After using Issues and Science at another school, I brought the middle school science curriculum to St. Josaphat. The best part is that each unit in the curriculum is centered around one big problem. Sometimes Earth science can feel un-interesting to students, but using the information they learn along the way to solve a problem makes it more fun. They also love the hands-on labs! Student work includes drawings, photos, scientific writing, models, and videos.
As a teacher, I really appreciate the organized drawers that the activities come in. It makes prepping for a class stress-free - especially when I have to prep for other subjects throughout the day. And, because the NGSS are integrated in the lessons already, I don't have to figure out how I am going to bridge the gap myself - the work has already been done.
Since our students have started using Issues and Science we've seen a big shift in scientific writing. In years before, science was answering fill-in-the-blank or multiple choice questions, but there wasn't always an emphasis on writing like there is with this program. It took some time, but students now sound like scientists when they write!