February 2016


One of the exciting and challenging things about teaching science is understanding student thinking. Students come into our classrooms with their own explanations of science phenomena based on their lived experiences. They use their own explanations in conjunction with “explanations” offered in science classrooms. The Smithsonian Science Education Center has a Good Thinking video series on common student misconceptions, including identifying effective instructional practices to reveal and address these misconceptions. Here is their latest video on natural selection. They usually add about one new video each month, so check back soon.


Just as we need to be aware of students’ misconceptions we need to guard against our own misconceptions regarding the NGSS. A New York State teacher and NGSS writer Kenneth L. Huff’s recent article in Science Scope identifies three common misconceptions about the NGSS. The public comment period on the draft NYSSLS (these are based on the NGSS) has closed. While we wait for the final NYSSLS it is important that we being to develop an understanding of them as well as the NGSS. We offer some resources on our web page.

As we begin to transition to the NYSSLS the OCM BOCES Center for Innovative Science Education will be planning systematic, cohesive, and cumulative professional develop opportunities for the region. This article, based on a recent National Academies Press publication notes the need to provide substantial PD to support NGSS implementation. The NSTA is also recommending this publication and offers a summary of key points in this blog.

To kick off our regional systematic professional learning opportunities to support the implementation of the NYSSLS and instructional practices aligned with the A Framework for Science Education (NRC, 2012) we will be hosting a fall science conference on November 8, 2016, in collaboration with Syracuse University. Details about this event will be forthcoming in the near future.

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© 2016 OCM BOCES Instructional Support. For more, please contact Jessica Whisher-Hehl