Next Generation Science Standards Gaining Momentum in Belen
• Momentum-the impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events
Science teachers gathered this week for the 3rd time this semester to continue developing NGSS aligned materials for the district.
Belen High School Teachers are centering conversations around student need and student choice to drive their units of instruction. Leveraging the science expertise of teachers from multiple disciplines to create engaging, real world, and phenomena-based learning experiences for students. Bioluminescence-what student can resist the novelty of a glow stick? What application might this phenomenon have to communities who live without light?
Belen Middle School is refining the work started last year with Open SciEd. Publicly available Open SciEd units such as Metabolic Reactions which answers the unit question: How do things inside our bodies work together to make us feel the way we do? and Matter Cycling to answer the question: Where does food come from and where does it go next? are being evaluated for disciplinary core idea content and scaffolding enrichment opportunities. Teachers are investigating dynamic ways to integrate technology into their lessons.
Intermediate Elementary grade teachers explored the science their students will be engaged in. NGSS aligned sample lessons sparked their enthusiasm around the topics of sound energy, unbalanced forces, and the hydrologic cycle. Rubber band instruments illustrated the core idea that sound moves through vibration. Engineering design practices were put to use as teachers designed, tested, and refined straw rockets and the What a Cycle game expanded the understanding of water cycle elements.
Primary Elementary grade teachers explored the science their students will be engaged in. NGSS aligned sample lessons sparked their enthusiasm around the topics of pushes and pulls, light waves, and forces and motion. Teachers were rescuing pigs from Pig Island with an understanding of the Kindergarten core ideas of pushes and pulls with ramps. Dark spaces were illuminated while exploring first grade concepts of light. Second grade ideas included an investigation of solids that acted like liquids.