Next Generation Science

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Last week, new guidelines for K–12 science education were released. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were developed by 26 states, along with the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Achieve. The standards emphasize critical thinking over content memorization and identify science and engineering practices that students should master to be fully prepared for college and careers.

NGSS also recommends that students learn about climate change. For the last two years, we have partnered with Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management on a program called My Carbon Footprint, an educational initiative designed to build awareness about climate change science. As a result of this project, we have developed two climate change curriculums – one for middle schools and one for high schools – that include hands-on activities that give students the foundation they need to understand climate change. Both curriculums align to the seven crosscutting scientific and engineering concepts identified in the NGSS framework: patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter: flows, cycles and conservation; structure and function; stability and change. The curriculums can be downloaded for free and can help guide teachers who implement climate change science lessons into their classrooms.

The NGSS guidelines are voluntary, but many educators are applauding the move away from rote memorization. Our president and CEO, Margaret Honey, said in a recent USA Today article that children should be taught

“how to learn and how to be discerning…When I was a kid, education was memorizing and learning lots of facts — that methodology of teaching absolutely no longer makes sense. That’s not the world we live in anymore.”

Tips for Teachers

The final post in our back-to-school tips for teachers comes courtesy of Scott Wayne Indiana, a Content Developer in NYSCI’s Design Lab:

I taught high school math for ten years and the first day of every class involved very little math.  I wanted to get to know the students as individuals, as fellow humans.  I wanted to hear from each of them.  The seeds for the classroom community were planted and we grew from there. 

See the complete series of teacher tips here.

For more teacher resources all year long, visit Teachers TryScience.

Tips for Teachers

Our next back-to-school tip for teachers comes courtesy of Deliz Vasquez, a fifth grade teacher in Hunts Point:

One thing which I find very helpful is having a “Best Practice” notebook when I visit classrooms, attend meetings, conferences, or professional development.  This way I can implement some strategies in my own classroom.

See the complete series of teacher tips here.

For more teacher resources all year long, visit Teachers TryScience.

 

 

 

Teacher Tips

Week two of the school year! We kick off with another installment of back-to-school tips from teachers for teachers. Today, from Amanda Solarsh, 7th Grade science teacher at Simon Baruch Middle School:

Revamp rules, routines and procedures and rethinking classroom setup to start fresh.

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Tips for Teachers

Our third installment of back-to-school tips from teachers for teachers, courtesy of Gina Tesoriero, 7th Grade Special Education teacher at Simon Baruch Middle School:


One thing that I like to do to prepare for the upcoming year is to identify one thing that I did well last year and one thing I would like to improve. This way I can set a professional goal for the school year and start thinking about how I will hold myself accountable.

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Tips for Teachers, from Teachers

Today’s back-to-school tips courtesy of Jill Fonda, teacher at The Beacon School:

While I’m by no means a veteran teacher (this will only be my fourth
year), I’m happy to share some of my thoughts for the high school teachers
out there:

—Smile.  A lot of teachers will be super-strict the first few months of
school to ensure that students don’t take advantage, but personally, I’ve
always found that warmth and kindness go a long way in garnering student
respect and forging meaningful relationships.

—Leave first-day procedures for the second day (or even third!) if you
can, and do something fun and student-centered instead.  It’ll get the
kids talking about your class with their peers and their parents, and
they’ll be ready to take on the syllabus and the information index cards
with a bit more zeal.  This year, I’m going to try the Oreo Challenge on
our first day back: the students will have to determine if double-stuffed
Oreos are really double-stuffed.  There’s an added bonus in that I’ll be
able to assess my students’ lab skills without giving a scary diagnostic
exam!

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Day One: Buy-in, Breathe, Begin

It’s back-to-school season! To all the educators out there, welcome back and good luck. To kick off the year, NYSCI asked some of our teacher collaborators for tips and tricks that set the tone for a successful (and sane) school year.

We’ll check in a few times over the next few days. If you want more classroom resources from these teachers, all of them are also contributors to Teachers TryScience, a resource for lesson plans, videos, and other resources brought to you by NYSCI, IBM and Teach Engineering. And you can always sign up NYSCI content designed specifically for educators at my.nysci.org 

Our first bit of advice comes from Veronica Pastore, a P4K teacher at PS65 in Brooklyn:

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