Veritasium: This Will Revolutionize Education

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Veritasium video so when I saw the new video titled This Will Revolutionize Education- I felt like I needed to share. Lots of good stuff for us to think about in education reform and educational technology. Also some very wise words about teaching and learning.

NGSS Classroom Sample Assessment Tasks grades 6-12

Achieve has been promising a set of NGSS/CCSS Classroom Assessment Tasks for quite some time… and the first batch has finally arrived! There are currently middle school and high school assessment tasks with elementary on the way.

Click HERE to access the Front Matter for the assessment tasks.

Click HERE to access the assessment tasks as either pdf or Microsoft Word docs.

There are currently 4 middle school sample tasks and 5 high school sample tasks. I’m interested to hear how everyone plans on using these sample tasks.


Engineering Design Talk Moves

There are lots of great resources for supporting productive classroom talk during science instruction…

But when it comes to engineering design I think we need some different questions and talk moves to guide students as they are collaborating to solve problems. I haven’t found a resource on “engineering talk”… so I created this engineering talk moves document.

This is very drafty and I would love some feedback. What is missing? What is redundant? Does this document even make sense? What needs to be improved to make this document useful for K-12 teachers?

The idea is that this 1 pager would be used by a teacher to guide students’ thinking as they are in the middle of collaborative work to solve an engineering problem.

I look forward to your feedback. Click HERE to download the document.

Video: Dropping a Bowling Ball and Feathers in a Vacuum Chamber

I know a lot of you have already seen this BBC video with Brian Cox dropping a bowling ball and feathers in a huge vacuum chamber, but it is such a quality video and demonstration that I had to share it.

STEM Teaching Tools

The good folks at the University of Washington have put together some free online resources titled STEM Teaching Tools. This site provides tools specifically designed to supports schools and districts as they begin implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.

Currently you will find 4 Practice Briefs to support NGSS implementation work:

I’m looking forward to lots of excellent tools and supports on STEM Teaching Tools in the coming months.

The Many Ways to Read the NGSS

You may have noticed that there are lots of different platforms and ways to read and interact with the Next Generation Science Standards. I want to highlight a few options below just in case you like to have options.

1. The Next Generation Science Standards website- within this site there are actually multiple ways of viewing the standards:

  • Download as a pdf (easy to print or read on a tablet)
  • View online (this gives you hyperlinks to other disciplinary core ideas and also to the Common Core State Standards.. not to mention the multiple tools for highlighting the practices, DCIs, and crosscutting concepts within the performance expectations
  • Performance Expectation Search Tool; this makes it easy to search by grade, practice, DCI, & crosscutting concepts and to view individual performance expectations (this is one of my favorite tools)
  • NGSS Appendices: I worry that we are not paying enough attention to the resources in the Appendices. These should be required reading before actually digging into the performance expectations

2. National Science Teachers Association NGSS Hub

  • Access the same standards with a different look- NSTA has all of the same content as the official NGSS site but the layout seems to be a little more clear and easier to look at. This is just my opinion of course.. but at least you have this option. These pages will also have connections to resources and lesson tools in the near future.
  • A boatload of NGSS resources (articles, webinars, videos, and much more!)

3. Mastery Connect NGSS App

4. NGSS Hardcopy

  • I have to admit this is probably my least favorite way of reading the standards. The layout of the pages is not my favorite and I don’t like that the Appendices are in a separate volume. I have also found that the spiral binding of this hasn’t been very resilient. If you want a hardcopy I would recommend downloading the NGSS pdfs, select the exact pages you need and have them professionally printed and bound.

Let me know if there are other tools for reading the NGSS and I will share.


Sea Star Wasting Syndrome: An Authentic Problem for Students

KCTS 9 in Seattle has an excellent overview of the sea star wasting syndrome that is currently destroying the sea star populations on the west coast of the United States. While the content is sad and disturbing, this case provides a very real and engaging problem for K-12 students to wrestle with.

The KCTS 9 post provides:

- A rich piece of complex informational text for students to read and understand. (Would be perfect for a close reading Common Core ELA lesson).

- Two short video clips that supplement the text and tell the story of the problem and how scientists are zooming in on the cause of the wasting syndrome.

How We Might Use This as Teachers:

  • Connect to science and engineering practices in NGSS
  • Highlight how scientists use evidence to construct claims
  • Draw attention to how authentic science and engineering works vs “The Scientific Method”
  • Highlight the connections between field studies and controlled experiments (How do both ways of “doing science” inform the work?)
  • Create an SBAC-like performance task with a piece of informational text, video, and a writing prompt
  • Engage students in Problem (or project) Based Learning where they learn about the ocean ecosystem and how to solve this (and related) problems

How might you use this information in your classroom?

Click HERE for the entire post.