January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Primary Science, Common Core, and NGSS

Posted: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

by Valerie Joyner and Michelle French

With special thanks to the Tulare County of Office of Education and the K-12 Alliance

Spring is here! And with it comes many opportunities for adding science and NGSS to your Common Core Curriculum! As flowers bloom, snails and spittle bugs emerge, and creeks flow, look around your school and home for science opportunities for your students to explore. It might take some digging or turning rocks over (don’t forget to put them back) and you have instant enthusiasm for a new primary science lesson! Remember, the focus for K-2 science is: choose ideas about phenomena that students can directly experience and investigate (adapted from A Framework for K-12 Science Education 2012).

To get started, look through your ELA and math CCSS to see what you still need to cover this year. It might be strengthening your students reading for understanding, engaging in argument, graphing, or descriptive writing.  Then identify and highlight any standards or curriculum materials that could be taught through science. Look closely at the texts and/or trade books your students will be working with and determine what local flora or fauna you could use to integrate into your curriculum.

Let’s say for example your students will be reading “Earthworms Underground” by Kevin Beals, “An Earthworm’s Life”, by Himmelman, or “Diary of a Worm” by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss. This is the perfect time to allow students to make first hand observations and experiences that they can use to strengthen their reading, writing, listening, and oral language skills.

SAMPLE ACTIVITY

Material You Will Need:

  • Collect or buy earthworms (available at your local bait shops) – 2-3 for each pair of   students
  • Small 3-4” containers – 1 for each pair of students
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Water to moisten towels and clean up

ENGAGE

Before you begin an earthworm observation ask students to share with each other what they know and wonder about worms.  You can use a sentence frame like: “I know that worms are/have _______________________________.” And “I wonder if worms are/have _______________.” Record ideas on chart paper.

EXPLORE:

Set-up: Place 2-3 worms in a small dish, one for each pair of students. Moisten paper towels for students to place on work areas for observing their worms.  Have clean-up materials ready.

Part #1 – Observation

  1. Start the observation with a discussion about how to safely and responsibly handle earthworms.
  2. Explain to the students that they will be observing the structures and behaviors of earthworms. Instruct them to record 1-3 things they observe in their science notebook.
  3. Distribute worms and paper towels and allow time for students to observe and record (or dictate) their observations.
  4. Ask students to share their observations about the structures and behaviors of their worms.  Compare their observations with the “I Know and I Wonder” chart.  This is an excellent time to check for misconceptions and to allow students to increase their reading and oral vocabulary. Common Core!

Part #2 – Guided Reading

Using Text Features – identify the vocabulary words from the chart that are words in the Glossary, read the definitions of the words noted on the chart.  Next ask students which words from our chart are missing from this glossary? Make notations on chart. Then ask students to think about this question: “If you were the author, what word(s) from the chart would you add to the Glossary?  “I would add the word ___________________, because _____________.”

Reading for Understanding – Choral Reading, questions to ask during reading (depending on text).

  • What structures do earthworms have that help it live underground?
  • What is an adaptation that allows earthworms to survive?
  • How do earthworms protect themselves from sunlight?
  • What structures do other animals have that live underground?

Engaging in Argument – partners and then whole group

  • Discuss with your partner how earthworms protect themselves. “Earthworms protect themselves by ____________________________.
  • Whole group – “From your observations and readings, what new information can we add to the chart?

EXPLAIN:

Notebook entry

  1. Draw a picture of a worm in its underground habitat.  Include at least 1 predator that shares its habitat.
  2. Explain how the earthworm protects itself from these predators.  Write in complete sentences.
  3. Have students share out their pictures and writing (dictation).

EXTEND:

Observing – Have students observe other local animals and record their observations.

Comparing – Have students, work with partners to compare and contrast the structures and behaviors of the animals they have observed

Designing (NGSS) – Identify a problem a worm or other animal has, brainstorm possible solutions, make a plan with drawings and materials, create a model and test it, and then discuss what didn’t work and modify and improve your original design.  Finally retest and modify.

References:

National Research Council (NRC).2012. A Framework for K-12 Science Education:   Practices, Cross-Cutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press

NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Resources:

 

Written by Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner

Valerie Joyner is a retired elementary science educator and is a member of CSTA.

One Response

  1. […] to get started? Here’s a great K-2 observation and critical thinking lesson on earthworms (and the district elementary libraries have lots of books about earthworms you can use […]

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LATEST POST

Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

OVERVIEW
Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.

REGISTER

http://bit.ly/ACCELERATINGINTONGSS

DATES & LOCATIONS
MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

CSTA’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. Learn More…

Written by Guest Contributor

From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.

Find Your Reason to Engage

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Jill Grace

I was recently reflecting on events in the news and remembered that several years ago, National Public Radio had a story about a man named Stéphane Hessel, a World War II French resistance fighter, Nazi concentration camp survivor, and contributor to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The story focused on a book he had published, Time for Outrage (2010).

In it, Hessel makes the argument that the worst attitude is indifference:

“Who is in charge; who are the decision makers? It’s not always easy to discern. We’re not dealing with a small elite anymore, whose actions we can clearly identify. We are dealing with a vast, interdependent world that is interconnected in unprecedented ways. But there are unbearable things all around us. You have to look for them; search carefully. Open your eyes and you will see. This is what I tell young people: If you spend a little time searching, you will find your reasons to engage. The worst attitude is indifference. ‘There’s nothing I can do; I get by’ – adopting this mindset will deprive you of one of the fundamental qualities of being human: outrage.  Our capacity for protest is indispensable, as is our freedom to engage.”

His words make me take pause when I think of the status of science in the United States. A general “mistrust” of science is increasingly pervasive, as outlined in a New Yorker article from the summer of 2016. Learn More…

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Written by Jill Grace

Jill Grace

Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance and is President of CSTA.