Team-Teaching in the Science Classroom

This year our 8th grade science department (2 of us) tried something a little bit differently with a couple of our classes. We decided that if we could make a combined class of under 40 students that we should team teach the class. Fortunately, two of our class periods came in under that magical number. All of the students in … Read More

How a Virus Invades the Cells in Your Body

This is such an impressive video about how viruses invade your cells.  I can’t decide if I’m more impressed by the science behind it all or how amazing the digital graphics are.  Very impressive!

Teaching Seasons Just Got Easier

Teaching seasons is one of those concepts that students either totally get or that they don’t get at all.  I find that even 8th graders struggle with which months belongs to each season.  I realize that this is taught in elementary school, but there’s something that happens at about age 13 where all bets are off with previous knowledge 🙂 … Read More

Jack Andraka Comments on How Science is Taught in the Classroom

In a recent NY Times op-ed piece , Jack Andraka commented on the current state of how science is taught in the classroom.  Jack Andraka is most famously known for being a high school student that developed a test that detects pancreatic cancer at a very early stage.  Most of what he said is on point and got me thinking about … Read More

What Are Your Favorite Test Review Games

I realize that reviewing for a test with Jeopardy has probably been around campuses for as long as the show has been on television, but it’s still one of my go to review games.  I much prefer to do that than have the kids do a packet.  Ideally, I like to set it up with my SMART board and pair … Read More

“Do We Ever Do Anything That’s Not Hard in Your Class?”

I was greeted by this quote today after one of my students asked what we were doing in class.  I actually just responded with a “No”, but on the way home thought about the conversation that I should have had with that student.  I missed a massive opportunity. I wish that I would have told them this: The answer to … Read More

Teaching with Passion Trumps Everything

We wrapped up our biology unit last week with a lesson on competition within an environment and how everything within an ecosystem is dependent on each other.  I’m the first to admit that biology is not one of my favorite units in science.  I’m a geology and space guy.  I think the reason that I don’t like biology stems from … Read More

Primary and Secondary Succession Picture Notes

Today we did an activity on primary and secondary succession.  This activity reminded me that taking pages or even a page of written notes is not necessarily the best way to transmit information to a middle-schooler .  I can honestly say that I didn’t have one student off task today because I spot checked all of their notes.  I wouldn’t … Read More

Steve Spangler Interview

This afternoon I had the privilege of interviewing science guy, Steve Spangler, for my EduAllStars podcast.  I had been looking forward to this interview since we booked it a couple of months ago.  If you’re a science teacher you probably know Steve Spangler well.  If you don’t, then you need to head over to and check out what all … Read More

Interactions Within an Ecosystem INB Notes – FREEBIE

Today we worked through some of the vocabulary for interactions with an ecosystem.  I created an insert for the students INB’s that I have posted below.  Some of this vocabulary is a review from material in 7th grade, but all of it is tested on the 8th grade Texas STARR test. Included vocabulary: Abiotic Biotic Consumer Producer Decomposer Predator Prey … Read More