Below is an overview of my work with the Irvington Middle School teaching the 8th grade self-contained Earth science course as the long-term leave replacement teacher. The work focused on such topics as density, units of measurement, geology, rock cycle, climate, and environmental systems. Following the NY Next Generation Science Standards, I incorporated students’ classwork to real-life phenomena through hands-on student center learning activities. For example, there were “Do-Now” activities that prompted students to work in teams using their scientific inquiry and collaboration skills to investigate then produce and share their findings.
I modeled the lab activities off of the NGSS crosscutting concepts such as: cause and effect; scale, proportion and quantity; as well as systems and system models. Through the lab work and the “Do Now” I tied in disciplinary core ideas such as, relating the concepts and skills that student were engaging into their own interests and life experiences for deeper “meaning making”. The focus was also on how these concepts and skills also can be applied across other disciplines.