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The Best Cooperative Learning Involves Release of Responsibility

Oct 17, 2021 by Judy Higgins

What is cooperative learning? Cooperative learning is an instructional model designed to improve student learning outcomes by promoting teamwork. Do you allow students to work together on small group learning projects? If so, you're already modeling cooperative learning strategies in your classroom. When our students work together on interactive classroom activities, they strengthen communication, social, and critical thinking skills. When collaborating in small groups of two to four peers, students have the opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning. Collaborative learning strategies require teachers to give up some responsibility for classroom instruction to their students, letting them take the lead.

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Topics: science and engineering practices, Next Generation Science Standards, higher order thinking, STEAM, interactive science, Professional Development, STEAM Curriculum, Next Generation Science, NGSS-Designed Curriculum

Constructivism In the Classroom: Concept Mapping for NGSS

Aug 23, 2021 by Judy Higgins

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.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, NGSS Assessments, STEAM, interactive science, Professional Development, Inquiry Based Learning, STEAM Curriculum, Phenomena-led teaching, Next Generation Science, Implementing New Science Standards, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, science education, Remote Learning

Improving Teamwork and Collaboration Skills with Hands-on NGSS Science

Aug 1, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

KnowAtom’s interactive science curriculum is designed to help students strengthen teamwork, collaboration and group communication skills through authentic instruction, hands-on lab work, and student-centered STEM investigations. As a result, teachers who use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-based curriculum report improved collaboration among their students, as they work together in teams to investigate, question, and explain core theories. One researcher from Northeastern University, Dr. Tracy L. Waters, evaluated KnowAtom implementation in fourth and fifth grade science classrooms and identified diverse examples of increased collaboration amongst students throughout the year.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, higher order thinking, Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards, Time on Learning

Teachers Using KnowAtom Engage Students in More Hands-on Science Investigations

Jul 11, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

One of the highlights of Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters’ review of fourth and fifth grade science classrooms using the KnowAtom curriculum is a shift in both teaching methods and belief in what students can achieve together. Dr. Waters evaluated classrooms using Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) led by teachers who had been teaching the KnowAtom curriculum for at least two years and who ranged in teaching experience from 2 to 25 years.

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Topics: Professional Development, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, science education

Research: Student Math & ELA Achievement Rises Using KnowAtom for NGSS

Jul 4, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

In 2015, the National Research Council released it’s landmark Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards. The framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was a vision for how to teach hands-on science processes and practices to build the skills needed for the workforce of the future. Since then, NGSS have been adopted by at least forty-five states and the District of Columbia, impacting the vast majority of the U.S. school aged population, according to Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters.

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Topics: Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards

New Research Results on NGSS Curriculum Effects on Students and Teachers

Jun 21, 2021 by Raquel Jenks

A new era of learning has arrived. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for K-12 has dramatically transformed the way students learn, leading to a deeper level of understanding of critical scientific concepts. The eight fundamental science practices of the NGSS are designed to generate curricula that nurtures students’ capacity to think critically about key scientific theories, utilize skills learned in other areas of study to communicate their findings, and collaborate with their peers to work towards common goals.

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Topics: Professional Development, Elementary, Middle School Science Curriculum, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, Evaluating Curriculum

Schools Show Success in Improving Student Learning, Engagement and Behavior with a Combination of KnowAtom’s Research-Based Instructional Practices and Professional Development

Jun 14, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

Implementing a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-based curriculum transforms educators from transmitters of information to facilitators of learning. KnowAtom’s innovative approach to teaching science helps transform classrooms into collaborative teaching laboratories – where students take the lead in their own learning process. That’s just what Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters found when evaluating fourth and fifth grade science teachers implementing KnowAtom – measurable improvements in student learning, as well as changes in teaching methods, as educators began to give students more responsibility in the learning process.

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Topics: NGSS, Next Generation Science Standards, Professional Development, STEAM Curriculum

Review Finds Big Impact on Teaching & Learning with KnowAtom for NGSS

Jun 13, 2021 by Megan Powers

Northeastern University research finds that public school classrooms using KnowAtom’s STEM curriculum designed for NGSS observed a variety of positive and sought-after results, from shifts in teacher beliefs about teaching and learning to improved student engagement to increased standardized test scores and more collaborative student classroom behavior.

The independent research reviewed KnowAtom curriculum designed for NGSS in elementary and middle school classrooms of professional public school teachers in multiple schools, including urban schools with high percentages of special populations including English Learners (ELs).

The research titled “The Effects of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on Teaching Practices: An Instrumental Case Study” by Dr. Tracy L. Waters, found KnowAtom designed for NGSS effectively integrated the goals of the Next Generation Science Standards and strongly supported elementary and middle school teachers in effectively making instructional and curricula shifts necessary with strong evidence of transformed student performance and engagement as a result.

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Topics: Case study, Professional Development, Next Generation Science, Next Generation Science Classroom Instruction, NGSS-Aligned Curriculum

New Findings: Teachers & Students Transformed by Next Generation Science Standards with Curriculum Designed by KnowAtom

Jun 8, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

New research from Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters identifies the changes middle and elementary school teachers made to their instructional practices when implementing KnowAtom’s Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS)-based curriculum. She describes the KnowAtom curriculum as “built on an innovative approach to teaching science based on the NGSS, where teachers become facilitators of learning rather than givers of information.” Her research shows just how much “teaching practice was transformed through curriculum implementation when teachers began to release responsibility to students…”.

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Topics: Next Generation Science Standards, STEM grants, Policy, Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards, Next Generation Leadership

Research-Based Science Instruction Adds up to Better Classroom Results

Jun 6, 2021 by Megan Powers

Science education is changing for the better.

According to recent research, schools that adopt Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through the KnowAtom curriculum achieve better results through robust support and education for teachers. These research-based instructional practices give teachers a shared platform for NGSS best practices and create a dynamic partnership that brings together teachers, administrators, and curriculum and professional development providers.

All of this adds up to a clear path to putting research into effective everyday practice – and a clear win for students as well.


NGSS Curriculum Supports Teachers with Shared Platform for Professional Development and Best Practices

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Topics: student results, Case study, Professional Development, STEM schools, Case Studies, Evaluating Curriculum, NGSS-Aligned Curriculum

Research Shows Changing Beliefs and Attitudes About Teaching and Learning Science

May 28, 2021 by Samantha Ozgood

Connecting students with phenomena-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities is a driving force behind building the workforce of the future. For school leaders and teachers just starting to implement new hands-on learning models and those who have been incorporating collaborate STEM education for years, understanding the measurable effect on student learning and engagement levels is important. One Northeastern University researcher set out to evaluate the impact of implementing the collaborative, hands-on KnowAtom science curriculum in elementary and middle school classrooms.


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Topics: Case study, Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards, NGSS-Designed Curriculum, NGSS-Aligned Curriculum

How Does Professional Development Shape Culture?

Dec 12, 2018 by Francis Vigeant

In our third post exploring how to develop a culture of success with the Next Generation Science Standards, we turn our attention to the role of professional development .

It is essential to have a professional development plan that positively shapes culture. This is because if you’re going to do something new, then you need to understand what’s involved in that new thing. This is true for any task, including implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.

Teachers teach the students. But who teaches the teachers and the administrators? That’s key because

 if you buy a program that you don’t understand, or somebody buys a program for you that you don’t understand, then how can you implement the program as it’s designed to be used?

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Topics: NGSS, Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards, Next Generation Leadership, Teaching in 3 Dimensions

How to Avoid a One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Professional Development

Nov 13, 2017 by Nicole Lanoue

To implement the Next Generation Science Standards well, prepare yourself for the major shifts in teaching and learning that are involved in your classroom, your building, and your district.

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Topics: NGSS, Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards

Maximize Your Professional Development by Making It Ongoing

Nov 10, 2017 by Nicole Lanoue

The Next Generation Science Standards have changed the game by shifting the expectations of teaching and learning. Anytime somebody is being asked to change the way they do their job, you have to anticipate that that's not going to be an easy transition.

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Topics: 3-dimensions, productivity, Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards

3 Steps to Make Sure Your Professional Development Supports Teachers as they Implement NGSS

Nov 2, 2017 by Sara Goodman

Educators sometimes underestimate the shifts in teacher practices that are required under the Next Generation Science Standards.

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Topics: NGSS, 3-dimensions, Professional Development, Implementing New Science Standards

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