Sonoma County Office of Education

Blog: Exploring NGSS

Science SymbolThis blog focuses on the new science standards that were adopted for California’s K-12 public schools in 2013. It offers ideas and resources to support science instruction in relation to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and 21st century learning.

Author | Anna Babarinde | Email Anna | Blog Protocols (pdf)

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We’re in this Together: A Lesson for NGSS Transition
Joining a group of students in Mexico to build houses over spring break was a team learning experience with similarities to the AP Biology course Anna Van Dordrecht taught this year. Using student-driven inquiry, she led the class – and herself – on a path that resulted in rich learning and a strong sense of camaraderie. Both of these experiences required hard work and a willingness to take risks, characteristics that are about to become widespread as teachers transition to NGSS. Read More...

NGSS: Replacing "Have To" with "Get To"
With CCSS already in play and the Next Generation Science Standards poised for implementation, there are a lot of things that feel like “have to” in science education. Lessons, units and, in some cases, entire curriculums have to be redesigned. There are decisions about the sequence and structure of courses that have to be made. The hard work that lies ahead won’t go away, but the lens through which we approach these changes can make a difference. “As science educators at this particular junction, we actually ‘get to’ do quite a bit,” says Anna Van Dordrecht. Read More...

Reflections from the NSTA Conference: Making It Just a Little Easier
Anna Van Dordrecht recently attended the joint National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) and California Science Teacher’s Association (CSTA) conference in Long Beach. She was excited to attend and get ideas and inspiration—and that did happen—but the bumps along the way provided an important lesson for educators adapting to the many changes in schools today. Read More...

Focus on the Next Step, not the Long Dark
Getting started with the Next Generation Science Standards seems like a daunting task, but this blog post should quell your fears! In it, Anna Van Dordrecht offers some easy advice for taking a first step, digging in with what you have and where you are, and not being afraid to make mistakes. Read More...

Introducing the BaySci Team!
I’d like to introduce you to an amazing team of educators who are working as NGSS pioneers for Sonoma County. This group of ten teachers, known as the BaySci Leadership Team, represents nine districts and a striking level of experience and expertise in K-8 science education. Learn about the origins of the team and their plans for this year and next. Read More...

Ready for the NGSS adventure?
Welcome to my NGSS blog! My name is Anna Van Dordrecht and I am thrilled to be SCOE’s new Teacher-on-Loan for science. This year more than any other feels like the start of a new adventure as we begin to explore the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and what they will mean for science education. Read More...

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