As we are now halfway through the 2014-2015 school year, I am trying to reflect back on how my attempts to implement the Next Generation Science Standards. If I had to grade myself on a 1-10 scale with 1 being terrible and 10 being fantastic, I would give myself, maybe a 3 or a 4. Right now, I feel like a first year teacher all over, struggling to stay ahead of my students.

I have tried to be more intentional with the practices (really been focusing on questioning and modeling so far) within the units. I have also tried to put it more on the students to produce as opposed to memorize and spit it out on a MC test. Do I feel successful, not at all. Have I see improvement, yes. Are the students doing more of the work, yes as I try to be a facilitator as opposed to the director. My students are getting much better at identifying what makes a successful model in science. They are getting better at asking better, deeper, more probing questions. This is going to take time and I am already looking at tasks that they have done and reworking them for next year.

Am I really meeting what the NGSS standards want, probably not. I am trying but as this is the first year through, I know I am making mistakes. It is tough, first time through new standards when there is no real model out there to follow. It is tough not knowing how my students will be assessed. It is tough not being assessed at all for the school accountability.

My goals for the second semester:

1) Research and begin a formalized use of PBL

2) Research and begin use of SBG

3) Keep pushing on the modeling and questioning practices

4) Begin push on data analysis and constructing arguments

Even with everything going on, I still believe this is an exciting time to be a science teacher. Sorry for the short entry, but I had to get this one out before I got busy again. How is everyone else who is implementing NGSS feel right now? I would love to talk with anyone who feels very comfortable with it.