Episode 036: Meet a 6th Grade NGSS Teacher: Gillian Luévano


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Gillian Luévano shares with us her experiences with implementing NGSS in her 6th grade science classroom. Like many teachers, she has been putting together her NGSS lessons from a variety of sources. Gillian describes what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and what’s in the works for complete NGSS implementation. The resources she has found most useful and engaging for her students are linked in the shownotes below.

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Show Highlights

  • 03:00 - 05:00    Introduction to Gillian's teaching history
  • 05:00 - 12:30    Gillian's 5-year journey with teaching NGSS including lab examples and student struggles
  • 12:30 - 16:30    Argument-Directed Inquiry (ADI) and National Geographic certification
  • 16:30 - 19:50    Developing a 6-8th grade curriculum for NGSS performance expectations
  • 20:00 - 23:00    What's going well with NGSS & what isn't in Gillian's classroom 
  • 23:00 - 25:45    Collaborating with teachers in other disciplines
  • 28:00 - 33:00    Gillian's favorite resources & her advice for new NGSS teachers

 Show Quotes 

"I tried to emphasize to my students that this is where scientists are—what they actually do is they see these questions, they have inclinations, and then they create their own thing. But that was also one of the biggest struggles was having that open-ended—so here's this one question, you create everything else. And there were four class periods in a row where they just sit and stare at me." [8:50 - 9:15] Gillian Luévano

 "We did pare down the NGSS performance expectations this year because trying to teach all of them in those three years was too much. We were bogged down teaching surface-level content. So we pared it down and then tried to do a natural progression of learning. So we're starting at chemistry and then it goes into photosynthesis and cycling of matter with ecology and then cells because we'd talking about photosynthesis and organisms and thermodynamics." [16:45 - 17:20] Gillian Luévano

"One big thing I've learned with NGSS is that you have to look at it, you have to break it down, and you have to have those conversations with other teachers to be successful." [19:35-19:45] Gillian Luévano


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