A message from our CEO
We hope this newsletter finds you and your families healthy during these uncertain and challenging times. While business is anything BUT usual, CreositySpace remains committed to the world of K-5 science and helping students use their unique skills, interests, and curiosity to connect to science at a time when they ask, "What do I want to do when I grow up?" 

In responding to the needs of teachers, students, and parents affected by school closures due to COVID-19, CreositySpace created an open access portal with easy lessons, activities, and a weekly innovation challenge Since launching it, we received over 750 registrations from every state and 14 countries.

Help us spread the word by following us and sharing our social media posts on Facebook and Twitter (@CreositySpace) . Or visit CreositySpace  today and make a small donation  so we may continue sharing the fun of science during the pandemic.

Kind regards,  
Peg Zokowski, CEO 
Decoding the NGSS
The adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, and similar science standards based on the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education (e.g., NYSSLS in New York), resulted in many changes to K-5 science curriculum requirements and assessments .

"What does it all mean?" "How am I supposed to fit everything in?" "Realistically, how am I supposed to incorporate these new learning objectives into my daily lessons?"  These are just a few of the reactions we hear from K-5 teachers across the country.

So we launched a weekly tip series, Decoding the NGSS to help interpret the spirit of NGSS and provide simple ways to incorporate 3-dimensional learning and the nature of science into your busy K-5 classroom.

Each Tuesday we publish a new tip on our website and at the end of the month we send out a short email summary.

Do you have a NGSS concept you've been wondering about? Drop us a line here with the subject line "Decode My NGSS. "
March and April Summary
two sides of a quarter
TIP 11

The Nature of Science:
The other side of the coin

There's been much discussion and many workshops on three-dimensional learning and how to incorporate it into the classroom. 

There remains a final category, however--the Nature of Science--which looks like it should be its own dimension but is not. Instead, it is split and positioned below both the Science and Engineering Practices and the Crosscutting Concepts.

What gives? 

Find out how to use the Nature of Science in conjunction with the three-dimensions to make science real for your students in Tip 11. 
Various examples of student models
TIP 10

Nothing Is Ever As Simple As It Seems 

Just as many K-5 educators find themselves trying to sort through NGSS, elementary students are learning how to make sense of the world around them. Models are a great way to help visualize and understand complicated ideas and issues.  

More than just a “make work” activity or art project, models are a powerful tool to increase student confidence, personalize learning, and help students develop a deeper understanding of a given phenomenon, concept, or system.

Check out Tip 10 to see how CreositySpace units use models to facilitate deeper thinking and deeper connections between students and science.
three girls discussing results
TIP 9

Evidence-Based Arguments:
More Than Just a Scientific Skill

Despite what a lot of young minds (and a few older ones) might think, science is less about “knowing with absolute certainty” and more about “figuring out the most reasonable explanation given the existing evidence.” This is why it is so crucial that students have exposure to and practice using the Scientific and Engineering Practice of Engaging in Argument from Evidence right from the very beginning. 
 
Find out why in Tip #9.
a quilt with a geometric pattern
TIP 8

Beyond the Numbers:
Using Math & Computational ​Thinking Every Day  

Most of us are hard-pressed to think of another time in recent history when math and modeling were front and center each day. Natural disasters and disease have a way of doing that and the current pandemic is no different. 

There is no escaping the daily calls from medical and government leaders to “flatten the curve,” reports of increasing (and decreasing) rates of COVID-19 infections around the world, predictions of equipment needs and shortages, and discussions about new methods for virtual communication and remote learning. These are all very clear examples of ways math and computers are a part of our daily life,  but they only represent one small subsection   of how we use math  and computational thinking  every day .

Take a look at Tip 8 to see just how much math we actually use...
Young girl and her invention from the book of ideas
TIP 7

Scientists Are Regular People Too


Despite efforts to change the image of science and demonstrate its presence in our daily lives, scientists and engineers are largely still represented by slightly out-of-touch, socially awkward, and “nerdy” individuals—think of popular TV shows such as The Big Bang Theory or “science wiz” characters in shows like Criminal Minds and House .
 
But in real life, most people who become scientists and engineers are “regular people” who use science and engineering as powerful tools to help their communities. Science  is  a human endeavor used to fuel breakthroughs in every aspect of our personal and work lives--hygiene, sports, transportation, building and home construction, communication, clothing, cooking, playing--throughout history. 

Nowhere is it this more apparent than in medicine, illustrated by a recent news stories covering the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out how science is leading the fight against COVID-19 in Tip #7.
A collage of patterns - rainbow leaves fingerprint sedimentary rocks
TIP 6

Patterns:
Order Out of Disorder

Science is an integral part of our daily routines and lives. We all benefit from, use, and rely on science from the sports apparel our kids wear and the equipment they use, to the cars we drive, the laptops students use in school, and the way we grow food. Science also helps us make sense of the world from an early age. 

Students start recognizing and organizing patterns from the time they are infants. Pattern recognition is so much a part of human nature that many of us don't even recognize we are engaged in it. If we highlight patterns as a scientific fundamental, it provides a great opportunity for students to see the scientist in themselves from an early age.

Discover why patterns are the first Crosscutting Concept and how they encourage broader exploration of science phenomena in Tip #6.
Innovation-driven Phenomena for
K-5 Classrooms