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How To Ask Questions that Lead to More Engaged Students

Jul 10, 2019 by Nicole Lanoue

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.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, Three dimensions, Phenomena-led teaching, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, Teaching in 3 Dimensions

Does Phenomena-Led Teaching and Learning Fit the Old K-W-L Chart?

May 24, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

Part of the challenge wtith teaching the Next Generation Science Standards is how to engage students in a complex real-world situation that causes them to be dissatisfied in some way, either with what they know or can explain, or with the fact that this phenomenon even exists. That causes them to engage in an investigation that not only stems from inner motivation but that also adds meaningfully to their experience of the world. 

With NGSS, engagement begins with anchor phenomena, which are complex, real-world situations. They can be investigated in the classroom through an investigation that students or student teams have planned, and are a way of encountering just a thread of often much more complex ideas.

Think about a traditional KWL chart:

The standard K-W-L chart, which asks students to list out what they already know, what they want to learn in the lesson and what they learned at the end.

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Topics: Phenomena-led teaching

Connecting Phenomena with the Nature of Science & Engineering

May 20, 2017 by Francis Vigeant

The “elaborating” piece of the 5Es is about students making concept-self, concept-to-concept, and concept-to-world connections, as well as relating anchor phenomena to their investigative phenomena.

Before we explore that, though, let’s define anchor phenomena, which are complex, real-world situations. They can be investigated in the classroom through an investigation that students or student teams have planned, and are a way of encountering just a thread of often much more complex ideas.

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Topics: Phenomena-led teaching

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