Teachers & Geoscience Teachers


Update Your Knowledge 



Curriculum Specific


Lab Activity Manuals & Kits   by Mrs. H. McArdle

Activities adaptable for middle school, high school, or collegiate level instruction.  Available exclusively through Flinn Scientific at www.Flinnsci.com 

Meteorology Activity Lab Manual    #AP6537

Meteorology Activity Lab Manual for Earth Science
Astronomy Activity Lab Manual      #AP6535

Alternate Text
Geology Activity Lab Manual    #AP6536 

Geology Activity Lab Manual for Earth Science

 Density of the Earth Kit       #AP6738

Bits and Pieces - A Sedimentary Rock Kit     #AP6740

Lunar Phases Activity Kit     #AP6739


Developing and Teaching Spatial Reasoning 

        • Visual Thinking for Engineers                     [MIT Mech. Engineers/YouTube]        3 min
        • OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine - Official Video                  [OK Go/ YouTube] 5:30 min

Game Apps
        • PolyPuzzle    (Android or iPhone)
        • Interlocked    (Android or iPhone)

Professional Organizations




Communicating the Importance of an Earth Science Education

A well-rounded education:  

  • Does your state require Earth Science as a graduation requirement from high school?
  • Does your college require incoming freshmen to have taken Earth Science in high school?   



Understanding Our Audience ... The Teenager



We Teach Parents, too:  What good study skills look and sound like at home


Sometimes parents don’t know how to help their child become a better student.  Concrete examples of what not to help with, what to look for, monitor, communicate, and follow up on can sometimes be helpful.  


Students who learn to utilize strategies in their active home study show improvement in skills growth and grades.  By asking the student (and by parents asking their children) to show how they have accomplished even the most straightforward of these tasks not only provides opportunities for open communication at home, but also demonstrates the value of these skills in the bigger picture of reaching long-term goals. 



Too often, students think that success in college or at a career is tied to ‘how smart’ they are.  In fact, success is much more dependent upon developing the skills of … time-management, organization, communication, and self-discipline. 



Colleges seek students with SKILLS, and that means:   


  • Being able to communicate your knowledge and understanding very well – especially in person.
  • Having the self-discipline to   
    • create an environment helpful to learning, and
    • making yourself do the active study necessary to learn
  • attend every class, on time, and not missing any instruction for ‘breaks’
  • being willing to    1) recognize, and then    2) take advantage of extra help opportunities to improve your skills and understanding as soon as you need it
  • becoming an advocate yourself by openly discussing concerns with adults, parents, and teachers
  • planning your time effectively to complete and then submit assignments by a deadline.
  • remaining consistently organized with    1) your materials,    2) your time, and    3) your planning




It’s not just what you know, it’s how well you’re able to communicate it.


Teaching kids how to communicate effectively and how they can teach themselves to learn, can be the most effective lessons of all.   





Missed instructional time hinders academic progress

Absences, bathroom breaks, 'trips' to the nurse, arriving late to instruction - regardless of reason, necessary or not, missed instruction adds up and compounds the difficulties of students to achieve higher learning.




‘Study’ is an Action… a verb.

Reading is not studying – reading is reading.  


‘Active study’ means that the student should be able to hand you the evidence of participation in learning.  The student has re-written and paraphrased notes.  The student has created a song.  Studying means the student is producing something and in doing so, is actively processing information in such a way that the material can be organized and re-organized in the long-term, not just the short-term memory. 

Homework can be a method of active study, but active study does not end there.


Studying generally means taking all resources of information (Text Assignments, PowerPoint Notes, classroom diagrams, handwritten notes, ESRTs, handouts, lab notes, etc.) and compiling the information in a new way – one that makes the most sense to the student studying.  This takes time.  


Learning takes time


Some students create concept maps, study cards, self-made study-guides, write songs, poems, create dioramas and mini-books to consolidate and organize the information in a new way – writing, re-writing, paraphrasing, and using nuggets along the way.  



Managing time effectively


Time is valuable – there is never enough of it.  


Knowing this, we can anticipate what we want to accomplish vs. what we need to accomplish in the time available.  This is called planning.  Materials helpful in planning and managing time are the classic visual organizers (calendars, day-planners). 



Meeting deadlines is crucial to success.  


Students who are able to plan ahead and organize themselves well, can and do regularly meet deadlines.  These are the students who are more successful in achieving their college and career goals.  Think of our class time - students who regularly submit HW ‘before the late bell’ are students who have successfully achieved this college-and-career skill.  


  • We start each class by copying the HW board and discussing the assignments.  Add further hints and notes for yourself as we go over the assignments with more in-depth explanations.  Your parents may ask to see this evidence in your assignment pad for each day.  Show them that you are regularly practicing this process skill! 
  • Begin assignments the very day they appear on the HW board.
  • Create an Overall Plan for assignments (in all your classes).  Ask and answer the following questions of yourself:  What HWs are due on what dates?  How many days does that provide you to complete each assignment well?  For each assignment, how much time will you require to complete the assignment well?  What other obligations do you have that need to be remembered and scheduled (sports, home responsibilities, etc.)? 
  • On your calendar, schedule a designated time and place to work on each of the assignments – creating tasks for each time so that you can monitor your progress and know where you left off previously.  




Success comes from being able to resist temptation


  • Create an environment that will help you to remain focused on your task at hand.  Remove from the room all possible devices that have been proven to actively distract from focus – telephones, smartphones, T.V., radio, television, iPods, computers (i.e. anything of interest)
  • Have all your required materials at hand.  This is where your Earth Science Materials Pouch will come in handy - colored pencils, highlighters, graphite pencils, pencil sharpener, ink pens (at least two colors), white-out, small & larger sticky notes, etc.  While these items are not necessary to learn, they can make the act of studying more interesting – as we’ve practiced in HW assignments and classroom lessons.  The less frequently you ‘have to get up to get something’, the less likely you are to be diverted from your task.
  • During your study time, switch back and forth in studying different material and different subjects - everything you study is connected.  Look for and identify how they are connected and learning will feel easier. 
  • Review your Overall Plan.  List on one of your sticky notes the tasks you need to complete in this study session. 
  • Once each is completed, cross each off your list.  Show this list to Mom and Dad when they ask – and the finished products of your study.