Last updated on January 8, 2013
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6th Grade Science Teacher and Google Certified Educator
MURRAY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, GEORGIA
“Teaching is a multifaceted profession, demanding one person to wear multiple hats, often simultaneously. Having a resource that truly helps lighten the burden of at least one of those hats, and one that actually produces consistent gains in learning growth, is a wonderful feeling. SmartNGSS is one of those miraculous resources!
I have been using SmartNGSS in my 6th grade science class within a low socioeconomic status, rural county for over a year. It has not only been an all-inclusive curriculum based on my standards that requires no additional research, material/resource creation, organization, or formative assessment planning on my part, it has also shown significant trends of growth on district tests.
Students are guided in how to think like a scientist by real scientists, using one of the most successful formats - the 5E. They are given small chunks of information one at a time with interactive tasks and digital manipulatives as on-going assessment at each step up a beautifully constructed scaffold. Students genuinely explore concepts, generate questions, and develop reasoning a bit similar to a well-rounded STEM activity (but better), instead of being given facts to memorize and regurgitate or doing worksheets that require little application of the content information. Differentiation, ELL/ESOL accommodation, and integration of reading and math are now far easier than ever before in my 10 years of experience.
SmartNGSS delivers on so many levels and is so user friendly that a teacher with one license, an ActivBoard, and no science background could still use and benefit from the program. Data is easy to collect, and my district pre/post test data proves the great strides in improvement students are experiencing in transferring their learning from the program to a standard multiple-choice exam. Students are making connections with little effort, even between different units. The students enjoy it, the teacher enjoys it, and it works! What more do you need?”
LAKEVIEW ACADEMY, SARATOGA SPRINGS, UTAH
“It's the best addition I have made to my curriculum in the 11 years I have been teaching.
I love using SmartNGSS with my 8th graders because it's not encyclopedic, it's experiential.
Students don't need to be fed vocabulary because they can just look those things up. They need to be taught how to think and SmartNGSS does an excellent job of that. The simulations and virtual labs are innovative, responsive, and engaging. It's based on the 5E model which has been research-proven and also works nicely with 3D instruction that should start with a phenomenon.
I love that it requires the students to work through a problem until they get it totally right. Vocabulary and background ideas are there for their perusal at any point in the process, including during the testing.
It helps them to learn to think through problems like a scientist would. It's the best addition I have made to my curriculum in the 11 years I have been teaching.”