In an article for District Administration, teacher on special assignment Ian Kastelic describes why his district chose Twig Science Next Gen as their NGSS program based on its engaging phenomena and professional development that makes the instructional shifts accessible to all teachers. “As exciting as the new standards are to some educators, it’s a big change to the way we teach science and, as such, can cause quite a bit of anxiety,” says Ian.
The issues in his school district included concerns from teachers about the transition to the NGSS and the changing nature of their roles. He describes how this was made easier for them with the help of Twig Science Next Gen: “We chose Twig Science Next Gen for many reasons, but a key one was that the K–8 curriculum was designed from the ground up for the NGSS.” (1) When transitioning to the NGSS, a curriculum designed specifically for those standards is important as it provides a huge helping hand for teachers who might be feeling nervous about the new standards, content, and style of teaching. Twig Science Next Gen helped the teachers of San Mateo-Foster adjust to their new roles guiding students through science lessons while encouraging students to ask questions and carry out investigations to develop understanding and solve problems.
Additionally, one of the many other reasons that Twig Science Next Gen was chosen by the San Mateo-Foster City School District was because of it’s accessibility for all learners. Ian says, “The English language scaffolding in the Twig Science curriculum is great for English language learners or any student struggling with reading or comprehension.” (2) In comparison to traditional standards, the NGSS as taught through Twig Science Next Gen acknowledges that many students are English language learners or have different language capabilities, and it grants all students an equal chance at succeeding in science.