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A Note to Parents About Their Student's Science Class
Dear Parents,
Science instruction is starting a slow change in our classrooms, across our district, across our state and the country. Next Generation Science Standards will help students gain the skills to figure out what is happening in the world around them and communicate their ideas to others. Teachers will be working to grow their instructional practices to help students be "the scientists". Changing instructional practices takes time and practice, and teachers will be working on strategies at different times.

Some of the more obvious changes will include:
>Focus on vocabulary during the later parts of instruction on a concept so students have experience to connect the new words. Assessing vocabulary with use in explaining phenomena (real world things) -not in a list of matching definition with the word.
> Less recall/memorization and more understanding expressed through verbal and written means. There will not be "right answers" to memorize the night before the test using a test review. There will be your student's notebook to review work throughout the unit and application of those concepts to phenomena/real world happenings. (Many teachers make keys and exemplar work available on line for students to access if they need to).
>Classroom learning will take place through discussion and modeling where students use evidence to support their claims in order to explain what is happening and why.
>Observing, posing questions, and making sense of phenomena are important scientific practices of the NGSS. These will become more prominent in our classrooms.

As you can see, being present and engaged in science class will be necessary. Many of the skills students will need to practice are social and require interaction with their classmates and teacher.
Next Gen Standards Intro Video
Parent Guides to Next Generation Science Standards from Achieve
Claims and Evidence