Illinois science teachers association

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  • 07 Jan 2018 3:08 PM | Jessica Dietzel (Administrator)

    What is a Storyline?

    The NGSS provides an innovative way of students working through the material in meaningful ways.  This creates a more active student-centered learning environment instead of the traditional teacher-centered classroom.  NGSS promotes using the science and engineering practices to explain real world phenomena and problems.  Each step of the way, students figure out a piece of the puzzle around a phenomenon and each question leads to another question, guiding them to each step in a coherent storyline unit. 

    Storylines are how NGSS was meant to be implemented, providing a clear path for students to build understanding of the core ideas, crosscutting concepts and student-generated questions. 

    Join the Cause!  Please respond to survey:

    https://goo.gl/forms/p9R4L9QbyuPqycpz1

    1st Meeting: Introduction to Storylining & Brainstorming 

    Presenters:  ISTA President Dr. Jason Crean, ISTA Secretary Kristin Rademaker
    Host:  ISTA Physical Science Director Sherri Rukes

    When:   January 20, 2018

    Where:  Libertyville High School 
    708 West Park Ave Libertyville, IL 
    in the LED / Drop-in Lab / Flex Rooms.

    Time: 8:30 – noon a continental breakfast will be provided.

    ISBE Professional Development Hours will be given to all participants.  This will result in a sustained working group that will meet periodically over time to create storyline units.  As the process of storylining is highly collaborative, participants will continue to work with each other over time.


  • 19 Aug 2017 10:21 PM | Jessica Dietzel (Administrator)

    The Robert E Yager Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes excellence and innovation in the field of science education. This award acknowledges teachers who share Robert Yager's passion for education and continued professional development. This award also honors Robert Yager's effort to make excellent science education accessible to students of the 21st century and beyond. Awardees will have exhibited excellence and innovation in the field of science education, and embody the mission statement of NSTA. Six awardees are selected annually with one also being selected as the Yager Scholar.  ISTA's own Kristin Rademaker was honored as an awardee and the Yager Scholar at the NSTA Congress on Science Education this past July.

    Kristin Rademaker is a science teacher at Harlem High School in Machesney Park, IL. Teaching through phenomena allows Kristin to engage her students and get them figuring out the science behind what happened, sparking natural curiosity to figure things out. Once the phenomena is introduced she uses the science practices and other strategies that allow students to dig into what they know, figure out what they don't know, and fix the things they thought they knew. Rademaker focuses on students learning science through working together, solving problems, making mistakes, embracing them, and trying again. Teaching through phenomena also allows her to implement a number of different teaching methods depending on the task at hand. Using strategies that get the students active and engaged have been instrumental in changing the culture of her classroom. Engaging students through productive talk turns her classroom into a student-driven learning environment. Along with using productive talk, she also uses gallery walks, small- and whole-group discussion, close reading, driving question boards, and claim evidence reasoning along with many others. These methods coupled with the science and engineering practices not only provide students with opportunities for engagement but also allow them to develop valuable skills they can use across all academic areas and beyond. "I have come to see Mrs. Rademaker as a transformative leader in science education that I wished every science teacher in our country could meet someday and learn from," says Michael Novak, Instructor, Northwestern University.

  • 08 Jul 2017 9:47 PM | Jessica Dietzel (Administrator)

    Written by: Brian Aycock, Elementary Director

    Science educators were out in force at the March for Science in Chicago.  Standing together with fellow educators, we gathered to rally on Columbus Ave.  After rousing speeches from local leaders in science research and education, marchers turned to march on to museum campus as news helicopters hovered above, capturing the massive crowd-estimated to be around 60,000.  What an exciting, inspiring experience to be surrounded by the passionate front-line in defending scientific literacy amidst the day to day din of facebook feed news.  After marching down Columbus, marchers poured onto museum campus, and ventured to the March for Science Chicago Expo, where the inspiration continued!  So proud to be a part of this community!



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