Category Archives: NGSS

Using Crosscutting Concepts to Prompt Student Responses

OVERVIEW: The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) recently released a document to support and encourage K-12 educators to provide clear and explicit language and prompts to integrate the Crosscutting Concepts into instruction and assessment practices.

PURPOSE: Using Crosscutting Concepts to Prompt Student Responses serves many purposes. For one, it continues to tell the story that the CCCs are a powerful (and underused) dimension of NGSS-based instruction. The document connects multiple existing resources on the CCCs and provides new tools and examples for how the use the CCCs to design prompts and how CCCs might be used by students in their responses.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, administrators, PD providers, teacher educators, curriculum and assessment developers, etc

LINK: http://www.ccsso.org/sites/default/files/2018-06/Using%20Crosscutting%20Concepts%20To%20Prompt%20Student%20Responses%20Science.pdf

 

 

Phenomena & Units for Environmental Justice

There is still room at this impactful upcoming event in the South Puget Sound Region. See below for description and registration link.

The Bethel School District and the Puyallup Watershed Initiative are partnering to offer this 2-day workshop on Phenomena & Units for Environmental Justice.

Title: Phenomena & Units for Environmental Justice.

Location: Graham-Kapowsin High School

Dates: June 25 & Aug. 22 , 2018 (8:00 – 3:30)

Presenters: Lia Wetzstein, Emily Pinckney, Tom Hathorn

Why:

●  Inspire students with local phenomena and problems that matter to their community.

●  Support student aspirations toward STEM-related careers.

●  Integrate NGSS PEs about humans in relation to the environment (LS2, LS4, ESS2, ESS3).

Who:

●  MS & HS Science Teachers (all subjects), Administrators

●  School Districts in the South Sound LASER Alliance

What: Day 1

●  Meet & study local environmental justice issues → Analyze the systems & who’s affected.

●  Unpack natural & human structures → How did things get this way? What keeps it stable?

●  Use the NGSS engineering cycle (D-D-O) → Solving environmental problems = engineering .

●  Discover & use local STEM issues → Use students’ interests & cultural-community practices.

●  Begin planning → Activities or small units that utilize local phenomena or problems.

What: Day 2

●  Share emerging units → Give & get ideas.

●  NSTA resources for teaching controversial topics → See opportunities & pitfalls.

●  Use students’ voices → Guide the dialogue & discussions.

Registration: https://pwidei-ej4ngss.eventbrite.com

Contrasting Groups Study- WCAS Development Opportunity (WA Only)

I want to make sure that all grade 5, 8, & ll teachers of science in WA State are aware of this great opportunity to be involved in the development of the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) called the Contrasting Groups Study.

Unlike most of the opportunities to work on WCAS development, you do not need to travel…it is all online. You will participate in a FREE online training, learn about WCAS and the Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs), and then make predictions of how your students will do when engaging with the WCAS this spring. This information will be used by the Achievement Level Setting committee in August. You will also get to see the results of your predictions. The window to participate ends soon on April 14th, 2018!

Here is an excerpt of the overview of the Contrasting Groups Study from OSPI. See the complete announcement HERE.

What’s the timeline?

The CGS training will be available online on the Moodle training site from March 1 through April 14, 2018. Educators will learn about the CGS study, about the structure and contents of the ALDs, and how to participate in the study. The training will take approximately 3 hours and can be completed at your own pace. Free clock hours will be available to participants.

 After training, teachers will use the ALDs and observations of student work to make predictions about student achievement on the WCAS. These observations can be completed as part of regular classroom instruction and assessment.

 From March 19 through April 14, 2018 teachers will enter their student predictions into the CGS application in the Education Data System (EDS). This process should take approximately 5 minutes per class of 30 students.

 In fall of 2018, participants can return to the CGS application in EDS and compare their predictions to actual student achievement on the WCAS.

 

Updates STEM Teaching Tools: SEP Task Formats & CCC Prompts

OVERVIEW: The STEM Teaching Tools group recently updated two of my favorite resources and I want to make sure everyone has the “latest and greatest”.

PURPOSE: These two tools are some of the best resources available for identifying prompts, tasks, and questions that guide students in engaging in the science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts as they solve problems and explain phenomena. These tools have been updated and revised as feedback has come in from the field and other partners.

AUDIENCE: teachers of science, administrators, curriculum directors, curriculum developers, pre-service teachers, teacher educators, PD providers, & others

LINKS:

Click to access STEM-Teaching-Tool-30-Task-Formats-for-3D-Assessment-Design-v2.pdf

Click to access STEM-Teaching-Tool-41-Cross-Cutting-Concepts-Promptsv2.pdf

 

Next Generation Climate: Middle School NGSS Unit

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 2.11.40 PMOVERVIEW: Climate Generation has a variety of climate resources for teachers including a middle school NGSS climate unit titled Next Generation Climate. The unit is FREE via a simple registration process and includes several graphs for students to use in examining and evaluating evidence of a changing climate. The unit contains 6 lessons each built around a question such as:

Lesson 1: What evidence is there to show there is a rise in global temperatures?

Lesson 2: What factors have caused the rise in global temperature over the last century?

PURPOSE: Next Generation Climate provides a resource that some middle school teachers and systems might find helpful.

AUDIENCE: middle school science teachers, curriculum directors, professional development providers, administrators, pre-service teachers, etc

LINK: https://www.climategen.org/what-we-do/education/climate-change-and-energy-curricula/curriculum-guides/next-generation-climate-for-grades-6-8/

Developing District Plans for NGSS Implementation: Preventing Detours and Finding Express Lanes on the Journey to Implement the New Science Standards

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 2.31.26 PMOVERVIEW: WestEd recently published a free report titled- Developing District Plans for NGSS Implementation: Preventing Detours and Finding Express Lanes on the Journey to Implement the New Science StandardsThis report describes how the NGSS Early Implementers project in eight California school districts has supported thoughtful NGSS implementation. The report shares lessons learned and also provides appendices with samples of district NGSS implementation plans. The report also provides tools, processes and recommendations for developing NGSS implementation plans.

 

PURPOSE: Provide tools, resources, support and stories of authentic NGSS implementation.

AUDIENCE: School District leaders, consultants, teacher leaders, etc

LINK: https://www.wested.org/resources/developing-district-plans-for-ngss-implementation/

Disruptions in Ecosystems Middle School NGSS Unit

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 1.45.15 PMOVERVIEW: We are at an exciting spot in the implementation of NGSS where we are seeing some high-quality three dimensional instructional materials being released. The American Museum of Natural History (and other partners) has developed a unit titled Disruptions in Ecosystems that provides five chapters to immerse students into understanding life science and human activity MS performance expectations in NGSS. Each chapter provides a phenomenon for students to investigate.

PURPOSE: This unit obviously has potential as being helpful for any middle school science teacher/system that is looking for a well-designed NGSS ecosystems unit. However, this unit also provides a model for what good NGSS instructional materials might look like.

AUDIENCE: middle school teachers, science PD providers, curriculum directors, curriculum writers, etc

LINK: Here is the link on the NGSS site where you can get Disruptions in Ecosystems as a zip file and also see how this unit rated on the EQuIP Rubric.

https://www.nextgenscience.org/resources/middle-school-disruptions-ecosystems

Here is a video on Teaching Channel where you can see students engaging in constructing arguments using this unit.

https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/argument-tool-ngss

 

Michigan Sample Science Assessment Items

Are you looking for more samples of 2 Dimensional and 3 Dimensional summative assessment items for NGSS? Well, Michigan just recently released online samples of NGSS science assessment items for grades 5, 8, and 11.

Check out the portal HERE. Click on the grade you want and then follow the login instructions. Enjoy!

(WA Only) NGSS Assessment Supports December 2017

Hi all,

If you are a science assessment nerd like me then you’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of several documents to support the new NGSS Science Assessment in WA State or the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS).

We recently got the following items from the science team at OSPI:

A. Online sample items at grades 5, 8, and 11

B. The first set of WCAS Test & Item Specs…more will be arriving in the coming year

Grade 5 Test Design and Item Specifications

Grade 8 Test Design and Item Specifications

High School Test Design and Item Specifications

C. Webinars to support each of these items are also available- see below:

Register for the “How to Work with the WCAS Training Tests” Webinar on January 10

Register for the “Science Test and Item Specifications Release” Webinar on January 24

Click HERE to see the updated science assessment page at OSPI.

Next Generation Storylines Update

OVERVIEW: I first mentioned Nextgenstorylines.org on this site in the spring of 2016. At that time there was only one elementary and one high school storyline. Those storylines were also not fully developed units of instruction. Well, if you haven’t visited Nextgenstorylines.org recently, you should really check it out. There are now multiple units at each grade band with more coming soon. Each unit (storyline) features a clear storyline along with a teacher guide and supporting documents.

The storylines are excellent examples of three-dimensional units of instruction that feature anchoring phenomena and problems. There are many design features that might be useful to others who are creating science lessons and units:

  • 3D learning objectives
  • storylines written from the student perspective (what will students be wondering and thinking about now…)
  • How to structure a unit around the evidence that students will need… rather than the activities “I like” or the content “I’m supposed to cover”.

PURPOSE: This site provides exemplars for what intentional 3-Dimensional instruction looks like, It also provides a structure and tools for teachers to design their own units. The tools are structured around the 5 Routines that the design team follows.

AUDIENCE: teachers of science, professional development providers, curriculum writers, school and district administrators, teacher educators, others

LINK: http://www.nextgenstorylines.org/tools