MARY EBRINGER | GRADE 4/CM1
How have you applied concepts learned from the
internship in your classroom today?
My colleagues and I look for opportunities to modify
our current science units to include more of the NGSS
eight practices. Rather than just emphasizing students’
absorption of content, more and more I encourage them
to interact with content and push their thinking about
Whereas in the past I might have been quick to simply
correct misconceptions, I now try to understand my
students’ thought processes and encourage them to look
critically at their own thinking.
How have you seen these concepts impact student
Students are talking and writing more about science.
They discuss their observations with one another to de-
velop their ideas and engage in argumentation to defend
their conclusions. For example, when studying states of
matter, I presented my class with a non-Newtonian fluid.
Based on their own previously developed descriptions
of solids, liquids, and gases, students engaged in lively
debate about whether the substance was a solid or liquid
My class is using science notebooks not just to take
notes but to record data, make observations, sketch diagrams, draw conclusions and reflect on their work. The
notebooks are not just evidence of content learned, but
of scientific thinking.
Tell us more about your continued partnership with
the Academy of Sciences.
The TISS program has encouraged me to reflect carefully
on my science teaching practices. Through observations
and debriefing sessions with my advisor, I’ve come to
look more closely at many aspects of my teaching—
designing lessons, asking questions, prompting students to
develop their ideas fully and holding them accountable
for their arguments.
Do you have any additional thoughts on the program?
Many of the strategies and practices I’ve learned through
the Academy apply not just to science but to other subject areas—reading, writing, math, history.