Category Archives: K-12 General Science

NGSS Example Bundles

OVERVIEW: The NGSS Network has created another support for school systems as we continue to thoughtfully implement the NGSS- Example NGSS Bundles.

You will currently find a Kindergarten, a Middle School and a High School example of how to bundle NGSS PEs for instruction. More bundles will be released in the coming months until we have examples for all K-12 NGSS PEs.

Here is the announcement that was sent out on NGSS Example Bundles today:

Good afternoon,

As you may know, the NGSS Network has been working to develop strategic guidance for curriculum developers as they work to create high-quality, NGSS-aligned instructional materials. As part of this ongoing effort, several teams of expert educators, including many of the NGSS writers, have developed a comprehensive resource that we are pleased to release today.

The NGSS Example Bundles helps explain the process of organizing the standards for coherent instruction and is intended for curriculum developers, including educators in the field and commercial publishers. This new resource features sample demonstrations of NGSS “bundles” for each grade level and, together with the NGSS Example Bundles Guide, can provide greater clarity to curriculum developers as they envision the process of creating the full range of aligned instructional materials that schools and districts need for implementation. 

Looking ahead, the full suite of example bundles will be released in stages over the next few months and will ultimately cover all grade levels. Each release cycle will include information geared toward different grade levels to ensure that curriculum developers for science have a broad set of examples to consider in preparation for the 2016-17 school year. Please share this information with curriculum developers within your immediate and extended network(s).

Finally, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT this evening, some of the experts who helped developed the resource will facilitate a webinar to discuss the principles of bundling standards. If you or someone you know is interested in joining this important discussion, the registration form is available here.

Thank you and please feel free to email us at ngss@achieve.org with any questions. 

Follow us on Twitter and sign up for our monthly newsletter to get all of the latest NGSS updates. 

AUDIENCE: Science curriculum developers, K-12 curriculum supervisors, K-12 teachers and PD providers

PURPOSE: Provide examples and resources for developing thoughtful science learning experiences.

LINK: http://www.nextgenscience.org/resources/bundling-ngss

 

Phenomena for NGSS

OVERVIEW: Phenomena for NGSS is a site where teachers are collaborating to share engaging anchor phenomena for building science units. Currently, you will find a good handful of interesting phenomena in a variety of science domains. Keep an eye on this site as more phenomena are added.

Not sure what we mean by an anchoring phenomena or how to identify one? Check out the 1-pager HERE.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science

PURPOSE: Provide a clearinghouse of example anchoring phenomena for building science instructional units.

LINK: http://www.ngssphenomena.com/

Science Educator Survey (WA Only)

The Washington State Regional Science Coordinators are conducting a survey to collect data about the state’s knowledge, perceptions and concerns of the Next Generation Science Standards (Washington State Science Standards 2013) so that professional development can better meet the needs of teachers in the region. The information collected in this survey will be used in designing future professional learning opportunities for teachers and teacher leaders around the state.

This survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete.  Please forward this to as many K-12 teachers and administrators within your school district so that we can maximize survey participation.  If you are a district science leader and would like access to the responses from your region/district, please contact your local RSC.  We are happy to share the data as it becomes available.

Please note: This round of data collection will be open from May 9 – June 10.  

Here is a link to the surveyhttp://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2704243/Needs-Assessment-for-Science-PD

Thank you for your time and participation!

Georgia Boatman, ESD 123

Mike Brown, ESD 105

Vickei Hrdina, ESD 112

Scott Killough, ESD 113

Kat Laxton, ESD 121

Michelle LeLanne, ESD 171

Brian MacNevin, ESD 189

Jeff Ryan, ESD 114

Tammie Schrader, ESD 101

Incorporating Student Talk into Modeling Activities

OVERVIEW: The Institute for Science + Math Education at UW has a flowchart that provides strategies for scaffolding student talk based on where students are in the unit and in their modeling revisions. This tools suggests that student talk might have a different focus depending on the intellectual work the students are engaged in and how well their models are explaining a phenomenon.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, professional development providers, other

PURPOSE: Guide modeling unit development and provide intentional strategies to support student talk.

LINK: http://sciencemathpartnerships.org/2016/05/22/modeling_student_talk/

 

Teachers Try Science: NGSS Lessons

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 4.42.58 PMOVERVIEW: Teachers Try Science is a website with free science instructional resources for teachers of science. The site also has a page of NGSS EQuIP rubric reviewed lessons. These lessons (unlike lessons found on some sites) appear to be good examples of instructional chunks that meet the expectations of A Framework for K-12 Science Instruction and the NGSS. It appears that there was a vetting and review process that each of these lessons went through (that’s a good thing). These are not complete units and there is currently only a limited set of NGSS reviewed lessons- but it is definitely worth your time to add this site to your NGSS Lessons bookmarks.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science looking for a few examples of NGSS-style lessons.

PURPOSE: Provide samples of NGSS aligned lessons to the field.

LINK: http://www.teacherstryscience.org/

Equity & Diversity in NGSS: Framework Ch. 11

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are explicitly designed with equity and diversity in mind. I fear, however, that in places where NGSS implementation is being rushed (Let’s just “plug in” our new standards) that the critical focus on equity and diversity might get lost. A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS call out equity as a pivotal issue in K-12 science education that we must wrestle with. But what do we mean by equity? Skim the text box below from the Framework and see how many different definitions you can find for equity.

A Framework for K-12 Science Education (The foundational document of NGSS) states:

WHAT IS EQUITY? (BOX 11-1)

The term “equity” has been used in different ways by different communities of researchers and educators. Equity as an expression of socially enlightened self-interest is reflected in calls to invest in the science and engineering education of underrepresented groups simply because American labor needs can no longer be met by recruiting among the traditional populations. Equity as an expression of social justice is manifested in calls to remedy the injustices visited on entire groups of American society that in the past have been underserved by their schools and have thereby suffered severely limited prospects of high-prestige careers in science and engineering. Other notions of equity are expressed throughout the education literature; all are based on the commonsense idea of fairness—what is inequitable is unfair. Fairness is sometimes considered to mean offering equal opportunity to all. The most commonly used definition of equity, as influenced by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education (1954, 1955) and Lau v. Nichols (1974), frames equity in terms of equal treatment of all.

I highly recommend that everyone reads chapter 11 from the Framework on Equity and Diversity in Science Education. It is imperative that every student in the United States understands the core ideas of science, engages in the critical thinking of real scientists and engineers and uses the intellectual tools of the crosscutting concepts to make sense of the natural world.

I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tools on Equity and Diversity in the coming weeks but you may want to peruse this resource from STEM Teaching Tools– a brief titled- How can we promote equity in science education?

NSTA Article: Addressing Student Diversity & Equity

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 1.26.47 PM.pngOVERVIEW: In the April 2016 issues of all of the NSTA journals there is a FREE article titled: Addressing Student Diversity and Equity. The article describes 4 aspects of NGSS that are particularly relevant to diversity and equity issues:

  1. 3Dimensional performance expectations that focus on explaining phenomena and solving problems- When the phenomena and problems are nested in home and community contexts, students are able to leverage their everyday experiences and language to engage with the learning
  2. Inclusion of engineering- solving problems in local contexts makes science relevant and improves interest in STEM fields
  3. Science & Engineering Practices- promote rich discourse and practice in the talk of science and allow students to share thinking using “less than perfect English”
  4. Crosscutting Concepts- enable students to make connections among multiple science ideas

The article then goes on to discuss NGSS Appendix D and the 7 Diversity and Equity Case Studies (PS- these are now much more difficult to find with the nextgenscience.org reorganization) These resources need to be as foundational in teacher professional development as understanding the 3 Dimensions and the anatomy of a standard.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers, administrators, parents, curriculum directors, PD providers, community members, etc

PURPOSE: Provides an overview of Equity & Diversity resources in NGSS. Makes a case for the importance of an Equity & Diversity focus during NGSS implementation.

LINK: http://www.nsta.org/publications/article.aspx?id=ZE4vdy8iCsA=