Author Archives: The Communication, Legislative & Public Affairs team

Ed News Roundup: Two NSTA Press Books to be Read from Space

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This week in education news, two Ohio-based NSTA Press authors will have children’s books read from space station; getting students excited about STEM; interest in STEM may be ‘contagious’ in high school; number of minorities, women taking CS is skyrocketing thanks to STEM collaborations; how the Girl Scouts’ new CEO is using her time at […]

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How NGSS and CCSS for ELA/Literacy Address Argument

In the summer of 2015, I observed an elementary science teacher from an NGSS-adopted state who made a presentation to her cohort of close to 100 K–12 science teacher leaders and administrators from schools, districts, and the state. After presenting her instruction on a physical science unit with 2nd-grade students, she gave her students the […]

Posted in Next Generation Science Standards | 1 Response

Using Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning (CER) Strategy to Improve Student Learning

This past school year, I used claim, evidence, reasoning (CER) statements to show three-dimensional learning in my classroom. Several tools are available for doing this, but the one my students like is the CER Graphic Organizer and Transition Words List developed by Sandra Yellenberg. My students like how this graphic organizer helped them organize their […]

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You Teach What? I’m So Sorry! Building a Better Body and Building Better Argumentation

I am always amazed at the looks on people’s faces when I tell them I teach middle school. They seem to pity me for having a position I chose and love! They inform me that middle school “tween-agers” are argumentative, stubborn, and at times, adamant about whatever they set their minds to. But I smile […]

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NGSS Curriculum Integration—Off on a Tangent!

The creation of a school garden inspired this fourth-grade unit.  All students in the school were responsible for planning the garden, as well as for planting, weeding, and harvesting our crops of tomatoes, pumpkins, and carrots. The harvest was shared with the school cafeteria staff, who prepared salad and dessert bar selections for the students, […]

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Why Anchoring Phenomena Are Important in the NGSS Classroom

Who is Ivor Robson, and why is he associated with anchoring phenomena? If you are a longtime golf aficionado, you know that Ivor Robson had a special role at the British Open. Robson spent 41 years introducing each player on the first tee, and he never missed a tee time…ever. In addition, he served as […]

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How to Choose Good Phenomena

When I began aligning my instruction to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), I got lost in the details. But when I realized that phenomena could be used to anchor linked disciplinary core ideas, I started to visualize the course as a whole and was able to build storylines around the phenomena. I now begin […]

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My ‘Phenomenal’ Journey in Elementary

I am the type of educator who gets very excited about new strategies, new and innovative technology, and new activities for students. However, I was more nervous about than excited about to choosing phenomena for my science units. I felt tremendous pressure to pick the “right” ones, ones that were engaging and exciting, while matching […]

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Using the Crosscutting Concepts to Scaffold Student Thinking

At the recent NSTA National Conference in Los Angeles, three-dimensional learning was, of course, a major topic of discussion. When those discussions focus on classroom instruction, though, the crosscutting concepts are often the forgotten dimension. Some educators argue that the crosscutting concepts should develop in students’ minds organically, and that it’s enough for a teacher […]

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Digging Deeper: Modeling

At the core of a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) classroom is the sequence of exposing students to an interesting natural phenomenon, having students generate questions about the phenomenon, investigating student questions, then creating a scientific model to explain the phenomenon. Regardless of the practice defined in the performance expectation, this triad of phenomenon, questioning, […]

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