December 21, 2016


As we prepare for a well-deserved (and needed) Winter Break your friends at NJSELA want to wish you a happy and healthy new year. All the best to you and your family in 2017!
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Thank you to those who attended the December 2016 Roundtable in Hillsborough - we held great discussions and learned from each other! The Executive Committee wishes you all a happy, safe, and healthy holidays! Thank you for making a difference!

-Kim Feltre, President NJSELA

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Reminder - our membership is by calendar year. Please check to see if yours is set to expire by going here. You can renew by going through our website membership page or by contacting our secretary/membership chair Eric Siegal at: esiegal@franklinboe.org


November 2016 NGSS Now:

Q: I am a 1st grade teacher and there's not as much time to teach science in elementary school as in middle or high school. How can I make sure my students get all of the required math, ELA, and science instruction?

A: Literacy skills and competency in mathematics are critical to building knowledge in science. Likewise, writing and presenting information orally are key means for students to assert and defend claims in science, demonstrate what they know about a concept, and convey what they have experienced, imagined, thought, and/or learned. To learn more about how the NGSS connects to classroom instruction for English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics, please read AppendixL and AppendixM. Additionally, at the bottom of each page of the standards educators can find some ELA and math connections to consider during classroom instruction. If you would like to have your question featured in a future NGSS Now newsletter, please contact ngss@achieve.org.

December 2016 NGSS Now:

To help educators more quickly assess (1) whether a lesson being developed or revised is on the right track for NGSS alignment, (2) whether a lesson warrants further review using the EQuIP Rubric for Lessons & Units, and (3) the degree to which a team of reviewers have a common understanding of the standards, Achieve, NSTA, and members of the NGSS Network have developed and released a new tool, the NGSS Lesson Screener.

This tool will enable classroom teachers and state and local curriculum adoption committees to more quickly screen lessons for indications of NGSS design. Additionally, educators will be able to build deeper understandings of what lessons designed for the NGSS should look like. While it is possible for an individual educator to use this tool, the quality review process works best as a collaborative process. Educators who are familiar with the EQuIP Rubric will recognize some familiar criteria in the NGSS Lesson Screener. The power of this new tool is in the productive conversations that teachers and curriculum adoption committees can have while evaluating materials for NGSS design (i.e., the review process). Through a shared understanding of the standards and performance expectations (PEs), educators can identify quality materials and use their professional judgment in selecting and shaping lessons for their students. To learn more, download the NGSS Lesson Screener.


Kristen Crawford, NJSELA's Communications Chair, hosted a session at our last roundtable about the professional use of Twitter. She is going to hold NJSELA's first Twitter Chat in January for members.

Be sure to follow us! @NJSLEA



At the Winter Roundtable members learned about ECA, a kit management company. Details below:

As we all transition to the new standards and implement new programs, the next question is how do we manage the materials?

ECA Science Kit Services is a unique service that manages and refurbishes science kits for school districts. No matter which science program your district implements or plans to implement, ECA can help! Visit their website to learn more and discover a better way to manage science materials! http://www.eca.bz/

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