The Power of a Pen

Holly StuartBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Lesson Plan Better, Manage Better

TL;DR: A pen teaches students that mistakes are learning opportunities. It gives students time to pause and think before they write. It empowers students by providing them with skills they can use throughout their lives. Every December, I gave a present to my students. Yes, I taught middle school. Yes, I had over 100 students each year. And yes, it … Read More


Holly StuartBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Lesson Plan Better

TL;DR: Pattern recognition is a skill that can lead to discovery. Patterns help students better understand the world around them. Patterns are interdisciplinary. In the world of science education, identifying patterns is an incredibly important skill that we teach our students. Pattern identification has led to discoveries in all scientific disciplines, but the patterns that are resonating with me right … Read More

Setting Up ISNBs and ISJs Part 1: Materials

Holly StuartBlog, Differentiate Better, Lesson Plan Better

TL;DR: This post shares the process for setting up ISNBs and ISJs and the materials that are needed.  Use composition notebooks (not spiral bound), colored pencils, and liquid glue. Be sure to teach students how to use the glue correctly before giving them a notebook. Remember the purpose of an ISNB/ISJ In my last Science Better blog post, I wrote … Read More

ISJ and ISNB Introduction

Holly StuartBlog, Differentiate Better, Engage Better, Innovate Better, Lesson Plan Better, Mastery Done Better, Personalize Student Learning Better, Teach Further

 TL;DR: Science is a messy process that leads to understanding. Students need to learn and appreciate the messy process in addition to the end result. Interactive science journals (ISJ) and interactive science notebooks (ISNB) are tools that will help students understand the difference between the process and the end result. “Take chances, make mistakes, get MESSY!” – Ms. Frizzle, The … Read More