Episode 064: Diving into NGSS with Spencer Martin


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Join our guest today, Spencer Martin, as he candidly shares his NGSS journey from having just a cursory review of NGSS in Texas to 3 years later in Kansas where he is currently a science curriculum instructional coach. Lots of insight on strategies that work (and don’t work) when beginning NGSS implementation.

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Show Highlights

  • 01:00 - 06:30     Introduction to Spencer and his background with NGSS
  • 06:30 - 08:30     Resources for and rigor in NGSS curriculum
  • 08:30 - 11:00     Spencer's work as a science curriculum coach
  • 11:00 - 23:30     NGSS implementation struggles and successes
  • ...
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016_NGSS Resources and Strategies that Work with Wanda Faye Bryant



Meet Wanda Faye Bryant, a 7th grade NGSS science teacher at Detroit Public Schools Community District. Wanda shares with us what resources and strategies she uses to successfully implement NGSS in her classroom. She describes the lessons she’s learned through four years of experience in implementing NGSS in her classroom and details various methods and exercises which have been useful in engaging students through NGSS.

Join our Facebook Group and comment to win a copy of Visible Learning in Science. 

And remember, you’re phenomenal!

Show Notes:

In this episode we discuss...

  • Introduction of Guest Wanda Bryant,  science teacher and veteran of NGSS implementation
  • Discussion of the various NGSS training programs Bryant has experienced
  • How did Bryant approach beginning NGSS teaching?
  • The driving question board within the 3D teaching approach.
  • How to respond to student questions concerning different investigations
  • Discussion of the...
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004: Meet a Writer of the NGSS--Jen Gutierrez


 Episode #004 Summary

(1:00) So without further ado, here is Jen Gutierrez. Welcome, Jen. Thank you for coming on to our show today. Will you tell us a little bit about yourself?

(2:00) Jen tells us about working on the NGSS writing team specifically on the Life Science team and Appendix D.

(3:00)  How did Jen get involved in that process?

(4:00) Jen’s incredible “aha!” moment when she first reads the drafts of the Framework (the foundation of NGSS).

(7:53) Jen tells us about her go-to NGSS resources.

(11:34) What are some of the misconceptions that you (Jen) might still be seeing that teachers might have about the NGSS?

(22:08) Jen discusses Engineering is Elementary

(34:39) Jen gives some final words of wisdom and more resources!

NGSS Resources mentioned in this episode


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3 Reasons to Use Single Point Rubrics for your NGSS 3D Assessments


Why use single point rubrics for NGSS 3D Assessments?

1. Invites higher-quality meaningful feedback

Rather than choosing from a list of generic descriptions that don’t always apply, single point rubrics require teachers to specify where students need to make some adjustments and also identify notable areas of quality for that particular student. This creates personalized feedback which will more likely be read.

2. Doesn’t try to cover all the aspects of a project that could go well or poorly.

This creates more flexibility without sacrificing clarity. You no longer have to think of all the different ways students could fail or succeed.


3. Students Prefer Them.

Your students will find them easier to read. With only the target expectations to focus on, they are more likely to read those expectations and with less text they experience less overwhelm.

Take Action:

Join the Single Point Rubric Movement!  Use one of the example rubrics or...

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Empower Your Students: Give Them the Keys to Science and Engineering with the Crosscutting (Key) Concepts

The seven crosscutting concepts in the NGSS deepen our students’ understanding of the disciplinary core ideas and help develop their scientific literacy by uniting the core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.

To help make the crosscutting concepts (and therefore the disciplinary core ideas and practices) more accessible to her students, one teacher in Kansas, Dr. Robin Wooten, created these infographics to model the crosscutting concepts as the “keys to unlocking the mysteries of the universe” (Download your own copies below).


Dr. Wooten states:

“As science teachers well know, the importance of the crosscutting concepts is not merely that they apply across the domains of science and engineering, but that, because they “address the fundamental aspects of nature, they also inform the way humans attempt to understand it." 

 Consequently, the ...

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