A Teacher's Toolbox: Parts 1 - 6

Serra science teacher Dr. Tara Mann knows how to engage her students and her students love her for it. Current, real-world cases, group work, practice and real-time feedback are all a part of her teacher's toolbox.


Engaging and Assessing

In part 1, Dr. Mann reviews the types of tools Serra teachers have at their disposal to engage students. She explains the rationale for using each tool in science, how the students interact with the exercises and at which pace the lessons move.



Prior Learning Review

In part 2, Dr. Mann discusses the importance of gauging student understanding, of making sure concepts are solidly set in their minds, before moving on the the next lesson. Viewing real time  work and providing immediate feedback allows her to plug holes and move on when the students are ready.


Building Knowledge Together

Brainstorming and sharing ideas provides students the ability to enhance their understanding of the material. In Part 3 Dr. Mann explains how it is better to build knowledge together, to ask questions and explore possible answers rather than listen to her give information.


Practice and Feedback

One of the biggest questions Dr. Mann receives is how do students practice/work with the concepts they are discussing in class. She takes time in part 4 to explain how working in groups, asking questions and learning from others is key to internalizing the material.


Transforming Labs

Part 5 explores the keys to engaging lab experiences. Dr. Mann provides the opportunities to manipulate data, refine hypotheses, and continue to ask questions in a scientific manner.


Critical Thinking STEM Cases

In the final installment of her six part series, Dr. Mann shares how she engages students with real world case scenarios. Students are allowed to work through examples, make decisions, and craft answers.