Category Archives: NGSS

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

 

NGSS Assessment Task 3D Rating Sheet

To piggyback on my last post about the impact of simple things such as NGSS Cheat Sheets– here is a simple document I created for rating the “3Dness” of assessment tasks. I often use this document with the ACESSE PD Module B on Building Assessment Tasks That Work (if you are not familiar with this PD module you should check it out).

The modification I make to the module is the following. I break the analysis of the task set into a couple of steps.

A. Participants analyze the set of assessment tasks with (blue, orange, & green) highlighters and highlight words and text features that connect with SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs.

B. Then  participants use the 3D Rating Sheet to go through the tasks and score each item for evidence (or lack of evidence) for the given SEP, CCC, and DCI in the assigned PE. This really helps cue participants to parts of assessment tasks and how often the SEPs and CCCs are lacking or missing in most traditional science assessment tasks.

Click HERE to download the 3D Rating Sheet.

Enjoy!

Sometimes it’s the Simple Things: Cheat Sheets for NGSS

screen-shot-2014-04-18-at-12-50-50-pmI still get lots of teachers and administrators at professional development (and preservice teachers) who get very excited by a good NGSS “Cheat Sheet” (who can blame them). Here are some of my favorite NGSS Cheat Sheets that might be a nice addition to your upcoming workshop (PS- I tend to spread these around even at workshops that are not introductory. They provide a nice reminder for folks and create a touchstone for continued digging into the 3 Dimensions.)

  1. NGSS Cheat Sheet full color version: I posted this 2-sided half sheet over 3 years ago on this site. This version was developed by the Regional Science Coordinators at the Washington Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD). This sheet provides an overview of the 3 Dimensions with acronyms & abbreviations- all on a handy 2-sided bookmark style sheet. Click HERE to see the original post.  Click HERE for the full color cheat sheet as a Word doc.
  2. NGSS Cheat Sheet reduced color version: I remixed this version in order to save us all some colored-ink but still convey the brilliant trio of NGSS colors. This is the version I tend to use in my workshops. Click HERE for the reduced color version as a Word doc.
  3. STEM Teaching Tools version: This sheet was released on the STEM Teaching Tools site. It is even more compact (4 on a page) and a bit more shiny. This sheet uses a lot of ink, however, and is only a PDF so not as easy to modify or customize for your own uses. Click HERE for the STEM Teaching Tools NGSS cheat sheet.
  4. NSTA Expanded Cheat Sheet: This prints as a full 2-sided sheet and is a great companion to any of the smaller sheets above. Provides a bit of text for each SEP, CCC and DCI. Click HERE for the expanded NGSS Cheat Sheet.

Let me know if you have other “go to” NGSS cheat sheets and I will share them out.

Project Phenomena

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 3.15.22 PMOVERVIEW: As many states, districts and schools move forward with implementation of the NGSS we all invariably encounter the idea of using phenomena to anchor our units of instruction. There are many great phenomena resources and I wanted to add another to the list- Project Phenomena is a Google site run through the San Diego County Office of Education where you will find a variety of searchable phenomena with information about recommended grades, NGSS PEs, and links.

PURPOSE: Project Phenomena is a worthwhile addition to ngssphenomena.com  and other resources as we continue to design NGSS-based units of instruction that are driven by engaging and anchoring phenomena. Project Phenomena is nicely organized and provides clear information with each possible phenomena.

AUDIENCE: Curriculum developers, teacher teams, PD providers, etc

LINK: https://sites.google.com/site/sciencephenomena/