David Alviar

Recent Posts

Using Extended Vocabulary Instruction

Posted by David Alviar on February 22, 2019

­­­ We all know the importance of language acquisition, but did you know that how you teach students new science vocabulary has an impact on their engagement, depth of understanding, and retention? A critical part of learning science is becoming fluent with the language of science. To do that, students must have experiences that help them make meaning of new terms themselves—not just memorize definitions.  

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Topics: vocabulary, science vocabulary strategies, science vocabulary, Hands on lesson, teaching science, students demonstrate knowledge, learning styles, VARK

What are NGSS Evidence Statements?

Posted by David Alviar on September 13, 2018

The NGSS have undergone numerous evolutions since their inception. Among the most powerful (and most recent) are the addition of evidence statements. The three dimensions—disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting connections—already provide context for how students can demonstrate knowledge and how the performance expectation can be applied. The new evidence statements take this process a step further.

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Topics: NGSS, STEMscopes NGSS 3D, three dimensions, crosscutting connections, Evidence Statements, disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, performance expectations, students demonstrate knowledge

The Flipped Classroom

Posted by David Alviar on September 07, 2018

To Flip or Not to Flip?

The flipped classroom is a hot buzz term in education circles right now, but it is often more hype than sound educational practice. Pedagogically, in the flipped classroom model students gain independent exposure to new content (readings, videos, at-home activities, etc.) prior to the start of in-class instruction. Class time is used to focus on deeper learning, problem-solving, higher-order thinking/activities on Bloom’s Taxonomy, debate, and and other interactive activities (Brame, 2013).

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Topics: hands-on learning, flipped classroom, investigate phenomenon, teaching science, flipped instructional model

Leveraging Mentors in Your First Year of Teaching: A Perspective

Posted by David Alviar on August 18, 2017


The first few years of teaching are rough. Struggling with how to teach, what to teach, how to communicate with parents, and how to navigate the pressures from school administration are common. Many teachers feel isolated, unable to improve, and—perhaps worst of all—unsure of how to improve. Professional development is always a powerful option to help improve teaching proficiency, but only when used judiciously. You have to attend (and participate) in professional development that targets your weaknesses rather than reinforcing your strengths. What options do teachers have when such professional development programs are not readily available, or when they don't know where to begin? The answer: fellow teachers.

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Topics: Teacher Tips

Guest Blog: American Oarsmen: What Will it Be Like?

Posted by David Alviar on December 12, 2016


Our very own marketing team member,David Alviar, sets sail for a 6-week trans-Atlantic rowing challenge on December 14th with his two other oarsmen, Brian Krauskopf, and Michael Matson. What will it be like for these three on the high seas and what physical and mental challenges will they find on their journey? David explores the proposed schedule in this October entry.


                                                              Okay, it's not us in the photo—we admit it! However, it was too beautiful to resist. This image  comes from the Coxless Crew

                                                                                             (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-35397844) as they trekked the Pacific.  We'll see days like these for sure.



October 18, 2016—Our daily structure on the ocean will be highly structured. Whenever someone is not on the oars, they are "resting" or performing the hourly duties that keep our boat afloat. If no one is on the oars, we're at the mercy of the wind and waves to take us wherever they see fit. That means that at all times (with the exception of short, communal breaks), one of us will be manning the oars. In storms this is especially true as the boat needs to maintain itself pointed into the waves...not to mention that the cabin is a great place to get violently bounced around as the boat "roles with the punches" that the sea provides.

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Topics: guest blog