Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Let the thinking and learning begin!

We have an exciting year ahead in Think Tank this year! A new room, a new schedule and lots of (old) and new partnerships!

Last year, the District joined other progressive states in adopting The Next Generation Science Standards. I have worked with these standards for a few years now in various ways and am extremely excited about what they mean for our students.  These standards take the content we want children to know and blend them with the WAYS we want them to show their knowledge. You'll notice new wording on your child's report card about this and I will likely present at a PTA meeting in the coming months to answer any questions.

Here is a little video about the NGSS:)

At Maury, your child gets Science instruction in multiple ways. Classroom teachers teach science in units and I teach science and engineering extensions to this content. It's a very exciting model! ( Yes, it is tested in 5th grade and there will be a new assessment forthcoming. The old test is no longer a new one is being developed. We do not know anything about it yet, but I'm confident our students will be well prepared with the year we have planned for them!)

I also owe a HUGE THANK YOU to the many parents, former students and  and colleagues who wrote on my behalf for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science! I am a DC Finalist! Part of the process was submitting a video of a full lesson. I submitted a class video of last year's 4th graders from Ms. Duckett's class and they did wonderful work.Thank you to Ms. Patterson for being an amazing para-professional during the lesson too!

My awesome DC co-finalists!!!!!

There are two science finalists and the other happens to be my friend! He is the amazing Mike Mangiaracina at Brent Elementary. He does amazing work and I look up to him as a science teacher so to be a finalist WITH him is quite an honor. I have not met Ms. Kellogg, the DC Math Finalist, but I look forward to meeting and learning from her soon!

Each of us are sent on to the next level where The National Science Foundation (NSF) and The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) decides which one of us "wins"! There is one person selected in math ( yay Ms. Kellogg!!) and one in science every two years for K-6 teachers. The winners receive a monetary prize and a celebration at the White House that includes meeting the President! We shall know the final outcome in Spring 2015...!

In the meantime, stay tuned for a blog post in the coming weeks with updates and pictures from our learning. Follow me on Twitter @maurythinktank for daily updates too! We are doing great things at Maury and I'm thrilled to be part of it another year.

Until next time,
        Mrs. Ford