WestEd recently released a report on the NGSS Early Implementers Initiative in California. The report provides a call for NGSS teaching, features of high-quality NGSS instruction, and multiple snapshots of NGSS instructional sequences.
The report highlights 4 NGSS features:
- 3D Learning
- Phenomenon-based instruction
- Student Agency
I think my favorite part of the document is a comparison of two 8th grade science lessons at the same school. This comparison really helps illustrate the shifts we need to see in NGSS instruction.
I’ll be using parts of this support with my pre-service teachers and also with districts I support.
You can find the report HERE.
Teachers using OpenSciEd & Inquiry Hub materials have assembled a Google Sheet with a variety of online tools and how those tools might be used by science teachers during distance learning. There will most likely be several tools you have heard of but it’s possible that there may be ways of using the tools that you haven’t implemented. I’m assuming that even teachers who don’t use the OpenSciEd and Inquiry Hub materials will find some useful nuggets here…and perhaps will want to learn more about the root materials.
NOTE: This is NOT a list of science content materials (videos, simulations, etc). This is a list of digital tools with recommendations for how to use those tools with students engaging in rich NGSS-designed science learning.
You can access the Google Sheet HERE.
Our friends at STEM Teaching Tools have organized some resources from Council of School Science Supervisors (CSSS) to support families with science learning while practicing social distancing at home. Some of these could be great for use in school districts as reminders of best practices and others contain ready-made resources that are available in English, Spanish and Arabic.
The Sample Learning Menu is a particular favorite.
Click HERE to get to these thoughtfully designed resources.
Achieve just released A Framework to Evaluate Cognitive Complexity in Science Assessments. This short document features a rubric for rating scenarios and the 3 Dimensions in assessment items and item sets. The focus is on cognitive complexity that supports students sense-making during the assessment.
Below is a table showing the “3000 ft” view of the rubric. A more detailed version of the tool is also available.
Here are the 3 principles of this framework:
- Each item receives separate judgments for each of the four indicators.
- No value judgments are attached to complexity levels.
- Designed based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education, the framework is designed to work flexibly with all new three-dimensional science standards.
I know that several school districts, schools and teachers are working on designing, adapting or simply shopping for quality science assessment items. This looks like another tool to support your work. Enjoy.
Many of us science assessment nerds have been anxiously awaiting for the NGSS Test & Item Specifications for the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS). The anticipated arrival of these document reminds me of an iconic clip from Steve Martin’s movie The Jerk (see below).
These documents are organized into the following grade bands:
I’m assuming that these documents might be useful to science educators outside of Washington. You will see that there is support for each NGSS Performance Expectation from Grade 3 through High School and there are some pretty cool features such as:
- information on items types and assessment design
- a variety of 2 Dimensional versions of each PE
- details and clarification that provide greater specificity to the original PE for not only assessment but also instruction
See the screen shot below for 5-PS1-1 to get a sense of some of the extra information provided by the item specs.
OpenSciEd just launched a new web presence and will be releasing the first set of FREE middle school science instructional materials designed specifically for NGSS and 3D instruction. The upcoming units are:
I’m excited for these resources to launch- stay tuned. Here is an e-announcement with more details.
Horizon Research, Inc recently released their findings from the 2018 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education (NSSME+). The plus sign signifies the inclusion of some computer science in the survey. This project surveyed over 7k teachers of science, math, and computer science across the US.
This report provides some excellent evidence for future research, district implementation, teacher education, professional development, curriculum development and much more. The survey itself might be of interest to many and provides a strong model for developing surveys.
Click HERE to visit the NSSME+ site
Click HERE to download the report
This is a short post to let you know about a webinar this Wednesday, January 9th titled: Realizing the Vision: NGSS District Implementation. In Washington, the state, we are engaging statewide to better support districts with NGSS implementation and I’m sure there will be some important ideas shared at this meeting.
The text below is copied from the Eventbrite site. Click HERE to register.
The Board on Science Education (BOSE) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) and Achieve are convening a meeting to explore the needs of districts implementing the Next Generation Science Standards and similar standards based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education.
The meeting is intended to surface lessons learned, productive collaborations across districts, and future challenges of implementing these standards and to identify ways that Achieve and BOSE—as well as other organizations with an interest in the Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)—can work together to build districts’ capacity to improve science instruction for all students.
The focus on districts here is intentional: while the work enacting NGSS takes place at many levels in the educational system, school districts play a critical role as they implement national and state policies while managing local needs and the complexities of classrooms and communities.
Overview: Achieve recently released two tools for screening and reviewing science assessment tasks- the Science Task Prescreen and the Science Task Screener. These tools will be necessary additions to your toolbox of NGSS assessment resources.
Purpose: The Science Task Prescreen (my personal favorite) is a 1-pager with 8 questions that an individual or group can use to quickly review an assessment task and make some decisions about how and if it requires modification to meet the expectations of NGSS assessment shifts. The Science Task Screener is a more substantial tool that could be used for more in-depth review and modification of assessment tasks.
Audience: Teachers, curriculum developers, assessment writers, PD providers, teacher educators, others
OVERVIEW: In the state of Washington we are committed to engaging K-12 students in learning about climate science and climate change. For the 2018-19 school year our state has funded an initiative that will provide tools and professional development to support thoughtful implementation of climate science learning opportunities. I’m hoping that this space will be able to promote many of the resources that are developed and used during this process.
One resource that has bubbled to the top for me is Drawdown.org. Drawdown provides 100 everyday solutions that humans can implement to reverse global climate change. I know several teachers who worry that the teaching of climate change- especially with younger students- can be scary for the children. Draw Down (while not sugar-coating anything) is very solution-oriented and can put students in a positive space rather than doom and gloom.
PURPOSE: The proposed solutions on Drawdown are completely research-based and include some intuitive solutions that you might have predicted (rooftop solar) and others that might seem less intuitive (educating girls & telepresence). The book Drawdown is also a “must-have” climate resource to add to your collection.
AUDIENCE: all the humans