Using the Teacher Guide

Data Nuggets are built using a simple and flexible format, and can be used throughout the school year as students build confidence in their quantitative skills. Reading and graphing levels allow for differentiated learning for students with any science or reading background.



Each Data Nugget comes with three versions of the student activity and a Teacher Guide. Teacher Guides give example student responses, links to resources, and provide the teacher with additional information about the research or scientist. Following the same structure as the student activities, we designed these guides to help enrich classroom discussions and included suggested stopping points for class discussion and clarifications. There are three types of stopping points:

  • Teacher Notes: Provide additional background information for teachers, as well as suggestions for discussion topics. For example, we may share information provided by the scientist, detailing what their next research steps were after collecting the data presented in the activity.

  • Checks for Understanding: Provide stopping points for teachers to assess student understanding. These are particularly useful after students finish reading the Background Information sections or have just started to view and work with the data.

  • Meta Moments: Provide stopping points for students to think about their own thinking. Stepping back from the research, students can discuss the decisions they are making as they work though the Data Nugget, such as the way they chose to visualize their data to ease interpretation and support their claims.

At the end of each Teacher Guide we provide a list of additional resources related to each Data Nugget. These may include primary literature, videos that the scientist has made about their research, blog posts or other popular articles about the research included in the Data Nugget, or additional photos and images.



Content Levels (1-4)

Data Nugget activities are ranked from 1-4 according to the reading, vocabulary, and content level of the background information provided to students. Readability for each activity is determined using the Flesch–Kincaid Reading Grade Level, which calculates how difficult a reading passage in English is to understand. Content level is determined by aligning each activity with science standards and discussions with our advisor panel of K-12 teachers. Activities of the highest level (4) are probably inappropriate for younger students, but level 1 activities are still appropriate to use with higher-level students if the quantitative skills they teach are relevant. 

background reading level

Graphing Levels (A-C)

Each Data Nugget comes with three student versions, based on the type of graphing skills required. Type A activities provide the graph for the students (allowing a focus on graph interpretation, making claims based on evidence, and explaining reasoning), Type B activities provide axis labels but requires students to graph the data, and Type C provides an unlabeled grid on which to draw a graph.

graphing skill level