In this fifth-grade unit on interrelationships in ecosystems, students investigate the apparent disappearance of the body of a dead raccoon over time. Their findings lead them to uncover the role of decomposers in this process, as well as the role of decomposers in the disappearance of plant debris over time. Students ultimately track down where the materials come from that all living things need for repair and growth and where the energy comes from that they use to move and stay warm.
ARTIFACT AND STORIES FROM A CLASSROOM ENACTMENT
Here is a link that let you take a sneak peek at one class's journey through the start of storyline (from the second round of piloting - the Beta pilot).
Gretchen Brinza is currently teaching fifth and sixth-grade science in Chicago Public Schools. She has spent her teaching career in various science and engineering teaching positions in grades K-8th. She is always willing to learn more about three-dimensional learning and the positive impact it has on student learning in science. Gretchen participated in the MSU-Urban STEM and Leadership Fellowship. She is a recipient of the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (K-6 Science, Illinois) and the 2017 Illinois STEM Educator Award.
Elizabeth Doherty is a sixth-grade science teacher at Madison Middle School in Trumbull, CT. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Connecticut and completed her Master’s and Sixth Year degrees in Administration and Supervision from Southern Connecticut State University. Over the past 27 years, Elizabeth has been involved with science education on both the elementary and middle school levels where she has worked as a science teacher, a professional development provider, and a teacher leader.
Jane Hock is currently teaching sixth-grade science at Madison Middle School in Trumbull Connecticut. Jane graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a BA in Communications, MA in Education and a Sixth Year degrees in Foundations. She was the recipient of "Celebration of Excellence", a program administered by the Connecticut State Department of Education, which recognizes excellence in teaching by honoring Connecticut public school teachers who have developed exceptionally creative curriculum projects and implemented them successfully in the classroom. Her goal is to continue to introduce a creative curriculum that is inspirational and challenging to her students.
Cindy is an assistant professor of education and the director of the Quinnipiac University Science Teaching and Learning Center. The QUeST Learning Center’s goal is to support pre-service and in-service science teachers as the Connecticut transitions to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Amy McGreal is currently teaching fifth and sixth grade science at Lara Academy in Chicago, IL. Amy is an adjunct professor at Northwestern University, teaching Science Methods for Elementary Teachers, and has partnered with the Next Generation Science Exemplar System for Professional Development (NGSX) to train teachers and administrators. She is passionate about bringing high quality, student driven, phenomena based science experiences to her students.
Thomas J. McKenna is a Staff Scientist & Professional Development Specialist at the Connecticut Science Center, a doctoral candidate in Science Education at the University of Connecticut, and a national facilitator for the NGSX project (www.NGSX.org). He has a passion for bringing authentic science experiences into K-12 classrooms through working with pre-service and in-service teachers and his current research is focused around ways to reach the vision in the NGSS.
Michael Novak develops NGSS-designed curriculum materials and professional development for the Next Generation Science Storylines project at Northwestern University. He is currently working on several development teams in the OpenSciEd Developers Consortium to develop storyline-based middle school NGSS units and professional development. He has also authored instructional units and computational models for the Center for Connected Learning. Novak is a 2014 Golden Apple Fellow and National Board-Certified teacher.
Ty Scaletta teaches 6th and 7th grade science at North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka, IL. Ty holds a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from Northwestern University. He is passionate about designing and implementing three-dimensional science curriculum for the middle grades, as well as finding ways to support student autonomy and cooperative learning in the science classroom through productive talk.