On the very first episode of the podcast, Nicole and Erin discuss how they got started with the NGSS and how they began collaborating. They discuss some of the challenges that they experienced when they started working with the Next Generation Science Standards.
This episode recording was the first time Erin and Nicole got to talk “Face-to-Face”. They had connected through social media before, but only by messaging back and forth.
1:38 How We Started Teaching
Nicole and Erin talk about how they started teaching. Neither started in college thinking that they would would become science teachers.
But, after some missteps (and breakups!?) both teachers found themselves in the science classroom. They discuss their first few years in the classroom as well as what went well and what didn’t.
6:04 What We Are Doing Now
Erin moved closer to home to teach 7th and 8th Grade Science at a K-8 school where her daughter also attends. She created Sadler Science and has been working with teachers to help them meet the intent of the NGSS in their classroom.
Nicole left the classroom after having her second child. She created the iExplore Science, a program dedicated to helping science teacher make the instructional shifts required by the NGSS.
9:08 How We Started Using NGSS
Nicole’s first job was at a school with very limited curriculum. She knew she didn’t want to follow the textbook chapter by chapter, so she started investigating alternative curriculum. She wanted to give a students the opportunity to use a discovery-based approach to learning the content.
Nicole discovered the NGSS after joining NSTA. She won an award to attend the national conference for free as well as get some additional training. That helped her to understand the NGSS.
Erin was the only teacher at her school teaching her specific courses. She’d heard that there were new standards and rather than building a program that wouldn’t align, she opted to investigate the new standards instead.
Erin then attended an early implementers training. At that time, she realized that it was vital that students be exposed to NGSS-style education as early as possible in order for her middle and high school students to be successful with the new standards.
16:57 Some Early Missteps with the NGSS
Like all teachers new to the NGSS, Nicole and Erin made some missteps along the way. Both admit that they started by focusing primarily on the Discipinary Core Ideas rather than using a 3-dimensional approach.
The two teachers discuss major misconceptions about modeling, teaching vocabulary and the structure of an NGSS aligned classroom.
Nicole and Erin created the podcast to help teachers avoid some of their early missteps.
23:18 How Nicole and Erin Started Working Together
Nicole started iExplore Science and was looking for ways to expand. She ran across one of Erin’s posts and decided to message her. They agreed to work together to start “spreading the NGSS word”.
Learn More About Starting Out With NGSS
Are you just getting started with the NGSS? Check out these resources from iExploreScience and Sadler Science.
- Get to know Nicole and Erin on our About Page.
- Nicole’s Blog and Resources
- Erin’s Blog and Resources