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NGSS science promotes phenomena-based learning

District Administration – Ray Bendici

“An emerging science concept called phenomena-based learning—backed by the NGSS—taps into students’ natural desire to make sense of their world. This approach encourages students to observe natural phenomena, such as a rising tide or a glass shattered by sound. They can then investigate why it occurs. Students also learn that the approach mirrors how actual scientists find answers through reasoning and inquiry.” (more)

Building Teamwork and Perseverance in Early Elementary Students with Breakouts

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“The first Breakout Angie Sutherland designed was in response to a teacher’s request for an activity to help her students improve their teamwork skills. The teacher was concerned that her students didn’t communicate well when they collaborated on projects and that they gave up too easily when an academic task became challenging. Sutherland immediately thought of Breakouts, activities based on the popular escape room experience where groups of people working together under time pressure solve a series of puzzles. As a technology integrationist for Batavia Public Schools, a district outside Chicago, Sutherland was excited to give the strategy a try.” (more)

Group Work That Works

Edutopia – Emelina Minero

“Mention group work and you’re confronted with pointed questions and criticisms. The big problems, according to our audience: One or two students do all the work; it can be hard on introverts; and grading the group isn’t fair to the individuals. But the research suggests that a certain amount of group work is beneficial.” (more)

Social and Emotional Learning in Science Class

Edutopia – Sarah Kesty

“In science lessons, engineering activities can provide a great opportunity for students to collaborate and grow social and emotional skills in low-stakes, high-engagement environments. The creative, problem-solving nature of engineering encourages students to work together, try new ideas, and learn from their mistakes.” (more)

How I gave my students voice and increased collaboration

E-School News – Raymond Steinmetz

“When I first started teaching a decade ago, I would do anything to maintain control in my classroom. Rarely were students allowed to speak without raising their hand. All of the desks in my room faced forward, and I controlled all communication. Collaboration back then looked like the occasional “turn and talk” between desk partners, and sometimes we would have problem-solving partner days where students solved word problems together.” (more)

Working in a group might be the best way to help kids meet individual goals, study says

The Hechinger Report – Jill Barshay

“Now, a new study out by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a nonprofit research firm, makes the argument that collaborative, group learning might actually serve each student’s individual academic needs quite well. In a study of almost 900 high school students at four different schools, the researchers found that the more high-quality collaborative learning experiences students had at school, the more that the students said they felt their personal learning needs were met and that they were adequately challenged and supported when they needed help.” (more)