Going Above and Beyond
We have come to a point where we are finding some students that are able to master all four parts of the NGSS assessments at a much faster pace than the rest of the class. This is one of many reasons why the system of differentiating our curriculum through the use of tiered assessments is working for our students. We are not only providing support for our struggling learners and providing the time they need to master scientific and engineering concepts, but we are providing opportunities for our advanced students to go above and beyond without being constrained by the learning pace of others in the class.
Cari WIlliams is a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for the Tustin Unified School District in Southern California. She holds a MS in Instructional Design and Technology from Cal State Fullerton and works on the side as a consultant writing science and STEAM curriculum and training teachers. After working for 12 years in the classroom as a middle school science and STEAM teacher, she transitioned into the role of Digital Learning Coach in 2013. In this role, Cari helped teachers innovate curriculum and shift pedagogies through the integration of educational technologies and practices found within the NGSS. Her most current work as a TOSA is focused on engineering design in robotics, computer science, and makerspaces. She is an official VEX Robotics event partner hosting tournaments for teams from around Southern California as well as leading 28 robotics programs servicing over 100 teams in the Tustin Unified School District. Although her expertise has taken her deep into STEAM education, she remains passionate and engaged in helping teachers transition to the NGSS through participating as a Science Peer Review Panelist for Achieve and acting as a Professional Learning Facilitator and Instructional Coach in-training for NSTA.