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.

NSTA Resource: NGSS Parent Guide

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 1.47.04 PMNSTA has released a resource for helping parents and the rest of the school community to understand the Next Generation Science Standards.

You can view the web-based version HERE or download a pdf HERE.


Recorded Webinar on NGSS Assessment Design

Click HERE to access the July 15, 2014 NASBE webinar titled: Designing and Aligning Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards. This webinar will give you a sense of what an upcoming assessment system of the NGSS may be like. The webinar is also a useful introduction to the FREE report-  Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards.


Science for All is 5 Years Old

A belated happy birthday to the Science for All blog. I wrote my first post on July 10, 2009. Since then there have been over 800 posts on a variety of K-12 science education resources. I apologize that there have been fewer posts the last 2 years than in the past. I hope to renew my engagement in sharing resources in year 6 of the blog. With the ongoing implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards I think there will be a lot to share in the 2014-15 school year. I hope you keep following and reading and finding things that are of interest and use.


Kirk @science_4_all

Report- STEM Integration in K-12 Education

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 4.56.07 PMThe National Academies Press recently released a new report titled- STEM Integration in K-12 Education:Status, Prospectus, and an Agenda for Research. Like all of the publications from the National Academies, this is FREE to download as a pdf. Click HERE to access the download or read FREE in your browser.

Below is the description of the report from the Academies site:

STEM Integration in K-12 Education examines current efforts to connect the STEM disciplines in K-12 education. This report identifies and characterizes existing approaches to integrated STEM education, both in formal and after- and out-of-school settings. The report reviews the evidence for the impact of integrated approaches on various student outcomes, and it proposes a set of priority research questions to advance the understanding of integrated STEM education. STEM Integration in K-12 Education proposes a framework to provide a common perspective and vocabulary for researchers, practitioners, and others to identify, discuss, and investigate specific integrated STEM initiatives within the K-12 education system of the United States.

Looks like another good report to add to our toolbox of understanding integrated STEM education and to provide some specific frameworks and tools for implementing.