I love NGSS and that it is pushing me to try new things. Blending science practices with concepts and cross-cutting concepts has been a challenge...love the way it changed the way I teach.
Right now I'm teaching energy....learning how kinetic and potential energy relate to each other. My biggest discovery is PHeT. Online simulations allow my students to try an idea, make a guess and then test it out. Energy Skate Park is just the best!!!
The biggest undiscovered treasure is the lesson plans that people have added to the simulation's homepage. For me, I use them with clickers as a formative. Kids test out their ideas and then write an explanation of how things really worked out. During class, we discuss each question. Those discussions always lead to someone asking another question and then another. This is an example of what someone has already created and offers to users of Energy Skate Park. My students totally groove on these kind of question challenges.
You never know what direction those questions will go, but you definitely realize that students are involved.
Anyone else using PHeT to stretch towards the new NGSS standards?