Episode 046: OpenSciEd NGSS Units with Jim Ryan


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Meet OpenSciEd executive director, Jim Ryan. He tells us all about the FREE high quality design badge units just released for grades 6-8. Even if you aren’t a middle school teacher, you will learn the process that went into creating and field testing NGSS units. If you are a middle school teacher, you must try out one of these units!! They have thought of everything! Listen to the interview and check out the show notes.

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Show Highlights

  • 02:15 - 11:30    Introduction to Jim & OpenSciEd
  • 12:00 - 17:00    The process for creating & field-testing OpenSciEd curriculum
  • 17:00 - 21:00    Developing OpenSciEd curriculum for elementary and/or high school science
  • 21:00 - 25:00    Adjusting OpenSciEd curriculum for your school
  • 26:00 - 28:00    Advice for K-5 & high school teachers putting together NGSS curriculum
  • 28:00 - 29:30   OpenSciEd's curriculum release schedule
  • 30:00 - 34:00   How this curriculum increases student engagement & agency
  • 34:00 - 39:00   What exactly the OpenSciEd curriculum includes & its format
  • 41:30 - 44:00   Jim's suggestions for new science teachers

 Show Quotes 

"We needed to make some decisions around design specifications: What's a unit going to look like? What's the architecture of a unit going to look like? How are we going to address science and engineering practice? How are we going to be very intentional about our addressing of the cross-cutting concepts? How do we take into consideration the practical constraints of the classroom--180 day school year, 35 kids--how do we design for those? And then what does equity in science look like? And if that's what equity in science looks like, then what doe the materials need to look like that will foster that classroom?"  [9:20-10:15] Jim Ryan

"It's generally better to start from somewhere versus a blank page. So looking for those materials--even though they may not be full programs yet--that are useful to you and then making adjustments based upon what you see the needs of your students are is a better place to start than starting from a blank page."  [26:45-27:20] Jim Ryan

"How do we develop student's agency around science, their belief that they are a scientist? It's by giving them their own voice and allowing them to ask their own questions." [32:30-32:45] Jim Ryan



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