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new ways to present core concepts

I think there are already a lot of great materials and tools that link practices, core concepts and cross cutting concepts – we just have never explicitly talked about it before nor have we had to look for ways to do that.  The Standards help. Content has always been king, and our tests, PD and support has reminded us that many of us are not “fully qualified” to teach science – so we focus on the content.  In this new world that has changed, and not just for elementary but for middle and high school as well.  I want to find new ways to look at all sides of a core concept and see how to present/engage students with it using the science and engineering practices and cross cutting concepts.   Has anybody started trying this?  Do you do this in your classrooms?  How do you do it in PD?  Any examples would help…

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Growth

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Most of my professional growth has come out of working with my peers to figure what is the best way to tackle content, or to approach a methodology with my students, or still fit in the hands-on stuff I want to do with the requirements the district and my school make of me.  I feel like I can continuously reframing the context of how I think about science instruction and then making changes to actually do what I have been thinking about.

Welcome!

Welcome to the Next Generation in Education!  As a group of thinkers, doers and creators in education we felt the need to design a place where we could come together to talk about what is happening on the education landscape.  We hope that Next Generation Education is a place for you to share your honest opinions, ideal solutions, frustrations and successes as we navigate the new waters of standards reform – including Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Who are “we”?

We are “you” —  teachers, parents, administrators, business and industry, consultants, researchers and content and curriculum developers, curriculum providers.  We are active, semi-retired, unemployed or too fully employed.  We care about teaching and learning and about students successfully competing in the 21st century – work and career ready.

What do we believe? 

We believe that the BEST solutions to big scary challenges come about when people who care come together to talk, vent and discuss what matters most to them. The diverse perspectives, inspiration and innovation from others in the field have sustained many of us for years – think of this as a watering-hole, gathering place and sometimes – soapbox.

What do we want?

We want a national blueprint that provides guidance to professionals by professionals for how to actively embrace and engage in the new standards movement.  The Common Core standards and NGSS provide us an exceptional opportunity to leap frog the numerous incremental changes we have seen in education since 1950 that have, by and large, not worked.

This blueprint starts with a new, shared and common language amongst professionals about the next generation of education.  Next, comes understanding of the new practices that will help navigate the new ways to teach and to learn. With new language and understanding, we explore, explain and engage in the HOW.  This is the blueprint itself.  Taking what we know and what works, sharing, tweaking and refining it and reporting back on how it works with students.

We plan to roll out the initial pieces of the blueprint at the Next Steps Institute in Denver, Colorado November 15-17, www.nextstepsinscience.org  and use the NSI professional community to continue to build upon the basics happening in this blog/comment space.

As people deeply committed to education, we do a lot with very little.  This effort is no exception – but we also know that instead of whining and complaining, collectively we can create the tools, programs and innovations that are good for kids and teachers by working together.  It’s up to you – won’t you join us?

Science vs Math & Language Arts

What do common core math and language arts have to do with Science? (I think this is good and needs to be extrapolated on a bit further)…It seems like there are opportunities within the other standards movement to explore science, how does that fit?

Categories: Common Core Standards

Why new standards?

Why all the fuss and work around new standards?  Haven’t math and language arts gotten enough money already?  Are kids improving?  And what do test scores show us?

And, what about science?  Personally, I thought the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996) and the AAAS Benchmarks were good enough.  Do we really think in the current educational system that we can “leave no child behind?” and bring everyone up to proficiency?

When the National Governor’s Association and the Chief Council of State School Officers came forward in 2008 and challenged the education system for a set of common standards – I held my breath.  Common?  Standards?  In the teacher ranks we talk about how much easier it would be if we had common standards – but really?  Not in this country where state and local control in education rule.  Where textbooks monopolize the instructional realm…

And here we are, almost a year+ into implementation (car wrecks galore, but there are largely survivors, plus assessments and new materials – of course).  And, the first release of the science standards  – Next Generation Science Standards.  Why these?  Why now? What do you think…

Categories: Common Core Standards