Fingerprinting Resource Inspiration

The following list of websites are all related to Fingerprint Evidence and can be used as either teacher or student resources.

Do you have any great resources to add to this list? Please post them in the comments and I’ll update the list!

Anticipating the NGSS

As schools all over the country re-evaluate their curriculum to meet the Common Core Standards, we science teachers are left in a predicament!  Yes, there are some aspects of the Common Core that we must evaluate and incorporate into our science courses, but we don’t have a new set of standards…..yet!  In my school district we have spent a lot of PD time curriculum mapping and that has been a very worthwhile effort.  The only downside is that we are anticipating some changes to our courses with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  The NGSS are scheduled for release this month!  After the release we need to wait on our state to determine whether they will adopt the NGSS as is, with modifications, or not at all.  The likely answer is that they will adopt the NGSS, as Massachusetts is one of the 26 states who are working to create them, but they could choose to adopt them with modifications.  And the science teachers continue to wait……

While we wait…..

I have reviewed the NGSS drafts and have taken some insight from them already that informs my practice.  Until this review I hadn’t specifically concerned myself with the Crosscutting Concepts and the Science and Engineering Practices.  I now have them displayed on my classPractices-thumbroom wall as a reminder of what we should be learning besides science content.  I find it very helpful for students to see them and reflect on what they are.  As we do an activity I can ask the class, “Which of the Practices or Crosscutting Concepts applies to this lesson?”  I’m enjoying the discussions.

Moving forward….

I am happy with the paradigm shift taking place where we expand our focus from ‘content only’ to ‘content and practice.’  It really makes perfect sense!  I was able to attend an AP Biology Summer Content Institute last year and was pleased to find that the course has undergone a major revision with the same theme.  The 12 ‘cookbook’ labs that we all know and love, The Dirty Dozen, have been revised or replaced with inquiry labs.  I’ll be writing about this in another post!  And the content that is required for the course has been slightly modified as well to focus on higher order thinking and understanding as opposed to memorization of content.  Even the AP test questions have been revised to have longer question prompts that require a student to process information in order to answer the question prompt.  Change is coming with the NGSS and I think it will benefit our students in the long term.
Below are the Science and Engineering Practices and the Crosscutting Concepts, and my posters that are displayed in my classroom.  You are welcome to take them for your classroom.

Science and Engineering Practices

1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
2. Developing and using modelsConcepts-thumb
3. Planning and carrying out investigations
4. Analyzing and interpreting data
5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
7. Engaging in argument from evidence
8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Crosscutting Concepts

1.Patterns
2.Cause and Effect
3.Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
4.Systems and System Models
5.Energy and Matter in Systems
6.Structure and Function
7.Stability and Change of Systems

Click here for the Classroom Posters in pdf form.

Hello world!

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.comThe typical first blog post title!  What shall I say?  Why am I doing this?  I have been a high school science teacher for 12 years and have had the pleasure of teaching in many different subject areas in that time.  I find that I like to have variety in my day! So I will use this blog to share materials that I’ve created in an attempt to organize my own thoughts, and I would like to make sense of my extensive list of bookmarks by creating some lists of resources in different topic areas as well.

I am not a teaching guru or an expert in STEM but I know that a lot of us are searching for ways to improve and I have the following goals in mind:

  • Increase student enthusiasm and achievement in STEM topic areas.  We want them to choose this as a career!
  • Help other teachers by providing some resources, ideas, and hopefully inspiration for those days when you just need something fun to do with photosynthesis!

One thing that I have to offer my students is enthusiasm for the topics that we are studying.  In my opinion that is the greatest motivator for my students to achieve.  Please explore the site and let me know what you are hoping to find by commenting below.