Adapting Data Nuggets to your classroom

Each Data Nugget activity brings a student through the entire process of science. Throughout the activity there are several features that will allow you to customize a Data Nugget for your classroom and allow for differentiated instruction:

  • Content Levels: Data Nuggets 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. Some Data Nuggets are available at multiple levels.

background reading level

  • Graph Types: Each Data Nugget activity comes in three graph types. 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. We recommend you start the school year with Type A graphs and build to Type C where students must create a graph entirely on their own.

graphing skill level

  • Vocabulary: teachers should feel free to adjust the vocabulary used within the Data Nugget to align with terms that students are more familiar with. For example, Data Nuggets use the terms “Independent” and “Dependent” variables, which can be changed to “Predictor” and “Response” if preferred. In addition, we have broken the Interpret the Data section into a Claim, Evidence, Reasoning format; however it could be changed to any other format for constructing explanations.
  • Teacher Notes: Found in the Teacher Guide, these notes provide additional background information for teachers, as well as suggestions for discussion topics. These notes also point out opportunities to delve deeper into a particular subject area and suggest ways to stimulate classroom discussion.
  • Extra Materials: In the Teacher Guide and on the page for each activity we provide links to extra materials relevant to the particular Data Nugget. These include things like links to scientific publications, original datasets for more complicated analysis/statistics, videos and photos, news and media coverage, or more information on the scientist behind the data.
  • Ratings and Comments: if you have used a Data Nugget in your classroom, please take time to leave a comment on the website page. This will help us update Data Nuggets that are not easy to use in the classroom and will let other teachers know about your experience. If you have an idea for an extension for a Data Nugget please feel free to share that as well!