Five Cellular Structures Students Should Learn About in Middle School

Life Science Middle School Structure and Function

Which cellular structures do students need to learn about in middle school?  There are far fewer than you would think.  There are only five cellular structures that students need to learn about in middle school.   Why don’t students need to know all of the organelles anymore? Pre-NGSS, the students were required to memorize the …

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Unobservable Scales and Mechanisms in NGSS

Developing and Using Models Energy and Matter Middle School Scale, Proportion and Quantity Uncategorized

I first ran across the terms “unobservable scales” and “unobservable mechanisms” early in my NGSS journey.  I had no idea what these were. A  google search didn’t provide any answers.  Read this post to find out what the terms unobservable scales and mechanisms mean in the NGSS. Where do these terms appear in the NGSS? …

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How to Introduce the Crosscutting Concepts

Crosscutting Concepts Middle School Uncategorized Upper Elementary

The Crosscutting Concepts are one of the three dimensions in the Next Generation Science Standards.  They are often the last dimension that teachers try to incorporate into their lesson plans.  Here is a quick overview of the Crosscutting Concepts and some ideas of how to introduce the Crosscutting Concepts into your lesson plans. What are …

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Using Student Questions in Your Storyline

Asking Questions Elementary Science High School Middle School NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

I get so many questions asking about the relationship between storylines and phenomena, but I am rarely asked about student questions.  In an ideal scenario, student questions would be at the heart of your storyline.  Check out this definition from NextGenStorylines.org . As you can see, student questions are really at the heart of building storylines.  …

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5 Tips for Making NGSS Bundles

Elementary Science High School Lesson Planning Middle School NGSS NGSS Newbies

If you read my post last week about building storylines, you know that the first step in has to be bundling your standards.  To read that post click here.  Bundling is the strategy of putting together standards that work well together.  Standards are arranged in bundles for several reasons including: Bundles help you connect related …

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Planning and Carrying Out Investigations for Upper Elementary

NGSS NGSS Newbies Planning and Carrying Out Investigations Science and Engineering Practices Upper Elementary

One major shift in an NGSS aligned classroom is that students no longer do confirmation style labs.  During confirmation style labs, the teacher has already taught students what they need to know and then students perform a lab to confirm what they have already learned.  Instead, students are required to begin planning their own investigations …

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