Illinois science teachers association

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About the Working Group


After engaging in over 200 hours of professional development with national experts, we knew that in order to really understand how to bring NGSS to classrooms, teachers needed to experience the same productive struggle that kids do in an NGSS classroom.  With that in mind, we formed the first storylining working group, which is open to anyone to join at any time. The group is led by Dr. Jason Crean and Mrs. Kristin Rademaker and meets once a month to maintain that open collaboration.  We are able to offer Professional Development Credits to participants with an open-door policy.   

We began this project with 3 goals in mind:

  1. Train educators in three-dimensional learning, teaching, and coherent curricular design through sustained collaborative work and by both experiencing and doing it themselves; 
  2. Create coherent storylines, including embedded three-dimensional assessment pieces that will evolve over time through continuous feedback from pilot teachers; and most of all
  3. Share our work- for teachers, by teachers, for free-  with any stakeholders interested in making the fundamental shift towards a three-dimensional classroom. 

Our first working group met in 2016 and included educators from 5 districts with a passion for figuring out how to bring the NGSS to classrooms. We've since grown to represent over 100 districts from across the state and country and are hoping to begin working groups for other content areas and grade bands soon! 


Click on the photos in the slideshow below to access all of our storyline calendars in their google drives. Please note they are a work in progress and some are more complete than others, but we welcome your collaboration and feedback!


Contact us if you'd like more information, or would like to join a working group!



Who we are


 Jason Crean, MS Bio, EdD, is a biology instructor at the high school and university levels and an education consultant and instructor in the Education Department at the Chicago Zoological Society.  Crean teaches courses in the Department of Biology at Saint Xavier University including Zoo Biology: Animal Nutrition, Behavior, and Husbandry as well as preservice science teacher preparation course in the School of Education.  Crean has been awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, the highest award a teacher can receive in the US, by President Obama in 2009, the 2010 High School Science Teacher of the Year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as awards from the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Illinois Science Teachers Association, the Golden Apple Foundation, among others. He serves as President for the Illinois Science Teachers Association, President for the Illinois Association of Biology Teachers, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching and the College Board's National Science Advisory Panel.



Kristin Rademaker is a high school life science and special education teacher with 18 years of classroom experience.  Kristin has worked with the Next Generation Science Standards since their adoption in 2014 and has worked both locally and nationally in helping districts implement their new state standards.  Kristin serves as a professional development facilitator and instructional coach for the National Science Teachers Foundation and also reviews NGSS aligned curriculum for Achieve's Peer-Review-Panel for Science. She has also received the Robert E Yager Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017 and was named NSTAs Distinguished Teacher in 2018.



Contributing Authors:

Lauren Baldacci, Manteno High School

Kimberly Bart, Carl Sandburg High School

Carlin Glennon, St. Laurence High School

Jeff Grant, Downers Grove North High School

Kristine Jackiw, Alan B. Shepard High School

Todd Katz, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

Michele Koehler, Riverside-Brookfield High School

Tracy Mize, Lake Park High School 

Anne Oiler, Southland College Prep Charter  High School

Karen Regan, Lake Park High School

Jennifer Snyder, Carl Sandburg High School

Will Taylor, Simeon Career Academy

Kathy van Hoeck, York Community High School

Lisa Volesky, Wheaton North High School

Tina Vega, Chicago Zoological Society

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