Who is your NGSS Expert?

I remember the first time I met AIMS Facilitator Sandee Vossler. It was 1995 and we were in Fresno, CA to attend Professional Learning opportunities offered at the AIMS Educational Foundation. Sandee and I immediately gravitated toward each other because we shared similar professional experiences, we both taught intermediate grades in small rural Montana schools. She is still teaching 4th grade in at small rural Montana school. We have been friends since the year we met, but more than that, I have always valued and relied on the professional knowledge that Sandee shares with her colleagues in math and science. Sandee is yet another member of AIMS Facilitator cadre who lends to the learning our group engages in. Yearly our Facilitator cadre comes together for a three day learning institute. Last June I wanted one of our afternoon sessions last to focus on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) so we might have a better understanding of them http://www.nextgenscience.org/ I thought Sandee would be the best person form our group to lead and Facilitate that session. She was on the team that had been the integral part of the efforts in the state of Montana to educate all teachers about NGSS and to help with their implementation. That team created strong communication systems throughout our very large and very rural state, and shared important resources for NGSS implementation, presented at national conferences, and facilitating professional learning opportunities to get information out. Sandee is currently implementing NGGS practices in her classroom and is dedicated to being a three dimensional teacher as described by the standards. She believes that students benefit from science being taught in a 3 dimensional approach. For elementary teachers, the strong connections between Common Core Standards language arts/math and NGSS are attractive, intuitive and make good common sense. Sandee also incorporates many AIMS math and science tasks/investigations in to her 4th grade classroom. She likes that AIMS tasks/investigation fit nicely with the expectations our national math and science documents. My circle of colleagues’ passion for continued learning inspires me. I encourage you to question your own circle of colleagues about what they are currently working on to grow and develop professionally. Your colleagues are a knowledge resource that should not go unnoticed.     

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