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What do my students need to learn?

If we want science learning to start from what students know already, we need strategies to find out what they know. We also need to be clear about the big ideas of science that we want our students to understand. And we need to know how to build that understanding.

The New Zealand Curriculum sets the direction for science learning and provides us with a framework for our local curriculum.

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The Assessment Resource Bank provides support for formative assessment. We can use the resource bank items to find out what our students already know and then work out what their next learning steps might be.

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This series of 64 books published by the Ministry of Education is designed to help primary teachers build students’ science concepts in the contextual strands.

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The science exemplars are annotated pieces of students' work. Each exemplar highlights what the students' learning needs might be and suggests next steps. Exemplars can be used with students so that they can reflect on their own work.

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For teachers working with students at years 11-13 the NCEA on TKI community provides support for formative assessment and thinking about students' learning needs.

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The National Education and Monitoring Project (NEMP) has developed tasks for students at years 4 and 8, these tasks are revised every three years on students' progress in science learning. The tasks are available online for teachers to use with their own students to reflect on their students' learning needs.

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