Teaching with the Next Generation
Science Standards

May 17, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Traditional Versus Next Generation Models of Instruction

In a traditional model of instruction, content flows to a teacher, who acts as a content specialist: explaining, demonstrating and modeling for students to watch and listen. A student is expected to take all of that in and be able to repeat it, summarize it or show it back to the teacher. If what the teacher has given matches what the student has given, that's “proficiency.”

In the traditional model of science instruction, the teacher is the gatekeeper standing between students and the content. Their role in this scenario is to model facts, demonstrate phenomena and explain to students “what’s going on.” For their part, students are expected to recall the facts, repeat demonstrations and summarize what they see.

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Topics: 5E Instructional Model

May 14, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

What is the 5E Instructional Model?

The 5Es are an instructional model encompassing the phases Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate, steps which educators have traditionally taught students to move through in phases. First, instructors open a lesson with an activity or question meant to engage students, snag their interest and offer the opportunity for them to share what they already know on the subject. This phase might include helping them make connections between their preexisting knowledge base and the new ideas that will come down the pipeline in the lesson or unit.

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Topics: 5E Instructional Model

May 12, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Introduction to the  5E Instructional Model

The widely established 5E teaching sequence – which includes the progressive stages Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate – is helpful for informing the design of science programs, units and lessons. However, it’s important to pose the question: Does their current incarnation actually work to support the Next Generation Science Standards and deepen STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning in our students, or does it require adaptation in order to best serve NGSS?

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Topics: 5E Instructional Model

May 10, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

STEM Crossover: Where ELA & Math Meet Science

Truly effective STEM instruction does not treat science,  ELA and math as stand-alone disciplines. Instead, effective STEM instruction integrates ELA skills in the nonfiction  reading, the Socratic dialogue, and the scientific plan developed in lab notebooks.

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Topics: ELA and Math

May 7, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

The Student Inquiry Experience

The next generation classroom environment needs to create this type of inquiry opportunity for the students to engage in the practices of science and engineering. Of key importance is the idea that their solution will be different from the solution created by the team next to them—and that it’s fine that they’re different. It’s all about giving students the individual opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the practices and content.


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Topics: Inquiry Based Learning

May 5, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

STEM and the Four Levels of Readiness

Curriculum and resources can be categorized into four levels relating to their ability to create "readiness"

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Topics: STEM Readiness

May 3, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

What Is The STEM Cycle?

The STEM cycle explains why all students must be exposed to STEM: because STEM skills are life skills. Locked in the STEM cycle are the seeds of critical thinking—creative, evaluative, and analytical thinking skills that are transferrable and that make students trainable. These skills are the key to workforce  development and the underpinnings of a student’s future college and career opportunities.

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Topics: STEM

Apr 30, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

A New Definition of Effective STEM Instruction

According to the National  Research  Council’s  2011  definition of effective STEM instruction (a definition that helped lay the foundation of what would become the Next Generation Science Standards), "Effective STEM instruction capitalizes on students’ early interests and experiences, identifies and builds on what  they  know, and provides them with experiences to engage them in the practices of science and sustain their interest."

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Apr 29, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

NGSS And K-12: Supporting The Shift With Effective Resources

Because of the Next Generation Science Standards, the classroom experience is moving away from the traditional models of remembering, understanding and applying information. Memorizing information, like that there are solids, liquids and gasses, won’t cut it anymore. The idea that we know this rock is sedimentary because it has layers isn’t enough. What is going to move students forward is being able to use that knowledge to analyze a situation, evaluate a problem or create something.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Apr 27, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

When Art and NGSS Meet Common Core: Math & ELA

There are a number of crossovers between Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core math, art and ELA practices. Here are a few real-world examples of each.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, STEAM Curriculum

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