Category Archives: K-12 General Science

NGSS Adoption & Implementation Workbook

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 2.07.45 PMOVERVIEW: Achieve and the U.S. Education Delivery Institute recently developed the NGSS Adoption and Implementation Workbook to support states (and districts) in thoughtfully adopting and implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.

PURPOSE: The workbook provides a series of scaffolded exercises that a group can use to do everything from establishing a leadership team to articulating a vision and identifying stakeholders and developing a plan.

AUDIENCE: State and district science education leaders (while I am none of these roles- I also find this helpful as a PD provider and consultant in providing guidance for my work)

LINK: https://www.achieve.org/publications/ngss-adoption-and-implementation-workbook  Download the full NGSS Adoption and Implementation Workbook as a PDF  here or as a Word doc here.

Instructional Leadership for Science Practices

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 1.37.47 PMOVERVIEW: The Instructional Leadership for Science Practices (ILSP) is a project to support school principals and other instructional leaders in supporting shifts in science education practices. Their site provides multiple tools for instructional leaders to use in developing their own understanding of the required shifts in practices and how to support teachers in these same shifts.

PURPOSE: The ILSP project seeks to support instructional leaders in providing ambitious supervision of science teachers that provides a focus on engaging students in the science and engineering practices. The site provides supervision tools, instructional tools, example lessons and lots more. This is a great way for building principals to find science-specific support to supplement TPEP frameworks such as Danielson and CEL 5D.

AUDIENCE: Building principals, district leaders, coaches, TOSAs, lead teachers, professional development providers

LINK: http://www.sciencepracticesleadership.com/

Supporting Productive Science Talk: STEM Teaching Tool #48

OVERVIEW: You probably don’t need me to tell you this- but the STEMteachingtools.org site has created and curated an amazing set of resources for supporting the implementation of effective science teaching and learning through the NGSS. One of the latest tools in #48 titled: How can teachers guide classroom conversations to support students’ science learning? This tool makes the case for student science talk as not only an instructional move but as an equity move… and then provides a series of resources to support students (and teachers) who might just be starting this work and need some scaffolds and supports. The following tools are provided as links:

Talk Resource Cards Partner Conversational Supports Pre- and Post-Talk Writing Supports

PURPOSE: To provide guidance and tools to support teachers and students in engaging in productive science talk and thinking.

AUDIENCE: teachers of science, administrators, PD providers, teacher educators, etc

LINK: http://stemteachingtools.org/brief/48

 

Seeing Students Learn Science: Integrating Assessment and Instruction in the Classroom

seeing students learn scienceOVERVIEW: Seeing Students Learn Science is a new FREE document from The National Academies Press. This publication in meant to help us improve our understanding of how students actually learn science and to provide guidance as we modify and adapt our instruction and assessment practices.

The document contains 6 sections:

  1. Front Matter
  2. What’s Really Different?
  3. What Does This Kind of Assessment Look Like?
  4. What Can I Learn from My Students’ Work?
  5. Building New Kinds of Assessments into the Flow of Your Instruction
  6. You and Your School, District, and State

You can read the document FREE in your browser or download the pdf. Enjoy!

PURPOSE: Provide support to educational systems as we continue to implement the vision of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards

AUDIENCE: Teachers, administrators, PD providers, assessment developers, etc

LINK: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23548/seeing-students-learn-science-integrating-assessment-and-instruction-in-the

 

Learning Targets in a NGSS Classroom

OVERVIEW: I have had several conversations with teachers and administrators about how learning targets, objectives, and success criteria should look different in science learning than they might in other content areas. Some of these conversations have been greeted with skepticism (to say the least) so it will be nice to have a resource to help guide this topic in the future. The latest STEM Teaching Tool #46 is titled: How to define meaningful daily learning objectives for science investigations… and it looks like a brilliant overview of this important topic.

PURPOSE: This STEM Teaching tool provides clarity and examples for how learning targets in science can be public, helpful, constructed with students, and designed in a way to not “give away” the concept being learned.

AUDIENCE: district and building administrators, teachers of science, PD providers, teacher educators, curriculum writers

LINK: http://stemteachingtools.org/brief/46

 

Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences

OVERVIEW: The National Academies Press recently released a report on the state of science literacy titled Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences. Like all of the NAP documents you can read it FREE in your browser, download for FREE or order a hardcopy (Not FREE).

AUDIENCE: Science teachers, educational researchers, policy makers, administrators, others

PURPOSE: This report provides an overview of the state of science literacy in several areas and provides a number of Conclusions for each area:

  • Science Literacy and Health Literacy
  • Science Literacy in Society and the World
  • Science Literacy for Communities
  • Science Literacy for Individuals

Here is the description from the NAP site:

Science is a way of knowing about the world. At once a process, a product, and an institution, science enables people to both engage in the construction of new knowledge as well as use information to achieve desired ends. Access to science—whether using knowledge or creating it—necessitates some level of familiarity with the enterprise and practice of science: we refer to this as science literacy.

Science literacy is desirable not only for individuals, but also for the health and well- being of communities and society. More than just basic knowledge of science facts, contemporary definitions of science literacy have expanded to include understandings of scientific processes and practices, familiarity with how science and scientists work, a capacity to weigh and evaluate the products of science, and an ability to engage in civic decisions about the value of science. Although science literacy has traditionally been seen as the responsibility of individuals, individuals are nested within communities that are nested within societies—and, as a result, individual science literacy is limited or enhanced by the circumstances of that nesting.

Science Literacy studies the role of science literacy in public support of science. This report synthesizes the available research literature on science literacy, makes recommendations on the need to improve the understanding of science and scientific research in the United States, and considers the relationship between scientific literacy and support for and use of science and research.

LINK:  http://www.nap.edu/catalog/23595/science-literacy-concepts-contexts-and-consequences

What Ever Happened to Scientific Inquiry?

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 7.33.06 PMOVERVIEW: The Midwest Comprehensive Center at American Institutes for Research recently released a report that describes the history of scientific inquiry in the recent decades and its evolution into the science and engineering practices of the NGSS. This report provides a clear background for anyone struggling with the “where is my inquiry?” question as they implement NGSS. This document also provides a key piece of evidence in helping folks move beyond instruction of The Scientific Method.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, administrators, teacher educators, and PD providers

PURPOSE: The report examines trends in science inquiry education over time. Below is an excerpt from the introduction to the report. While the authors of the report reside in the midwest, the findings from the document apply to all areas of the United States.

This report explores the evolving notions of scientific inquiry over time, including how scientific inquiry is currently reflected within the new NRC framework and NGSS. This report also explores the extent to which current trends related to notions of inquiry are reflected in the state science standards adopted by Wisconsin and neighboring states. This report centers on the following guiding question:

How is the term “scientific inquiry” currently understood and being used by members of the science education community, particularly in light of the NRC’s A Framework for K– 12 Science Education and the release of the Next Generation Science Standards?

The report is divided into two parts. Part I explores key trends in the use and understanding of the term “scientific inquiry” over time as reflected in prior and current national standards and other related sources. Part II examines the extent to which current notions of inquiry outlined in the NRC framework and NGSS are reflected in the science standards adopted by Wisconsin and neighboring states within the Great Lakes and Midwest regions.

LINK: http://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/science/Evolving%20Notions%20of%20Scientific%20Inquiry%20August%202016_EXT%20version.pdf