Teaching with the Next Generation
Science Standards

Mar 11, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

What does a Phenomena-Centered Classroom and Curriculum Look Like?

There are five basic aspects of qualifying a classroom as phenomena-centered.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Mar 10, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Three-Dimensional Performance Expectations

Under NGSS, a student who is proficient has to be able to demonstrate it independently. That’s why we think about the new science standards as performance expectations. A student needs to be able to perform the expectations of the standard by developing and using the content. They must be able to solve problems and answer questions as a scientist or engineer would. And they must be able to make connections across the content by describing its attraction to other ideas and content.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Mar 8, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

What Are Phenomena?

In this blog we will take a look at what phenomena are and how they relate to the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, it is crucial to understand the nature of the science and engineering cycle as well as the traditional versus the next generation models of science instruction. 

Phenomena as Observable Events

In order to put phenomena to work for you in your classroom, you need to understand what they are. So just what are phenomena?

A phenomenon is the context that motivates the work of a scientist or an engineer, the events, circumstances or framework that defines what they do, the knowledge they’re looking for and the problems they’re trying to solve. In plain language, a scientist or an engineer doesn't go to work to remember facts or previously learned knowledge. That's not why people hire them.

Rather,

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Mar 5, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Latest eBook: Using Science Anchor Phenomena Effectively


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.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Mar 3, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Using Full Release of Responsibility as a Tool for Mastery

Students who are given full responsibility to oversee their own experiment or prototype design, execution, data gathering and conclusion forming are actually in the roles of scientists and engineers. Conversely, students who follow prescribed courses are not fully enmeshed in these roles.

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Topics: science and engineering practices, Next Generation Science Standards

Mar 1, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Building a Framework of Concept Knowledge Using Science & Engineering Practices

A performance expectation broken down in three dimensions: science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts. Each performance expectation is part of a larger framework.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, Concept Knowledge

Feb 25, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Timeline for the Full Release of Responsibility

A full release of responsibility to students doesn’t happen overnight, but progresses in stages from a group-think to a collaborative model to independence, in which students begin operate independently or in small teams with check-ins.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, release of reponsibility

Feb 24, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Aiming for Mastery Readiness

In order to create an environment in which challenge exceeds skill, you must be aware of the different levels of readiness. While traditional models of instruction typically get students to awareness or knowledge readiness, NGSS seeks to push students into performance and mastery readiness.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, Readiness Levels

Feb 22, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Performance in Three Dimensions

In order to create an environment in which the challenge exceeds skill, you can use anchor and investigative phenomena to encourage performance in three dimensions (science and engineering practice skills, disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts).

 

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Feb 19, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective K-8 Science Teachers: Starting with "Why"

In order to be highly effective, teachers must form pedagogical habits that automatically create a culture of higher order thinking. This is a point of confusion for many, because the entire nature of inquiry is that it isn’t automatic. To be clear, teachers should not automate their lessons, their assessments, their instructional supports, their coaching style or any aspect of individual lessons. Rather, they should automate their expectations for dialogue and thinking. For example making it a habit to start with “why,” setting accurate expectations about effort and deliberate practice, giving immediate helpful feedback as a coach rather than an expert are all examples of the go-to approach teachers must possess if they’re to successfully coach students to be scientists and engineers.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

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