With the video cases below, we show examples of what it looked like in some of our classes when students and teachers engaged in the NGSS and/or CCSS Practices.  Through these examples, we hope you will come away with a better understanding of what the Practices are and how students can use them in service of figuring something out.  Each video case contains the following elements:

Lesson Context: The teacher provides context for what the students had been working on before the video clip and information about the design of the task.

Uninterrupted classroom activity: These clips come from the classrooms and show the students engaged in one or more of the Practices based on the task the teacher described in the context video.

Teacher’s Perspective: This is the same classroom clip as shown in #2, but this one is interspersed with the teacher’s commentary on decisions s/he made in the moment and thoughts about what is happening.

Next Steps: In this video the teacher discusses how s/he built on what happened during this lesson to plan subsequent lessons.  


Modeling (SEP2) and Questioning (SEP1): How and why is the light beam visible?

Scott’s high school physics students were investigating how light interacts with different surfaces, such as a mirrors. While working with a laser and a mirror, the students became curious about how and why the light beam was visible when shined through fog but invisible when no fog was present. The video shows the subsequent class discussion about this phenomenon.

Focus Practices: Modeling (SEP2) and Questioning (SEP1)

Reasoning (MP2) and Sensemaking (MP1): Multiplying Mixed Fractions

Scott's 6th grade math students engaged in a "number talk," whereby students were asked to multiply a fraction by a mixed number: 1 1/3 by 2/3.  Students shared their responses to the whole-class.  Students then discussed the two approaches in small groups. This video shows one group of students working through different approaches to solving this problem.

Focus Practices: Reasoning (MP2) and Sensemaking (MP1)

Constructing Explanations (SEP6): How and why did the marble have more collisions?

Ingrid’s 4th grade students designed and carried out an investigation to see the relationship between speed and energy. Students let go of a marble placed at the top of a ramp and observed its collision with a second marble at the bottom of the ramp. She asked students 1) to consider what could be changed to make the collision “bigger” or “smaller” and 2) to illustrate their explanation of the phenomenon using white boards.

Focus Practice: Constructing Explanations (SEP6)

Analyzing & Interpreting Data (SEP4): Changes in Deer Populations Over Time

Fourth grade students are engaged in an investigation to explain changes in a deer population over time.  The teacher gave the students data in the form of a data table and asked students to represent the data in a way that made sense to them.  Students used their representations to explain what happened to the deer population over time.

Focus Practice: Analyzing and Interpreting Data (SEP4)

Reasoning (MP2) and Argumentation (MP3): Is 32/64 equivalent to 4/8?

5th grade math teacher, Bob, approached coach, Jack, to express his concern that his students could “procedurally know how to change a fraction to an equivalent fraction” without understanding why they were equivalent. In response, Bob and Jack co-planned a lesson that focused on developing this understanding.

Focus Practices: Reasoning (MP2) and Argumentation (MP3)

Reasoning (MP2) and Argument (MP3): Proportional Reasoning

COMING SOON!! To apply and develop students’ understanding of proportional reasoning, Katie’s 7th grade students considered the following statement, “A survey of 100 students at Cougar Middle School found that 30 students liked Mrs. Anderson best and 70 liked some other teacher best.” She asked students to assess nine different statements to determine whether the proportional relationships exhibited were the same as those found in the target statement and use a graphic organizer to sort statements based on their accuracy and record their justification.

Focus Practices: Reasoning (MP2) and Argumentation (MP3)

Structure (MP7): Sorting Fractions and Decimals

Katie’s 7th grade students participated in a two-part card sorting activity. First, she asked students to sort cards with fractions in any way that made sense to them (MP1). Next, Katie asked her students to add decimal cards to their grouped fraction cards. She used this activity to assess students’ initial ideas about the relationship between fractions and decimals. Some fractions had 10 or 100 in their denominators to help students make sense of the relationships between fractions and decimals. On the second day, she built on students’ ideas to develop a model to convert between fractions and decimals.

Focus Practices: Structure (MP7), Repeated Reasoning (MP8), and Reasoning (MP2)