What are the KLEWS to real learning in the classroom?
In order for the vision of the Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to be successful, science education cannot be something we only tackle in secondary school. In some ways, it’s easier for us to get buy-in from middle school and high school science teachers, who often have a background in science content. The challenge of supporting elementary classroom teachers, who sometimes lack the same confidence when it comes to science, is critical when it comes to NGSS implementation.
In order to meet this challenge, Urban Advantage (UA) has been working on a pilot program with about 40 New York City classroom teachers, from third through fifth grades. This program, a collaboration between education staff from the American Museum of Natural History, New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Queens Botanical Garden, aims to support these teachers by engaging students in authentic science investigations.
The KLEWS strategy has been a key feature of this work.
A few years ago, I was sharing with Mary Starr, executive director of the Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network, the work I’d been doing around scientific explanations for middle school teachers, referring to the book, Supporting Grade 5-8 Students in Constructing Explanations in Science, by Kate McNeill and Joe Krajcik.
Mary then asked if I was familiar with the book, What’s Your Evidence?, also by Kate McNeill, along with Carla Zembal-Saul and Kimber Hershberger.
That was how I discovered the KLEWS strategy, a powerful tool to support the Claims-Evidence-Reasoning (C-E-R) work we were already doing in our program.
So how can teachers begin to use the KLEWS chart right now in their science instruction?