Our friends at STEM Teaching Tools have organized some resources from Council of School Science Supervisors (CSSS) to support families with science learning while practicing social distancing at home. Some of these could be great for use in school districts as reminders of best practices and others contain ready-made resources that are available in English, Spanish and Arabic.
The Sample Learning Menu is a particular favorite.
Click HERE to get to these thoughtfully designed resources.
OVERVIEW: My daughter Cece is 9 years old and last fall we were walking through a Barnes & Noble (yes they still have those!) and we saw a display for a picture book titled Cece Loves Science. My daughter saw the display and shouted, “I DO love science!”
I’ve been using science and engineering related picture books for two decades- both with children and adult learners. I look forward to thinking about how I will use Cece Loves Science (by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes, illustrated by Vashti Harrison) with the preservice and inservice teachers I support.
The picture book tells the story of a young girl of color, Cece, who loves to ask questions and figure things out. In the story, Cece and her best friend Isaac, are trying to figure out the best way to conduct an investigation involving her dog, Einstein.
This book has been out for over a year and I’m interested to hear how folks have used this picture book with students. I’d love to hear some stories.
PURPOSE: In the last few years we have seen a much-needed increase in the number of STEM-focused picture books with main characters representing populations who have traditionally been marginalized in STEM- females and people of color. Cece Loves Science is another resource to add to our toolbox that highlights the exceptional thinking of young ladies and positions them as the determined problem-solvers that they are.
AUDIENCE: children, adults, educators, teacher educators, librarians, informal science educators
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OpenSciEd just launched a new web presence and will be releasing the first set of FREE middle school science instructional materials designed specifically for NGSS and 3D instruction. The upcoming units are:
I’m excited for these resources to launch- stay tuned. Here is an e-announcement with more details.
OVERVIEW: I first mentioned Nextgenstorylines.org on this site in the spring of 2016. At that time there was only one elementary and one high school storyline. Those storylines were also not fully developed units of instruction. Well, if you haven’t visited Nextgenstorylines.org recently, you should really check it out. There are now multiple units at each grade band with more coming soon. Each unit (storyline) features a clear storyline along with a teacher guide and supporting documents.
The storylines are excellent examples of three-dimensional units of instruction that feature anchoring phenomena and problems. There are many design features that might be useful to others who are creating science lessons and units:
- 3D learning objectives
- storylines written from the student perspective (what will students be wondering and thinking about now…)
- How to structure a unit around the evidence that students will need… rather than the activities “I like” or the content “I’m supposed to cover”.
PURPOSE: This site provides exemplars for what intentional 3-Dimensional instruction looks like, It also provides a structure and tools for teachers to design their own units. The tools are structured around the 5 Routines that the design team follows.
AUDIENCE: teachers of science, professional development providers, curriculum writers, school and district administrators, teacher educators, others
If you are a teacher of science and you are not a member of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) then I would highly recommend joining- lots of good resources. However, even if you are not a member you will still be able to access lots of articles, blog posts, lessons, and more for free.
One great way to check for FREE NSTA resources is through the NSTA Blog. Every month the NSTA Blog lists all of the articles from each of the 4 NSTA journals.. and a few of these are made available FREE.
An example of this is an excellent FREE article from the March 2016 issue of Science Scope (middle school journal) titled What We Call Misconceptions May Be Necessary Stepping-Stones Toward Making Sense of the World
Click HERE to check out the March 2016 NSTA Journals.
It is critically important that building and district administrators in K-12 education have a solid understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards. If administrators have a limited understanding of NGSS then they are more likely to design NGSS implementation plans via professional development, curriculum adoption, assessment writing, etc in a shallow way.
Here are some key resources for guiding administrators to understand the vision behind and shifts required by NGSS:
- A powerful Practice Brief (What school building administrators should know about the new vision for K-12 science education)
from stemteachingtools.org designed specifically for administrators. This is a “slick” 2 sided pdf with intentional hyperlinks to key resources.
- Document on the overlaps between NGSS and Common Core Math and ELA
- New Vision for Science Education Document (A 1-pager of shifts)
- Key resources on the NSTA NGSS site for NGSS Professional Learning
- Video: A New Vision for Science Education
- All Standards, All Students Case Studies from NGSS (These provide a snapshot of what NGSS instruction looks like with a focus on Equity)
- Guide to Implementing NGSS (This is a must read for anyone who is guiding NGSS implementation work… lots of great guidance here. Even skimming the Table of Contents will give you lots to consider…)
- Designing Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics 3rd Edition (This is the “Bible” for designing thoughtful science professional development)
- The Logan Center for Education at the Institute for Systems Biology has a great series of 3 Case Studies with a facilitation guide that tell the story of how science education has shifted over the last few decades of reform.
What other resources might be useful for building and district administrators who are just starting to learn about NGSS? What might be the important entry points for working with administrators who are juggling multiple initiatives with limited resources?
California recently released the first DRAFT of their Science Curriculum Framework. There is currently a 60 day public review process where stakeholders can give feedback.
I think this document (It’s a large piece of text with multiple sections!) will be helpful to other states, districts, and schools who are continuing to implement the Next Generation Science Standards.
I have only skimmed the document but am finding it to be very helpful especially with designing instructional modules and learning sequences. I know many districts will also be interested in the two different course models for High School science.
You can access the DRAFT CA Science Curriculum Framework HERE.
You can view a November 17th, 2015 webinar on the framework HERE.