As a science teacher for over 20 years, I’ve seen a lot of teaching strategies come and go. Today, the focus is on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to help prepare students to join the workforce of the future. The teaching methods required by NGSS are based on constructivism – the idea that learners actively create new knowledge and understanding based on what they already know. Concept mapping is one way to help students link new ideas to knowledge they already have.Continue reading
Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, STEAM, interactive science, Professional Development, Inquiry Based Learning, STEAM Curriculum, Next Generation Science, Implementing New Science Standards, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, Phenomena-Based Learning, science education, Remote Learning, Formative Assessment
Now that the majority of states (40, to be specific, plus the District of Columbia) have adopted either the Next Generation Science Standards or very similar science standards, there is a growing focus on how to create assessments that are aligned to the new standards.
The Next Generation Science Standards were developed based on recommendations from the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education.
“Fully meeting the vision set forth by the Framework and Framework-aligned standards requires high-quality and aligned assessments that can provide actionable information to students, teachers, and families,” according to a recent report by the nonprofit Achieve.Continue reading
In general, it’s important to have straightforward expectations that you hold students accountable to in each part of a science or engineering lesson.
Students need to understand that they’re being held accountable to these expectations. Straightforward expectations help both parties to engage and provide feedback, and to do so in a way that's meaningful to each other.
Here we’ll walk through a KnowAtom lesson, which has 5 parts that unfold over the course of a week or a week and a half, but these ideas can be applied to any lesson.Continue reading
In any part of a next generation science lesson, formative assessments provide useful feedback to both the teacher and the students in the moment.
Formative assessments can come anywhere in a lesson, so they can be verbal, written, electronic, and take a variety of different forms. However, they all share three characteristics.
3 Features Share By All Formative Assessments
- Similar to a milestone, formative assessments occur in the moment as students are engaged in making sense of phenomena, which includes planning and carrying out investigations. This allows students to incorporate the feedback into their thinking and their work, becoming more aware of their own learning process.
Topics: Formative Assessment
The Next Generation Science Standards are all about students developing the skills to work with ideas, both their own and those of others.
That means that it's not sufficient to know about something. Students have to be able to form an opinion, have an idea, to work with that idea to be able to inform themselves, and also to refine the idea over time, perhaps through experimentation or through prototyping.
This is a significant shift from traditional science instruction, one that will require changes from both teachers and students.Continue reading
Formative assessment needs to be a key part of any next generation science instruction.
At its core, a formative assessment is an opportunity for useful insight on behalf of both parties—the teacher and the students. Often, formative assessments look a lot like a conversation because they’re bilateral, with both parties offering ideas, listening, and acting as a critical skeptic to the other.
How Formative Assessments Benefit Students
Students get frequent, focused feedback that is useful for improving their learning in the moment.Continue reading