Do NGSS Phenomena have to be Phenomenal? 5 Myths of NGSS Phenomena...Busted!

ngss phenomena phenomenon Jul 30, 2019

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Myth 1: If it’s something fun, flashy, or involves hands-on activities, it’s a phenomenon

No, a phenomenon does not have to be flashy. A hands-on inquiry lesson is not necessarily phenomenon driven. And not every fun science lesson is phenomenon driven either--but that doesn’t mean phenomenon driven lessons can’t be fun. 

Phenomena (smelling pizza in the cafeteria, mold growing on the fruit in your fridge, going down a slide and getting an electric shock)  are specific examples of something in the world that is happening—an event or a specific example of a general process that we can use our science knowledge, practices, and crosscutting concepts to explain or predict.

Engineering involves designing solutions to problems that arise from phenomena, and using explanations of phenomena to design solutions.

A puddle drying on the sidewalk is not flashy but it’s...

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Episode 015_Creating 3D Assessments with Brendan Finch



Struggling with creating NGSS 3D assessments? Meet Brendan Finch of Inner Orbit. In this episode he tells us his strategy for creating summative and formative 3D assessments and shares his most useful resources. He also tells us about Inner Orbit, an online program that helps teachers easily build and assign NGSS assessments.

Join our Facebook Group and comment on this episode and be entered in our monthly giveaway!

And remember, you’re phenomenal!

Show Notes:

  • Innerorbit is a website for teachers to build NGSS three-dimensional assessments, select questions, and assign them to their classes.
  • RocketLit is a product that customizes lessons to each student’s reading level.
  • Brendan starts his process with phenomena that aren’t easily explained, using sources like: NGSS phenomena and San Diego Country Office of Education - Project Phenomena.
  • It is great to reuse phenomena and ask new questions about it.
  • Pick one phenomena for your...
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006_Phenomena Driven Inquiry with Dr. Vince Mancuso


Listen to the whole episode  by clicking the play button below: 



Today's guest, Vince Mancuso, Ed.D., has been a middle school science teacher for 20 years. His research focuses on discrepant event phenomena in the science classroom and inquiry-based reform, specifically the development of inquiry-grounded curriculum and effective inquiry practices that enrich traditional classrooms. He developed and shaped Phenomena-Driven Inquiry  and the POQIE model through fifteen years of extensive research and field-testing that began with his Master’s work, carried through his doctoral studies, and continued through several years of post-doctoral action research.

Win a copy of his book by joining our Facebook Group NGS Navigators and commenting on this podcast's post.

Scroll down to download a free Phenomena Driven Inquiry Cheat Sheet and Lesson plan template.

Show Notes:

  • Introduction of Guest Dr. Vince Mancuso, Developer of the...
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