Category Archives: Next Generation Science Standards

Stay informed about progress in formulating and implementing the new science education standards. Click on a headline to read the entire post.

Using Social Media and Technology to Encourage Students’ Evidence-Based Discussions

Teachers often aspire to help their students become more involved in a community of practice. In my classroom, members of the community are my students, as well as students in other classrooms and professional scientists. In this blog post, I will show how using science and engineering practices with technology can give students the tools […]

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How Teachers Can Use Technology to Support 3-D Teaching and Learning

Three-dimensional (3-D) teaching and learning integrates the use of science practices, crosscutting concepts, and core science ideas to help students make sense of the world. From a teaching perspective, learning progressions promote the use of science practices to develop understanding of crosscutting concepts and core science ideas that can be used to explain natural phenomena. […]

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Using Collaborative Educational Technology Tools in Science

Science literacy is critical for our students. We need them to understand why it is important for them to do activities, such as composting. In fifth grade, one of the goals for students is to obtain information about, evaluate, and communicate how individual communities use scientific ideas to protect Earth’s resources. Using a combination of […]

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Supporting Science through Interdisciplinary Instruction

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have totally transformed my students’ learning experiences in STEM. However, like most teachers, my biggest challenge has been finding the additional time that students need to observe, question, investigate, and interpret results. Thinking and learning takes time. Interdisciplinary instruction within my elementary classroom provides authentic, relevant learning experiences that […]

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Using Discourse With High School Science Students

High school students love to talk. Covering topics from music to memes, the hallway conversations are always lively. But when students enter the classroom, they suddenly have nothing to say. I believe it’s because students don’t know how to talk science. Recently, I have analyzed productive discourse among students, and what I have found confirms […]

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One District’s Path to Improving Student Discourse

If you’ve spent any time exploring the shifts in NGSS instructional practices you will understand the call for “less sage on the stage and more guide on the side.” While such a metaphor can be applied to a variety of science classroom settings, one that first comes to mind is the role of students and […]

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Science Class: A Place Where Children Should Be Seen and Heard

I recently observed a lesson about how shadows change throughout the day, and I was fascinated by the amount of time the teacher and the class took to listen to and watch one another as they discussed the data. The careful structuring of time for analyzing data in small- and whole-group discussions gave students confidence […]

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Shoes! Beaks! They’re All About Structure and Function  

As we watch students arrive for class, we notice that Alejandra hangs her jacket on a coat hook, while Calder reaches for scissors to make a fringe on his picture. Tessa replaces her rain boots with the sneakers from her cubby, and Nick searches for a spoon to eat his cereal. These daily scenes illustrate […]

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Exploring Structure and Function in Insects

As an entomologist, one of my greatest challenges is trying to overcome my students’ feelings of fear and disgust regarding insects. Insects often have negative images in society. Walk through any toy store, and you will likely find plastic insects with the words “gross” or “creepy” written on their colorful packaging. One of our main […]

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Using Toxic Algal Blooms to Teach Structure and Function

Young children often experience a developmental stage in which they question everything. Why aren’t there dinosaurs anymore? Why do cats purr? Why are some potato chips green? They go from simply observing their surroundings to analyzing, experimenting, and wanting to make sense of their world. As a high school teacher of ninth-grade biology and AP […]

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