For months, we’ve been sitting on some incredibly exciting news at Teaching Strategies, which I’m thrilled to finally be able to share with you. But before I do—first, some background.
Frightful? Delightful? Depends on who you ask?
When reading over the new Next Generation Science Standards that were recently made available, I was excited to see the breadth of science topics and ideas that were included for the kindergarten year. One of the topics mentioned is children’s understanding and exploration of weather concepts. There are so many strategies to help you incorporate weather throughout the day in meaningful ways that also allow children to use and share weather observations, and begin to describe patterns over time.
The education world is abuzz with the news of the final release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These standards break new ground in the integration of content and application. Many states are considering adopting them to join the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and the Common Core Standards for Mathematics to form a comprehensive set of standards shared across states. Underscoring all of the excitement is the question of how these new science standards will integrate with current assessments. While we wait for the National Research Council (NRC) to come out with a framework for assessments, kindergarten teachers using Teaching Strategies GOLD® can already see the link between the Science and Technology objectives for development and learning in Teaching Strategies GOLD and the new NGSS.
Planning for a new study is an enjoyable process that includes self-reflection and brainstorming. After selecting an appropriate study topic and gathering background information for your own knowledge, it is helpful to create a web of important ideas. An idea web is a way to think about the key concepts related to the topic that children will discover during their investigations.
…end-of-year testing, that is. For many third-grade students and their families, this year marks the first time they experience end-of-grade testing. Depending on the temperaments of the children in your class, you may have students who are excited, nervous, afraid, or all of the above. You may have families who are anxious and want to spend as much time as possible preparing their child, or you may have families who feel resentful that these tests are a required part of the school year.