Why am I excited? Well let me share a few reasons why I am excited right now:

1) NGSS – That’s right. I am excited about the new science standards that Kentucky adopted. These standards are vastly superior in what they expect our students to be able to do. Application of the science is expected, not memorization. I feel so excited that I am in on the ground floor of a very exciting time in science because I get to use our new standards to help my students go farther.

2) 3 Dimensional Learning – What does this mean? This is where the NGSS is superior to our former standards. Formerly, all we were concerned with was content. Now we are concerned with the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI’s – content), Science and Engineering Practices (SEP’s – what they do) and the Cross-Cutting Concepts (CCC’s – what we are looking for). As the students are progressing through the year, they will be learning content but they will be applying this content as they are looking for various concepts such as patterns and cause and effect. The concepts are not just isolated to one branch of science so as the students work on being able to ID the concepts in one area, it will help them in every area of science and other classes they are taking. Exciting!

3) Planning – I know, planning doesn’t sound exciting but hear me out on this one. I am pumped to work with my new standards. That does mean I am ready to get to work with others about designing our instruction to meet the 3D approach of the NGSS. I can see where we want to go, but getting there is going to take some hard work and tough conversations. This is going to be a blast! All of this planning will lead to better application and deeper learning by our students.

Also, with the planning, I get to work with recently released Evidence Statements. These statements are going to be a fantastic benchmark for what evidence I should see from my students to show they have proficiency in a stated Performance Expectation. I just have to remember to not use the ES as the blueprint for my curriculum, instead as targets for my students (I hope I am right in this statement).

4) Science Fair – I am making changes to how I run my science fair and can’t really say how excited I am about where my students will go with it. Basically, they will be looking at a phenomena to investigate over the course of the year. The students will blog about it each week with other offering feedback, clarifying questions or encouragement to the students. The outside advice will be coming from a mix of undergraduate science students from our local college, a couple former students who excelled in science and practicing scientists. They will present in January what they have done up to that point and then present the completed project in late April, early May as their capstone project.

5) Year two of NGSS – Yes, I am excited because it is year two. I made plenty of mistakes last year and can’t wait to try and implement my adjustments!

6) My PLN – This may be a favorite part for me. Over the course of the year, through twitter and face to face meetings, I have been able to expand my PLN from coast to coast. It has really helped shape what I am thinking, how I approach my design work and keeps me excited when I start to get frustrated. I have met some fantastic people along the way and made some great friends.

TIme to get back to work! If you have any thoughts or questions or comments, please let me know. I really want to improve what I do.

Enjoy your day!!