A Blog for Science Teachers

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

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Students use laptops for PhET and iPads to record data. Next Generation Science Standards tell us that inquiry always starts with a question. This school year I’ve made adjustments to my lessons to incorporate more student inquiry and less lecture.  At the 2014 Northern Illinois Science Educators Conference, Elizabeth Hamann of Lincoln-Way North HS suggested […]

The Next Generation Science Standards aren’t beating around the bush.  Could they make it any more obvious that they want me to use models?  The performance expectations at every grade band expect kids to “develop a model” and “use a model” to prove their understanding of concepts.  I spotted these references to modeling over and […]

Have I mentioned that I’m obsessed with Ramsey Musallam?  In 2012, I had the opportunity to hear this passionate chemistry teacher speak at the ISTE Conference in San Diego.  I bought into his philosophy that student curiosity drives learning.  His teaching strategy made sense: Spark kids’ curiosity by letting them explore in the lab, then […]

There’s one piece of advice I keep hearing over and over again when it comes to implementing NGSS successfully: Do less talking about and make kids do more figuring out.  I’ve accepted this mantra as a personal challenge.  This school year I’m analyzing all of my curriculum and trying to tweak it to make it […]

After leaving the NISE Conference I found myself thinking about my current curriculum.  There’s a lot of things that I do well, but there’s certainly room for improvement in terms of infusing NGSS Science and Engineering Practices.  One aspect of my teaching that could use a little “oomph” deals with SEP Practice 7, Engaging in […]

On November 17, 2014, the Northern Illinois Science Educators (NISE) organization held their inaugural conference.  The recent adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards in Illinois prompted huge demands by K-12 science teachers for professional development.  A new set of standards prompted educators to look for answers ranging in complexity from “What is NGSS?” to […]