A Blog for Science Teachers

This blog shares my stories about integrating the NGSS and good teaching practices in my chemistry classroom.

Asking your science students to plan an experiment?  Grab the Advil because this science and engineering practice, planning and carrying out an investigation, can cause some major headaches.  In the past few years, I’ve added teacher scaffolding to help kids brainstorm experimental procedures.  Students cannot go from cookbook labs to independent procedure-writing without teacher support.  […]

I attended NSTA 2016 in Nashville with one goal in mind: Find NGSS experts from around the country and learn from them.  I left Nashville feeling satisfied that my goal had been accomplished.  I met science teachers that were as passionate about implementing NGSS as myself.  In addition, I found masters in their NGSS trade, […]

Photograph by Benita Zepeda

Most teachers follow the typical first-day-of-school protocol which includes passing out books and discussing class policies.  BORING!  If you want kids to be passionate about chemistry, get kids up off their butts and investigating cool things from day one!  A teacher on Twitter recently asked me to share my First Day Lab.  This post provides details […]

Have you ever finished teaching a lesson and said to yourself  “Wow.  That was awesome.” Sometimes I have good lessons and sometimes I have great ones.  But this one was awesome.  Best of all my students researched and communicated like real scientists.  Want to know why?  The lesson was loaded with science and engineering practices […]

New tweets fly by in my Twitter feed so quickly that I feel like I catch only a small portion of what’s shared.  Who’s got time to sit there and read all those tweets?  But catching this tweet was a gem.  The tweet was simple enough; a posted video about teaching gas laws without having […]

One of the toughest things about chemistry is that you can’t see those stinkin’ little particles that make up everything.  How I envy the physics teachers whose students can calculate the velocity of a car zooming down the street in front of our school and the biology teachers whose students can dissect the kitty cat. […]

After it was over I felt utterly exhausted.  Developing my first laboratory experience that met the Performance Expections of NGSS required time and energy.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely. Finding the melting point of an unknown solid. After studying the NGSS Performance Expectations over winter break, I decided that an upcoming unit on Bonding and […]