As new science curricula appear in the market claiming to be designed for the Next Generation Science Standards, more and more teachers are starting to ask what their purpose is in a next generation classroom.Continue reading
Topics: NGSS, Next Generation Science Standards, Next Generation Science, Implementing New Science Standards, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, STEM Education Policy, Teaching in 3 Dimensions
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
Across the United States, there isn’t adequate guidance on how much time on learning schools need to dedicate to science instruction.
According to a new report by the nonprofit group Achieve, this needs to change, and the change needs to happen at the state level.
There are 40 states plus the District of Columbia that have now adopted the NGSS or similar next generation standards for science.
Time on Learning in a Next Gen Classroom
An inadequate amount of science time on learning is not news to many teachers who struggle to incorporate science into their already full days. In fact, not enough time on learning for science is one of the most common complaints facing schools implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.Continue reading
How do the questions we ask students influence the quality of classroom instruction—and by extension, the depth of students’ learning?
This question is critical for classrooms implementing the Next Generation Science Standards and adaptations of the NGSS. Creating a next generation learning environment requires space for creativity, analysis, and decision-making so that students can develop the control and agency necessary to develop and use the three dimensions of the NGSS—science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts.
For students to develop control and agency, they need opportunities to be creative, to independently and collaboratively use the eight science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts to make sense of the disciplinary core ideas, and then have the opportunity to own the result of their efforts, regardless of the outcome.Continue reading
Not too long ago a reader of this blog posed the following question:
My question is how do you get kids to want to even ask questions? I teach high school and the only way most of my students learn anything is by my forcing it down their throats, because they aren't even curious about phenomena. This new model is awesome for kids who WANT to learn, but for the vast majority, school is where their parents want them to go so they aren't home all day. Any thoughts?
It got me thinking because it strikes at the very heart of teaching and learning: What is the value-add of time on learning today?Continue reading
When Mahma was a child, he dreamed of being a teacher.
However, poverty made that dream out of reach to Mahma as he grew up. Instead, he became a farmer in Sinjar, a town in northern Iraq.
Then in 2014, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacked Sinjar and surrounding villages in what has been internationally recognized as the 74th attempted genocide of the Yazidi people. Tens of thousands of Yazidis, including Mahma, fled to escape ISIS.
Now, almost five years later, hundreds of Yazidi adults and thousands of Yazidi children have found hope in an unexpected place—inside the camps for internally displaced people (IDP) in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI) where they’ve ended up.
This hope has come from an innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program for K-8 students that has taken root in the U.N. camps and surrounding schools. The STEM program, launched in 2015, is aimed at bringing relevant and lifelong skills to children living in the camps while at the same time helping them build skills to cope with conflict.Continue reading
“Culture eats strategy – and programs—for breakfast.”
This quote is KnowAtom’s take on the quip attributed to management guru Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” which emphasizes the critical role that an organization’s culture—even more than any strategy it might develop—plays in that organization’s success.
We're modifying it to say that culture eats both strategy and programs for breakfast.
This saying is relevant for districts and classrooms implementing the Next Generation Science Standards because people often focus on programs and/or strategies for the new standards, but fail to consider a balance of both to address the
cultural shifts needed to ensure a smooth and successful implementation.
So what is culture?
Innovative companies like iRobot face many of the same challenges as teachers and school districts that are adopting and beginning to implement the Next Generation Science Standards.Continue reading
The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy are the next generation of K–12 literacy standards.
In grades 6-12, Common Core State Standards require teachers of history/social studies, science, and technical subjects to use their content area expertise to help students and ELA teachers meet the particular challenges of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language in their respective fields.
For this reason, there are a number of crossovers between the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core ELA standards.Continue reading
When it comes to the Next Generation Science Standards, educators sometimes have more questions than answers. What are the NGSS all about? Why do they exist? Why is the approach to science and inquiry methods changing? The answer lies in the STEM cycle.Continue reading
As school leaders become more focused on successfully implementing the Next Generation Science Standards, I’ve noticed one topic is getting more attention than ever before: how important it is that principals understand the new standards and the expectations of a next generation science classroom.Continue reading
The Next Generation Science Standards call for dramatic shifts in teaching and learning. It will be important to go about implementation carefully and thoughtfully.
There are concrete steps that educators and administrators can take to ensure a successful implementation.Continue reading
Educators frequently want to know what kind of investment is expected in order to implement NGSS in schools. This is a difficult question to answer.
The Next Generation Science Standards are inquiry-based standards, which inherently require students to be put into the role of scientist and engineer.
That requires certain materials because the NGSS standards are all about investigative phenomena happening in the classroom in real time.Continue reading
Budgeting enough science time on learning will go a long way toward helping districts successfully implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
If you don’t have enough time on learning for science, your implementation of NGSS will likely run into some significant hurdles.
This is because of the importance of effective STEM instruction under NGSS . The National Research Council definition of effective science instruction is that it capitalizes on students’ early interest experiences and builds on it.Continue reading
Summer is winding down, which means that most educators are back in the classroom.
I’ve been meeting with STEM teachers and curriculum planners about using KnowAtom in their classrooms. It has been so inspiring watching all of you dedicated educators as you prepare for a new year of engaging students in the creative, analytic, and evaluative forum that is science education.