Located just north of Boston in Salem, Massachusetts, KnowAtom is a team of educators who have developed a K-8 solution designed for NGSS, helping to change the face of science, engineering, technology and math instruction.
In this eBook, we take a look at what are now being referred to as anchor and investigative phenomena and their capacity for driving science instruction as well as related subjects. When it comes right down to it, phenomena are the fabric of everyday teaching and learning, and we hope to help teachers across the country understand how to use them to effectively engage students of all grades.
At KnowAtom we're so engaged by science and engineering because we see it as a perfect opportunity to teach critical thinking skills. While such skills are sometimes sadly overlooked– often through no fault of the teachers, but overlooked nonetheless – STEM subjects create the perfect context to build those exact critical thinking skills by putting students in the roles of scientists and engineers. That’s because, in their careers, scientists and engineers rely on critical thinking skills every day to create, evaluate and analyze, not to mention innovate.
Our belief is that by placing students in the role of scientist and engineer, we can help students to develop and then use knowledge. Reciprocally, developing and using knowledge deepens and strengthens those skills as well. That's something that really resonates with us, and it is one of the biggest reasons we have wholeheartedly thrown our weight behind the switch to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
In this eBook, we will be looking at several questions regarding anchor phenomena:
- What are phenomena?
- How do we qualify a phenomena-centered classroom in curriculum?
- How do we choose phenomena appropriately?
- How can we implement that phenomena within actual lesson and unit flow?
- What is the connection between phenomena and standardized testing?
By fully understanding what phenomena are and how you can use them in the gamut of instruction, from initial introduction of a subject to final assessment, you will not only become a better teacher, your students will be much more equipped to face the challenges and rigors of high school, higher education and career.