Video: Energy & Matter Across Science Disciplines


By using different lenses, a given video can act as a tool to anchor several different types of conversations about what students are learning, how they are learning it, and what a teacher could do to support different kinds of learning experiences. Below are a few questions to help viewers reflect on this classroom video. This is not a comprehensive list of questions, but rather a starting point:

  1. How would you describe how Mrs. Shelton interacts with her students? What is her role in the classroom? Think about body language, the types of questions/answers that she provides, who is doing the talking, and how you would describe the types of discourse you see in this classroom. What effect does her behavior have on student learning?
  2. Energy is a very complex and challenging idea, and in the NGSS is represented both as a crosscutting concept as well as a disciplinary core idea. In this lesson, Mrs. Shelton asks students to develop and use their understanding of energy to transfer understanding between physical and life science systems. Which elements of the DCIs and CCCs do you see students developing, and how do they make their thinking about these ideas visible? (hint! See the NGSS appendices E, F, and G for details about what students are building toward in high school.)
  3. Mrs. Shelton gives the students a claim (03:50-04:25). What features of the claim (e.g., unknown or puzzling ideas, student relevance) can stimulate student thinking? How does giving students claims to work with help students develop the practice “engaging in argument from evidence” at the high school level?
  4. In what ways do the phenomena and design challenges in the lesson, and their use together, allow you to see student understanding along elements of the DCI, CCCs, and SEPs?

What other questions and conversation starters do you think these videos could be used with these videos?

As viewers work through these questions and watch these brave teachers share a window into their classroom, it is important to remember that all classrooms, teachers, and students are starting in different places with the NGSS, with different support systems and different progressions. These videos can serve as a way to appreciate milestones on the way to NGSS while also identifying areas for improvement in classroom practice.

Watch the video here.