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International Toy Fair open to all - yes, even teachers

If you are ever in New York in February you have to visit the International Toy Fair. It's a kind of convention where the latest and greatest toys are rolled out for buyers across the world to stock their shelves. It's a wonderful experience…
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How to be an amazing teacher by taking the lid off the box

How to be amazing teacher? Try this! Get organized. The hardest thing is to take all the ideas we learn at conferences, workshops and seminars and put them to use. Don't put science demonstrations in a closed box - because they will stay there.…
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Education science toys - from idea to sales and everything in between

People are sometimes confused to walk through a toy store and see this kit designed by Steve Spangler Science under the brand name Be Amazing Toys. How come a science teacher is doing this? It is all because a group of science teachers got together…
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The Science of Leadership - Using Cool Science Demos to Increase Participation in Student Council

In 1996 I was asked to be a student council sponsor at Willow Creek Elementary. We had a problem getting kids to show up to student council meetings at 7.30am. Working with Dr. Earl Reum, we came up with the idea of using engaging science demonstrations…
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Be Amazing Toys - a great way to “learn” a living

As teachers, we learn how to do different jobs to supplement our income. One of the ways was to take things we worked on during class and come up with ideas for science toys. In 1991 a collaboration of science teachers got together to invent…
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Science teachers, purple cows and the case of the flaming wallet

So you want a book to read? What's it to be? 103 Ways to become a more effective standards-based teacher. No? Well, here's a great little book called Purple Cow by Seth Godin, a truly incredible mind in marketing. You want to go to the local…
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The 15-second sound bite - TV vs. classroom teaching

People often ask me if teaching on television is different to teaching in the classroom. Let me tell you a secret. It is a completely different experience. First, I was told I was not on TV to educate. I was on TV to entertain! But wait! What…
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Active things parents can do to help kids learn science

It doesn't all rest in the hands of the teacher. If you are a parent there are some active things you can do to help your kids prepare for a lifetime of science or inquiry. Help by reinforcing what your teacher is doing in class. When your…
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Science Fair Project! Getting parents and teachers on board

There are three words you can utter that will change the look on a teacher's face, and on a parent's face, and those words are — Science Fair Project. You can see the beads of sweat start to appear on the forehead. Teachers know they will…
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Teachers need learning too - say yes to staff development

I think the #1 thing an elementary teacher can do today to be a better teacher is to go to as many professional staff development opportunities as possible. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference is one of the best to prepare…