Tag Archives: #Sci4allSs

NGSStweeps: A Look Inside NGSS Classrooms

 

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Coming soon, @NGSS_tweeps!

As an educator, I am always curious about how other educators approach lessons, units, content areas, etc. I have never walked away from a peer observation or a student teacher/practicum experience without feeling like I better understood how to improve my own practice. To see how others do things makes it more clear why we do our own practices and find areas where we can continue to grow. I started blogging in my first year teaching to connect with a larger PLN and grow my practice. Blogging is great, but I still want more. I want to see inside the classrooms of those embracing NGSS. It is very vulnerable to share. As reflective practitioners, we are so critical of our own work. So, many of us still stand guarded in sharing our day-to-day adventures in implementing new standards.

 

My friend, Patrick Goff (@BMSscienceteach), has developed an idea for the NGSS community based off of accounts like @biotweeps. This idea will bridge this gap! Accounts like @biotweeps, let the community join in on what is happening in a biologist’s lab/research/field for a week and share in the experience. @NGSS_tweeps aims to do the same for the NGSS community.

I am so excited to support Patrick and others who share their professional experiences to benefit the NGSS community.

No matter where you are in your journey with NGSS, we can all learn from each other. Together, we can grow professionally and improve scientific literacy. Our students will even benefit from participating because they too will enjoy showing what they are DOING because NGSS gives them the skills to THINK and DO like scientists!

Join us in opening the doors on NGSS classrooms and celebrating the journey of implementing NGSS by following @NGSS_tweeps and consider hosting!

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Why NGSS?

 
It’s funny I am just now experiencing this firsthand, but, tonight, I met my first parent that didn’t believe what we were doing in our NGSS classrooms is better. I have talked to many other parents who are so impressed by the changes and wish they had these courses instead of their drill and kill style experiences. Yet, as always, the negative is what I bring home.

So, as I sit here wondering how I failed, if I am doing the right thing by changing so much, I am reminded about the reason I became a teacher. Our system is broken. The way it always has been is not working for many students. Good students, top scorers with great GPAs are arriving in college campuses around the country unprepared. Jobs in high need fields like high tech manufacturing are going unfilled. Students are being left out of science education because of their life experiences and circumstances. Bottom line – what we have been doing is not meeting the need of students or our country. 

I do not believe, however, that I have arrived as an educator or I have it all figured out. But, I believe that I am part of a movement to make changes that improve science education for all students. I am making a difference for the students in my room today and making strides to better prepare students for the ever changing future. I believe in NGSS and I believe we can keep doing better for all students. 

Because ALL Kids Are Worth It

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I have always had a soft spot for the outsiders, the outliers, the underrated, the left out. Even as a privileged student there were times I still felt out of place and that education wasn’t designed for me. I know that students in my school today feel that way to one degree or another. From the day I decided to become a teacher, I have made it my goal to be a teacher for ALL students. That is why I was delighted to learn about the focus on ALL students when the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were developed.

For so long I have heard, “I’m not good at science” and “science isn’t for me”. I can’t wait to tell kids that this science is for them. It is not the goal of the NGSS to make every student the next great scientist, but what it is there to do is to make science an option for all students.

I have been working with the NGSS my whole teaching career (this is my 3rd year teaching), but it wasn’t until this summer when I joined my friends (Tricia Shelton, @Tdishelton, and Jessica Holman, @bchsholman) in a Twitter book study on the book “Science for All Students” that I truly learned the depth of consideration given to all students when developing our new standards.

This realization has only strengthened my resolve that the NGSS is going to improve science learning for all students and that the hard work currently being done in science classrooms is worth it – because ALL kids are worth it.

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