Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Implementation Tools and Resources

The vision for Arkansas K-12 science education  is to engage ALL students’ in experiences over multiple years to foster a progressively deeper understanding of science. Students actively engage in scientific and engineering practices in order to deepen their understanding of crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas. In order to achieve the vision embodied in the Framework and to best support students’ learning, all three dimensions should to be integrated into the system of standards, curriculum, instruction, professional development, and formative assessment. (NRC Framework, page 217)

Implementation Planning Tools

The aim of these implementation tools is to help district leaders develop implementation strategies and timelines that are coherent with other district efforts, based on a robust understanding of the current vision for science education, and designed to be managed well. 

ArkansasIDEAS Science Courses 

Disciplinary Literacy
Arthur Beauchamp, Director of the Sacramento Area Science Project at the University of California at Davis, explains how educators can easily incorporate reading, writing, and dialogue within the Science Literacy Frameworks as required in the Arkansas English Language Arts and Literacy Standards. He demonstrates several applicable activities through audience participation. Using the handouts provided by Mr. Beauchamp, follow along with these activities and see how you can make disciplinary literacy a vital part of your classroom instruction. The taping of this workshop took place on April 29-30, 2014 at the AETN studios in Conway, Arkansas.
  • DLB15001 - Disciplinary Literacy: Big Shifts in Science and Technical Subjects Grades 4-8 
  • DLB15002 - Disciplinary Literacy: Big Shifts in Science and Technical Subjects Grades 7-12 
Framework for K-12 Science Education
A Framework for K-12 Science Education identifies the key scientific ideas and practices that students in all grades should learn. Dr. Heidi Schweingruber, Director for the Board on Science Education, introduces the frameworks as a new vision for science learning. She reviews the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), details the three dimensions, and presents data in support of the need for implementing these standards in the classroom.
  • SIB15038 - The Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS: A New Vision for Science Education 
  • SIB15039 - Crosscutting Concepts 
  • SIB15039 - Scientific and Engineering Practices in the Classroom 
Vision and Plan for Science Teaching and Learning 
This course provides a vision and plan for classroom instruction consistent with the Framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards. Participants engage in a science performance that models quality classroom instruction and receive an instructional sequence that can be applied across all grade levels.
  • SSC15028 - A Vision and Plan for Science Teaching and Learning 
Shifts in Science Education 
Many significant shifts have occurred with the adoption of the new Arkansas K-4 and 5-8 Science Standards. This course demonstrates the application of these changes using a model learning investigation. In addition to exploring the major instructional shifts, the presenters provide background information on the development of the standards, recommendations for curriculum planning and development, and resources helpful for implementing the three dimensions of science education.
  • LAC15041 - Shifts in Science Education: Standards, Curriculum and Instruction (designed for teams of administrators and teachers)
Elementary Science Safety and Lab Guidelines 
Dr. Irene Cesa, retired Director of Technical Services for Flinn Scientific, addresses specific safety issues and concerns to help current and prospective teachers safely and effectively use hands-on inquiry-based science activities in the elementary classroom. This presentation details procedures for not only creating safe activities but also for establishing a "culture of safety" in the classroom. It also describes how to identify and minimize hazards and risks, and provides general safety rules and guidelines especially useful at the elementary level.
  • SIC15047 - Elementary Science Safety and Lab Guidelines 


Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Resources 

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) supports the Center on Instruction definition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education as, "an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with the ability to compete in the new economy."
  • NGSS@NSTA: STEM Starts Here is a website that offers videos, summer institutes, E-books, curriculum planning tools, and professional learning opportunities aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Next Generation Science Standards Web Seminar Series NSTA continues to offer free web seminars to help science educators increase their understanding of the standards and implement NGSS in the classroom. 
  • STEM Teaching Tools is a collection of practice briefs that highlight ways of working on specific issues that come up during STEM teaching.
  • LinkEngineering is a new website to support implementation of preK–12 engineering education in the United States. LinkEngineering aims to provide high-quality resources and build a professional community for three groups: educators working in preK–12 classrooms and out of school settings; those engaged in preservice teacher education and professional development; and school, district, and state administrators. The website responds to recent efforts, including the Next Generation Science Standards, to introduce preK–12 students to engineering concepts and practices.
  • Teachers Try Science is a website for teachers. It provides free and engaging lessons, along with teaching strategies and resources, which are designed to spark students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  The site also features collaboration tools to enable teachers to discuss and share effective instructional practices. 
  • Next Generation Science Standards Resources The NGSS Network States and Partners support the creation of resources to help educators and administrators as they plan and develop systems of implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. These resources are generally provided under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Under this license, with proper attribution, educators may use or adapt materials. See specific resources for any exceptions for licensing. Also note that these resources are intended as drafts that will continually be improved as the NGSS Network receives feedback on their effectiveness. 
  • #ProjectPhenomena and Phenomena for NGSS are websites where teachers can find phenomena to engage students in the performance  expectations. In addition, teachers can submit phenomena, find example connections to the NGSS, and explore additional aligned resources.  Science instruction has often been centered on learning general knowledge rather than exploring and explaining specific phenomena, such as directly teaching Newton’s Laws of Motion rather than learning about them through an engineering design challenge. By exploring phenomena, students have opportunities to apply science and engineering practices and to build their own larger scientific conceptions and identities. 
  • Tools for Ambitious Science Teaching is a website where K-12 science teachers can find strategies and tools for eliciting student ideas and engagement, upload their own tools, and create their own teacher page. 

Statewide Professional Development Connections to Science Specialists

  • Contact your local Education Service Cooperative science specialist to provide professional development support for implementing the Arkansas K-12 Science Standards
  • Contact your local STEM Center science specialist who is located on one of 11 Arkansas university campuses to provide professional development support for implementing the Arkansas K-12 Science Standards

For more information, please contact:

Michele Snyder, Science Specialist for Curriculum and Instruction
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall, Room 202-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-7942

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