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 …

Continue Reading

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? …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

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.  …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading
Worksheet with 3 types of graphs

Graphing Data in an NGSS Classroom

Analyzing and Interpreting Data Middle School Science and Engineering Practices

Graphing data is an essential skill in an NGSS aligned classroom.  The Next Generation Science Standards require that students use data that they have collected in order to construct their own graphs.  Constructing a graph also helps students to analyze and interpret their own data, as well as data that is presented by others. The …

Continue Reading