Curriculum and Instruction

The Science Leadership Team met on the heels of our return from the National Science Teachers Annual Conference. This year’s theme was, Champions for Science Education. Science Instructional Coaches Samantha Levine and Brian Newburger facilitated the meeting and turn-keyed some of the key concepts and strategies learned at the conference, along with activities that were successful in classrooms this year. We also showed a preview of the new film, Inventing Tomorrow, a documentary that follows the path of six aspiring scientists to the Intel Competition in Los Angeles. This movie will be out in theaters soon and we will also be showing it to the Science Research, Environmental Science, and other classes and grades in the coming weeks.

The meeting included a vocabulary scavenger hunt. Teachers were asked to show a visual representation of words from each science discipline, such as redox reaction, animal adaptations, weathering, conifer leaf, … We took pictures on mobile devices and shared them via google slides. This activity is used with high school students to enhance the learning of scientific vocabulary. Team member Deena Kramarczyk shared how she uses this “visual vocabulary” activity to assess student understanding of certain vocabulary and their relationship to the real world.

We then focused on the concept of the Claims – Evidence – Reasoning that was a significant theme throughout the workshops at the NSTA Conference. We reviewed various charts with the group as a way to allow students to make connections between their data collected and conclusion to make sure that it connects back to their guiding question. This pathway of connections allows students to see the bigger picture about how their data relates to the real world.

Lastly, the science leadership team brainstormed next steps. We spoke about how Instructional Rounds (Inter-class Visitations) will be continued, as well as more opportunities to share resources that have been successful with students. The team also asked to review strategies associated with the NGSS and took time to review the standards to plan for future work.

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