Back to school, back to (NGSS) lesson planning + GIVEAWAYS!

With the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in full swing in my district, I thought it would most helpful to share how I plan my lessons to coincide with its three-dimensional learning requirements.

DCIs, CCCs, SEPs, oh my! So many acronyms, it is no wonder most teachers do not know where to start. But my hope is that this blog post will help you to not only make sense of the meaning of these, but also give you some idea of the process I use to devise an NGSS-aligned lesson.

The DCIs are most similar to the science content that your students need to know, therefore this is the first place I begin my lesson planning. I start here because if you do not know what science content to teach, it is impossible to plan for the science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts the students will use to learn this content. Here is an example of a DCI that I teach to in my atomic structure unit:

“PS 1.A - Each atom has a charged substructure consisting of a nucleus, which is made of protons and neutrons, surrounded by electrons.”
Some DCIs may need to be broken down into smaller lesson objectives, for example the previous DCI could include lesson objectives for both learning about the history of the atom, ions, isotopes, and atomic mass. However, it is important to note that the NGSS now focuses on depth and not breadth. While it is important to paint an accurate picture of atomic structure, that can be done without necessarily teaching every single concept that the DCI may describe. Ideally, the students would be engaging in their own research and Q/A to uncover these concepts.

Which brings me to the second step in my lesson planning: selecting the crosscutting concepts. When you look at the DCI you must ask yourself, “what theme present in all of science can be used by your students to make sense of this content?” For example, if you are teaching about isotopes – patterns, structure and function, even stability and change are appropriate CCCs.

The final step in my lesson planning for an NGSS-aligned lesson causes me to ask myself, “how can my students act like scientists while learning this content?” Whenever possible I try to introduce a new unit by using some sort of phenomenon. For example, to teach about atomic structure I introduced the unit by using static electricity. Students constructed models, analyzed data they gathered from a simulation, and evaluated and revised their models based on observing the models constructed by their peers. When I am unsure what SEPs to include, I always try to plan my lesson around data – either data that I construct for the students, or data that the students compile. I have found this is the easiest way to ensure my lesson incorporates some sort of SEP and CCC.

Thanks so much for reading! I wish you the best of luck as we head into our second year of NGSS implementation. Please be on the lookout for more NGSS aligned lessons in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

To celebrate back to school time enter to win one of three $25.00 shopping sprees in my store:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet my friends and enter their personal giveaways!
Here are my secret words #5&6 “a person”
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Secondary Science BTS Giveaway 2016!

Today is your lucky day!

Me and some of my friends who happen to be THE TOP secondary science sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers are having a HUGE giveaway!   The first giveaway is a Rafflecopter to MY store.  You can win 25$ worth of products of your choosing.  I will email the winner their choices directly.

Maybe you're looking for a more fun way to review - try my color by number bundle!  Need some help establishing your classroom policies and procedures?  This First Days of School bundle is completely editable to fit your classroom needs.  Or you could try one of my completely print ready unit bundles - bell ringers, power points, student note sheets, homework assignments, AND answer keys are all included!

Click below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

After you enter my rafflecopter, check out each blog at the bottom of this post to go to each blog and enter their individual rafflecopter giveaways.

In addition to our individual giveaways, we put together one HUGE blog hop giveaway, just for science teachers teaching grades 6-12 science: Four $100 Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards!  Each blog post has a secret code word and a number.  My clue word is 16. TYSON.  The number tells you where the word falls in the secret sentence.  Collect the words from each blog, write them down in number order, and copy the secret sentence into joint the rafflecopter giveaway.  This rafflecopter form is the same on every blog, so you only need to enter once from any one of our blogs!  To enter the final sentence click below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet my friends (and enter their personal giveaways!):

TPT Cyber Sale - Monday - Tuesday

Great news!  The Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Sale is coming up!  Get ready for 28% off ALL of the products I have in my store when you use the code "SMILE" at checkout.  It's a great time to stock up on all the lesson plans you will need to keep you fully planned and prepped through the holidays!

Looking to spice up how you review some of the basic scientific concepts?  Try my color by numbers - I'm sure your students will love them just as much as mine do!

Midterms will be here before you know it!  Do you have your review packet AND answer key ready?  Lord knows the copy machine will break down without fail the week you need to make those copies.  Why not save yourself the stress and use mine - and actually copy it weeks before you are scheduled to review?

Want more sale updates and FREEBIE surprises?  *Hint, hint - there's one coming VERY SOON* Follow me here or on my facebook page:

Happy Mole Day!

To celebrate, enjoy 20% off my Teachers Pay Teachers store (MsRazz ChemClass) for the entire day on October 23rd!  That's 20% EVERYTHING in my store!  Certainly, there is no better way to honor Amedeo Avogadro than to pack your TpT cart with quality science resources.

Major shout out to Bethany Lau for this awesome graphic she's sharing with all the secondary science sellers involved in this sale!  Be sure to click on the link to stop by her blog to see all the sellers involved in this sale.

Best wishes for a totally awesome Mole Day with your little chemists!

Karen (MsRazz ChemClass)

Neapod: A Fabulous Tool for the Science Classroom

Hello  again!

I hope you are settling into your school year nicely and you are ready to add some exciting technology into your daily drills!

Currently I work in a 1:1 district - all students have chromebooks.  In the past, I've had to work hard to incorporate a technology component into each chemistry lesson.  However, with Nearpod - it has truly made planning and assessing my classes so much easier.

Most of the time, my students' days start out with a 5-10 question quiz.  Usually these assessments are formative in nature, but after a couple of days reviewing the content, I do convert the grade earned into points.  Nearpod has been an absolutely amazing tool for assessing my students and assessing them often!  When the students enter my classroom I post an access link on the overhead.  The students immediately get their Chromebooks out (or cell phones if they forget their Chromebook) and plug in the code.  I can see how many students are logged on in real time.  Students can record their answers in the form of multiple choice, short answer, or even draw a diagram!  You can even see which questions they are answering incorrectly.  But that's not all - Nearpod can even grade your multiple choice assessments for you, and once everyone has completed the questions, you can share the results with each individual student!  Immediate feedback!  My students love it because it really helps them gauge if they understand the material or not.  I love it because it takes minimal effort to make a quiz and it does the grading for you!
An actual printout of my student's assessment data.  The subsequent pages are not included - but they display the answer choices for each multiple choice question for each student.

I've also been exploring the use of Nearpod for flipping my classroom.  Any Nearpod presentation can be converted into a homework assignment for students to do before they come to class the next day.  It is so easy to create a presentation!  You can directly import any Power Point into Nearpod!  Then to "Nearpod-ize it" I place little check point quizzes throughout the presentation for the students to answer.  It really holds them accountable.  And of course the opposite is true, you could broadcast your Nearpod in real time with your students, instead of assigning it as homework.  I haven't used that feature too much, because I am focusing on flipping my classroom.  Want to see the most recent homework I assigned to my students?

Follow these steps:
  1. Go to
  2. Click "I'm a student"
  3. Type in the access code: GOCPV
  4. Click the arrows on the left and right to scroll through the presentation.  Feel free to even take my quizzes!  :)
Getting ready to implement NGSS?  The drawing feature can address any model building standards or even arriving to a consensus.  You can anonymously share student models and discuss the inaccuracies in each model.   I recently had the students draw heating curves for water.  We were able to address the components of a good graph and alleviate any misconceptions or inaccuracies.  It was perfect!

Now for some really good news:  You can use Nearpod for FREE!  You have most of the features available in the free version.  I'm telling you though, once you start, you won't be able to stop!  Even your students will keep asking for more!

If you have any questions about how to use Nearpod or suggestions for use, never hesitate to reach out to me.

Happy Teaching!

Karen  (MsRazz ChemClass)