As educators worldwide adjust to new and uncertain circumstances due to COVID-19, we are working to offer useful, downloadable resources to inform your practice.

This month, we highlight strategies for student success in STEM subjects. Check out the following six tips and accompanying resources.

Math Resources

Explore using “worked examples” as a path to improve students’ mathematic abilities, especially among struggling students. REL West and the National Research and Development Center on Cognition and Mathematics Instruction partnered to develop a webinar designed to assist educators to incorporate worked examples into their algebra instruction. Watch this archived webinar and find out what exactly worked examples are and when to use them.

Implement new math standards with research-based strategies. Math in Common (MiC) is a seven-year initiative supporting diverse California school districts as they implement the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics across grades K–8. With 16 evaluation reports, the MiC team paint a vivid picture of the frontlines of teaching new math standards. Find out how districts are succeeding — from how math coaches are used to how principals step into critical roles as instructional leaders.

Teach math early for better achievement later. “Research shows that most children with low math achievement in kindergarten continue to struggle through elementary school,” says Prentice Starkey in a recent R&D Alert, “and those with persistently low math achievement through elementary school are less likely to complete high school and attend college.” The Pre-K Mathematics curriculum is designed to change that. Learn how such curriculum programs might increase early math learning in your school or district.

Science Resources

Use an effective framework to implement Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). When science experts convened at a NGSS Leadership Summit, they identified four essential components that together support leaders to coherently and systematically implement the NGSS — leadership knowledge, critical actions, impact on teaching and learning, and sustainable implementation. Whether you are working with a framework already or seeking a systematic approach, our Framework for Leading NGSS Implementation offers useful insights.

Prepare teachers to be instructional leaders. When it comes to professional learning, teacher leaders serve as an invaluable resource for helping teachers, students, and even parents understand NGSS. The NGSS Early Implementers cultivated teacher leaders in California school districts through ample opportunities for professional learning and for presenting their expertise in different environments with diverse audiences. Start with this NGSS Early Implementers report and read the others in this series.

Access and share free science teaching resources. Making Sense of SCIENCE (MSS) believes that when teachers transform their science classrooms into places that fuel curiosity and nurture collaboration, they prepare students to be the problem solvers of tomorrow. Check the MSS website for downloadable teaching resources. One favorite is the set of periodic tables — a great way for students to explore the elements by state of matter, reactivity, and atomic radii.

For more information about improving STEM teaching and learning: