Kathy Renfrew

I am an elementary educator having spent many years with students in grades 4-6. I am currently the K-5 science specialist at Vermont’s Agency of Education. I have been doing a large amount of work around the Next Generation Science Standards. This work includes creating an implementation timeline of NGSS for the state of Vermont. I am also responsible for providing professional learning in science for K-5 teachers. I was instrumental in bringing Carla Zembal-Saul and her team to Vermont where they worked with K-5 Vermont educators around the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning Framework. I have been a regular NSTA presenter and active in the organization. I jam currently on the NSTA's STEM book panel. I am also a NSTA online advisor, NGSS Curator and field editor for the Next Gen Navigator.




Wade Institute for Science Education

Social Media

Recent Posts by Kathy

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:49 AM in Literature in Science
I am mostly in agreement with everything being said here. The one piece that is different is that I make sure the literacy piece supports the standards I am trying to address within my topic. I also have to say that I didn't always think this through completely when I was in the classroom.

Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:23 PM in Anchor Phenomenon -Grade 2- Structures and Properties of Matter
I am currently volunteering in a second grade classsroom and I am putting together a Structure and properties of Matter unit. I want to start this unit with an anchor phenomenon that students are excited to try t o figure out . The right anchor phenomenon will elicit many student questions that we can investigate. From those questions, we will come up with our driving question. In the per...

Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:22 PM in How teachers can be advocates for science in an elementary school classroom.
Claire, You are right on the money.This is a huge issue in many of our schools today and one that needs to be dealt with immediately. I talk about this issue whenever the opportunity arises.. One of my messages to parents, teachers and administrators is that quality science instruction is every child's right , it's not a privilege.  Another message :Phenomenon-driven science can also h...

Recent Reviews by Kathy

Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:21 PM
5 Teacher's Interpretation of Changing Instruction
This article is the on-the-ground thinking of a 4th and 5th grade science teacher. The author gives herself and you permission to be overwhelmed but she doesn't leave you in that place. She gently leads you through some of the changes she made in her classroom. She talks about doing something that is hard for all of us, throwing out that favorite activity because it is no longer appropriate with the new science standards. She also helps us by sharing that she didn't throw out everything. She did use the rubric to review the resource and then she made adjustments as needed. Betsy shows us this is doable. We need to change our instruction but maybe we don't need to change it all at once and its okay to go slow. Thanks Betsy for some feet on the ground advice! Reading this article is well worth your time!

Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:40 PM
5 Discover NGSS A Gift to Educators
Discover NGSS is awesome! I finally got time to sit and spend some time with my Discover NGSS and I was not disappointed. I love all the components especially the Unit Planner. I work with K-5 classroom teachers and I cannot wait to share this resource. This new enhanced ebooks has entry points for all levels of #ngss learners and none of us are experts all the time. Having said that, I do have a place where I can go and find what I need whether it is the very basic “NGSS, what’s that?” to “Need to double-check I understand coherence” to the user who is going to jump right to the Unit Planner to begin work. Being able to access Discover NGSS is another reason, I love it. I don’t have to carry my work laptop back and forth every day because I can access it at home too, just by signing into the Learning Center and going to my library. I also use it on my IPAD almost every day. I love it because I can move back and forth between Discover NGSS and my supplementary documents, pictures, and videos that I might want to include in my Unit Plan. Discover NGSS also means I do not have to carry around my Framework for K-12 Education Standards or the two volumes of Next Generation Science Standards because I can carry around my IPAD and have it all right there and accessible anywhere!

Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:43 PM
5 The 5 Es Live On!
I have been using the 5 E learning cycle in science for a long time and I have to say I am happy to be able to use it as I begin to help teachers transition to NGSS. Reading this article helped me pause and really reflect on this instructional model , what do each of the Es really mean? How should i be using them as I plan instruction or as I help teachers plan instruction. Writing this review caused me to read this article for the 3rd time after I discussed it with colleagues. It is such a good article by such a wise man that I sent out email recommendations about the article to some more colleagues. Definitely worth your time.

Recent Public Collections by Kathy

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Grade 4 Talk Science Pathway
Type: User uploaded resource

Type: User uploaded resource

Type: User uploaded resource

Type: User uploaded resource

Type: User uploaded resource