Teaching with the Next Generation
Science Standards

Jun 2, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Differences Between Next Generation “Aligned” vs. Designed

In short, NGSS-aligned curriculum does not demonstrate the same depth of thinking as curriculum intentionally designed to help students think critically, meet the performance expectations, and step into the shoes of scientists and engineers. To see why, it’s helpful to look at specific differences between aligned and designed curriculum, then discuss how we might go about designing classrooms for true alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

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

Apr 23, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

New Practices and New Processes in STEM Instruction

Before NGSS, you may have used textbooks, etexts, or otherwise taken a content approach centering on understanding and applying. What the new Next Generation Science Standards ask is that we go further in challenging student's higher order thinking skills: creating, evaluating and analyzing, so that students are not only consuming the content but are actually participating and interacting with it, working to develop it as a solution to a problem or answer to a question of their own within the classroom.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Apr 21, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

A Three-Legged Stool of Standards

Understanding the relationship between the core components in the STEM cycle is very helpful to understanding—and applying—the three dimensions: practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts that we find within the Next Generation Science Standards.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Apr 19, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

The STEM Cycle: A Cycle of Innovation

It’s a question a lot of educators have: At their core, what are the Next Generation Science Standards all about? Why do they exist? Why do we even need to consider changing our approach and methods?

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Mar 31, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Science & Engineering: Concept-to-Concept, Concept-to-Self, and Concept-to-World Connections

When student questions and connections drive teaching and learning, you immediately have a much richer context in which students can learn. When they observe real-world anchor phenomena and are then given the opportunity to explore them through more individualized investigative phenomena, you have dramatically increased the chances that they will forge those valuable concept to concept, concept to self, concept to world connections.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Mar 29, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

The Connection Between Phenomena & Standardized Testing

Let’s talk briefly about next generation state-level assessment and how it should impact your use of phenomena and your approach to science instruction as a whole.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards

Mar 26, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Differences in Phenomena: Early Elementary, Elementary, and Middle School

Of course, phenomena plays out a little differently depending on the age group, so let’s take a moment to explore what it looks like in early elementary, elementary and middle school. At an early elementary level, the complexity and the modality are muted and simplified, respectively. At an early elementary level, the teacher would most likely read aloud instead of giving students individual reading material because, obviously, most kindergartners can't read yet. As they plan investigations, they may do so in a more visual and verbal than what a 4th grader would be doing in a blank composition notebook.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, Elementary Science Curriculum, Middle School Science Curriculum

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