Using Inquiry Groups to Meet the NGSS

Kolling, Kathleen

Inquiry and Design Thinking


Dole, Laurie. (2013). Using inquiry groups to meet the next generation science standards. LMC, 32(2), 34-36.


The NGSS standards are almost mirrors of the steps of the inquiry model. Students ask questions and define problems, develop and use models, plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, use math and computational thinking, construct explanations and design solutions: engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. These steps and goals are very similar to other inquiry models that have a goal for students to be engaged in active wonder and questioning.


I love that all of the inquiry models we studied in class this semester can also be applied to NGSS topics. It’s often difficult for me to think of ways to connect to curriculum, other than language arts and social studies, but it can be done. Taking students all the way through a complete inquiry project also reinforces the scientific process, and creates a generation of people who will know how to delve deeply into exploring a topic.


Every Flower in the Garden: Collaboration Between School Librarians and Science Teachers

Clem, Katy


Rawson, C. H. (2014). Every Flower in the Garden: Collaboration Between School Librarians and Science Teachers. School Libraries Worldwide, 20(1), 20-28. Retrieved from

Examines collaborative relationships between school librarians and science teachers. Posits librarians as the pollinators & science classrooms/teachers as skipped flowers; analyzes why this is so and outlines successful collaboration efforts. They conclude by highlighting the commonalities between the fields and recommending that communication and relationships between educators are of primary importance to increasing collaboration between the two groups.

My initial takeaway from this article was the comprehensive review of the literature describing teacher-librarian collaboration across different fields of education. The cited articles are a goldmine for collaboration research if you haven’t already dug into the topic! The authors observe that, overall, science teachers are less likely to co-teach with librarians than educators in other disciplines despite science lending itself particularly well to collaboration in inquiry. This stood out to me in particular because I come from a science background in undergrad and am especially drawn to working with teachers in that field; I’m surprised to hear that it’s not a common pairing! After reading this article I feel motivated to pursue viable partnerships actively rather than waiting for them to approach me.

Inna Levine

CO-Collaboration Strategies

Subramaniam, M., Ahn, J., Waugh, A., Taylor, N. G., Druin, A., Fleischmann, K. R., & Walsh, G. (2013). Crosswalk between the “framework for K-12 science education” and “standards for the 21st-century learner”: School librarians as the crucial link.School Library Research, 16 Retrieved from

Within the school library community, there have been persuasive calls for school librarians to contribute to science learning. The article presents a conceptual framework that links national standards of science education (“Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas,”) to core elements embedded in “AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner”, the standards that guide the teaching and learning of multiple literacies for which librarians are responsible in schools. Based on this conceptual framework, the authors of the article highlight how four middle school librarians in a large school district in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States enact and expand their five roles–information specialist, instructional partner, teacher, program administrator, and leader–while they participate in Sci-Dentity, a science-infused after-school program. They observed clear links between skills, dispositions, and responsibilities from the “Standards.” taught and facilitated by these school librarians, to principles in the Framework. The authors contend that the learning of the Standards is crucial to creating and sustaining science-learning environments as envisioned in the “Framework” and argue that school librarians’ role in science learning is more vital than it has ever been.