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New Resource Helps Teachers Make 3-Dimensional Science Assessments

Aug 5, 2019 by Sara Goodman

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.

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Topics: NGSS, Next Generation Science Standards, NGSS Assessments, Three dimensions, Implementing New Science Standards, Next Generation Assessments, STEM Education Policy, Teaching in 3 Dimensions

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

Why is Socratic Dialogue So Important in a Next Generation Science Classroom?

May 9, 2018 by Nicole Lanoue

A next generation science class is all about students learning how to work with ideas, both their own ideas and the ideas of others.

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Topics: Three dimensions, Socratic dialogue, Phenomena-Based Learning

Data Results: Urban Schools in Massachusetts' Lynn District Try the Next Gen Science Approach

May 9, 2016 by Sara Goodman

The Lynn Public School district faces all of the challenges of an urban school district serving near 20,000 students daily. Lynn is also one of a few cities nationwide that serves as a refugee relocation point for the United Nations.

Due to low student performance on state science assessments and a desire to increase student engagement and teacher resources, Lynn Public Schools began partnering with GE Aviation to pilot KnowAtom in 2009, phasing in a pilot cohort of four schools over three years.

The dramatic increases in student engagement and proficiency levels on state-level science standardized testing (Massachusetts Common Assessment Program) led the Lynn Public Schools to scale the program to half the district for test year 2012 and finally district-wide in the following school year.

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Topics: NGSS, 3-dimensions, Case study, Three dimensions

Defining Effective STEM Instruction

Apr 6, 2016 by Francis Vigeant

Here at KnowAtom, our focus is on helping districts align to the Next Generation Science Standards with authentic inquiry. In order to do this, we are focused on the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards and the National Research Council's definition of effective STEM instruction. 


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Topics: higher order thinking, STEM, Three dimensions

Steps to Create a Science Inquiry Environment in an NGSS Classroom

Mar 30, 2016 by Francis Vigeant

Establishing background knowledge requires nonfiction reading and Socratic dialogue, helping students connect new knowledge to their personal experiences and build important connections that will help them engage meaningfully with the content.

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Topics: NGSS, classroom challenges, Three dimensions

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