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Improving Teamwork and Collaboration Skills with Hands-on NGSS Science

Aug 1, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

KnowAtom’s interactive science curriculum is designed to help students strengthen teamwork, collaboration and group communication skills through authentic instruction, hands-on lab work, and student-centered STEM investigations. As a result, teachers who use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-based curriculum report improved collaboration among their students, as they work together in teams to investigate, question, and explain core theories. One researcher from Northeastern University, Dr. Tracy L. Waters, evaluated KnowAtom implementation in fourth and fifth grade science classrooms and identified diverse examples of increased collaboration amongst students throughout the year.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, higher order thinking, Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards, Time on Learning

Improving Teacher Expectations of What Students Can Learn with NGSS-Based Explorations

Jul 25, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

An in depth look at the use of KnowAtom’s science curriculum by fourth and fifth grade teachers by Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters revealed major changes in both teaching practices and the teacher’s expectations of what students can achieve. The educators who participated in Waters’ study expressed having higher expectations of their students after implementing the hands-on curriculum that aligns with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

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Topics: science and engineering practices, Inquiry Based Learning, Next Generation Science, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, New Standardized Testing

New Constructivist Teaching & 5e Model Remove Barriers to Learning K-8

Jul 18, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

Research from Northeastern University’s Dr. Tracy L. Waters shows that using the KnowAtom Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-based curriculum is helping teachers spark excitement from young learners. Promoting differentiation in how students are taught core science concepts, build 21st century career skills, and utilize scientific process for hands-on discovery is helping improve student success and increase collaboration and engagement in the classroom.

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Topics: Middle School Science Curriculum, 5E Instructional Model, Next Generation Science, Implementing New Science Standards, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction

Teachers Using KnowAtom Engage Students in More Hands-on Science Investigations

Jul 11, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

One of the highlights of Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters’ review of fourth and fifth grade science classrooms using the KnowAtom curriculum is a shift in both teaching methods and belief in what students can achieve together. Dr. Waters evaluated classrooms using Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) led by teachers who had been teaching the KnowAtom curriculum for at least two years and who ranged in teaching experience from 2 to 25 years.

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Topics: Professional Development, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, science education

Research: Student Math & ELA Achievement Rises Using KnowAtom for NGSS

Jul 4, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

In 2015, the National Research Council released it’s landmark Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards. The framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was a vision for how to teach hands-on science processes and practices to build the skills needed for the workforce of the future. Since then, NGSS have been adopted by at least forty-five states and the District of Columbia, impacting the vast majority of the U.S. school aged population, according to Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters.

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Topics: Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards

New Research Results on NGSS Curriculum Effects on Students and Teachers

Jun 21, 2021 by Raquel Jenks

A new era of learning has arrived. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for K-12 has dramatically transformed the way students learn, leading to a deeper level of understanding of critical scientific concepts. The eight fundamental science practices of the NGSS are designed to generate curricula that nurtures students’ capacity to think critically about key scientific theories, utilize skills learned in other areas of study to communicate their findings, and collaborate with their peers to work towards common goals.

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Topics: Professional Development, Elementary, Middle School Science Curriculum, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Evaluating Curriculum

Schools Show Success in Improving Student Learning, Engagement and Behavior with a Combination of KnowAtom’s Research-Based Instructional Practices and Professional Development

Jun 14, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

Implementing a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-based curriculum transforms educators from transmitters of information to facilitators of learning. KnowAtom’s innovative approach to teaching science helps transform classrooms into collaborative teaching laboratories – where students take the lead in their own learning process. That’s just what Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters found when evaluating fourth and fifth grade science teachers implementing KnowAtom – measurable improvements in student learning, as well as changes in teaching methods, as educators began to give students more responsibility in the learning process.

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Topics: NGSS, Next Generation Science Standards, Professional Development, STEAM Curriculum

Review Finds Big Impact on Teaching & Learning with KnowAtom for NGSS

Jun 13, 2021 by Megan Powers

Northeastern University research finds that public school classrooms using KnowAtom’s STEM curriculum designed for NGSS observed a variety of positive and sought-after results, from shifts in teacher beliefs about teaching and learning to improved student engagement to increased standardized test scores and more collaborative student classroom behavior.

The independent research reviewed KnowAtom curriculum designed for NGSS in elementary and middle school classrooms of professional public school teachers in multiple schools, including urban schools with high percentages of special populations including English Learners (ELs).

The research titled “The Effects of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on Teaching Practices: An Instrumental Case Study” by Dr. Tracy L. Waters, found KnowAtom designed for NGSS effectively integrated the goals of the Next Generation Science Standards and strongly supported elementary and middle school teachers in effectively making instructional and curricula shifts necessary with strong evidence of transformed student performance and engagement as a result.

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Topics: Case study, Professional Development, Next Generation Science, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, NGSS-Aligned Curriculum

New Findings: Teachers & Students Transformed by Next Generation Science Standards with Curriculum Designed by KnowAtom

Jun 8, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

New research from Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters identifies the changes middle and elementary school teachers made to their instructional practices when implementing KnowAtom’s Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS)-based curriculum. She describes the KnowAtom curriculum as “built on an innovative approach to teaching science based on the NGSS, where teachers become facilitators of learning rather than givers of information.” Her research shows just how much “teaching practice was transformed through curriculum implementation when teachers began to release responsibility to students…”.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, STEM grants, Policy, Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards, Next Generation Leadership

Research-Based Science Instruction Adds up to Better Classroom Results

Jun 6, 2021 by Megan Powers

Science education is changing for the better.

According to recent research, schools that adopt Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through the KnowAtom curriculum achieve better results through robust support and education for teachers. These research-based instructional practices give teachers a shared platform for NGSS best practices and create a dynamic partnership that brings together teachers, administrators, and curriculum and professional development providers.

All of this adds up to a clear path to putting research into effective everyday practice – and a clear win for students as well.


NGSS Curriculum Supports Teachers with Shared Platform for Professional Development and Best Practices

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Topics: student results, Case study, Professional Development, STEM schools, Case Studies, Evaluating Curriculum, NGSS-Aligned Curriculum

Professional Development for Teachers Leads to Excellent Outcomes, Sparking New Beliefs and Attitudes

May 31, 2021 by Megan Powers

According to research highlighted in “The Effects of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on Teaching Practices: An Instrumental Case Study” by Dr. Tracy Leann Waters of Northeastern University, teachers and students alike are transformed when districts adopt KnowAtom curriculum with its focus on inquiry, discovery and professional development.

Professional development helps science teachers engage with new standards and spark greater student interest. While professional development opportunities sometimes fall short when it comes to implementing new science curriculum,

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Research Shows Changing Beliefs and Attitudes About Teaching and Learning Science

May 28, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

Connecting students with phenomena-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities is a driving force behind building the workforce of the future. For school leaders and teachers just starting to implement new hands-on learning models and those who have been incorporating collaborate STEM education for years, understanding the measurable effect on student learning and engagement levels is important. One Northeastern University researcher set out to evaluate the impact of implementing the collaborative, hands-on KnowAtom science curriculum in elementary and middle school classrooms.


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Topics: Case study, Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, NGSS-Aligned Curriculum

Building Cognitive Skills: Thinking Moves for a Classroom or Remote Learning Environment

Sep 1, 2020 by Francis Vigeant

How would you teach differently if you couldn’t give your students a test until a year later? 

Ron Ritchhart posed this question in his book Making Thinking Visible. It’s also one of the favorite quotes of Judy Higgins, a veteran fifth-grade science teacher in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

When she first began teaching, she often wondered why her students would come in on Tuesday and not remember what they learned on Monday. This challenge led her to make changes to create a culture of thinking in her classroom. This culture shift helped her students make meaningful connections, prompting better learning—and retention. “I help my students become thinkers, become curious, and learn how to solve problems; I have seen them be able to do end-of-the-year tests with great confidence because they know how to think,” Higgins says.

How did she do it?

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How to Take KnowAtom Lessons Remote

Aug 6, 2020 by Nicole Lanoue

As many schools and districts move to remote or hybrid learning this school year, preserving what makes science learning most valuable for students, whether it's in the classroom or remote, is critical.

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Topics: Remote Learning

Facilitating Productive Discussions: Tools for the Classroom or Remote Learning

Jul 30, 2020 by Nicole Lanoue

Dr. William Glasser, a renowned 1960s American psychiatrist, said, “We learn 10 percent of what we read, 20 percent of what we hear, 30 percent of what we see, 50 percent of what we see and hear, 70 percent of what we discuss, 80 percent of what we experience, and 95 percent of what we teach others.”

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Topics: Remote Learning

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