So, there I was, digging out a lab that I have done for many years. I had materials ready, was looking over the plan, tweaking some of the questions and thinking to myself, dude, this looks good. I smiled and for a brief moment, I was proud of myself. My kids would be doing science!! Yeah!

Then I happened to look over and notice my NGSS notebook (big ol’ thing). My smile went away. I was no longer that proud. A thought ran through my brain, “does this lab really get to the heart of what NGSS is trying to accomplish?” NGSS is very much about process and having kids DO science. My kids were not going to be “doing” science with the old lab experience. They were going to be doing a simple demonstration and kick back the singular results. Well, let’s just say that made me not as proud anymore.

I started going through Appendix F and looking at the practices to find a better method. The practice of Plan and Carry Out an Investigation popped right out at me. Why didn’t I think of that earlier? Let the kids take the knowledge they have gained by combing through various climate sites and make them “Plan and Carry Out an Investigation” dealing with land and sea ice.

The plan now is to have the students take one day where they will:
1) Write out the plan
2) Have another group read over it to see if makes sense
3) Develop a materials list
4) Identify appropriate variables
5) Develop an appropriate data table and graph on Excel
6) Develop an overarching Question
7) Identify and evaluate limitations of their model
8) Identify and evaluate merits of their model
9) Develop an appropriate Hypothesis
10) Identify a possible extension if possible

The second day, they will carry it out and then write up a conclusion based on the results they obtain. Simple enough right? Geez, old habits die hard. What old habits do you all have that you are having a hard time letting go of that do not fit into the NGSS approach to science education?