering critical thinking, reasoning, and argumentation skills through bioethics education. PLoS One.
Fostering STEM career awareness: emerging opportunities for teachers. WA State Kappan. DNA primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I subunit from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Mol Mar Biol Biotech. J Res Math Educ. Biological identifications through DNA barcodes. Proc R Soc Lond. Mathematics self-efficacy: sources and relation to science-based career choice. J Couns Psychol. Steady as she goes? Three generations of students through the science and engineering pipeline. Factors that influence persistence in science and engineering career aspirations.
Career Dev Q. Students learn how, not what, to think about difficult issues. Building a Workforce for the Information Economy. High Schools. Science and Engineering Indicators Uncovering student ownership in science learning: the making of a student created mini-documentary. Sch Sci Math. Washington, DC, vi: HLM for Windows 7. Academic challenge, motivation, and self esteem: the daily experiences of students in high school.
In: Hallinan M, editor. Restructuring Schools: Promising Practices and Policies. New York: Plenum; Student engagement in high school classrooms from the perspective of flow theory.