Category Archives: Science teacher Professional Development

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.

Questions? Please contact: science@k12.wa.us

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:

http://stemteachingtools.org/assets/landscapes/STEM-Teaching-Tool-30-Task-Formats-for-3D-Assessment-Design-v2.pdf

http://stemteachingtools.org/assets/landscapes/STEM-Teaching-Tool-41-Cross-Cutting-Concepts-Promptsv2.pdf

 

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/

WA Only: LASER Workshop 11-29-17 Next Gen Science & Engineering for Equity

Hi all,

This is a very affordable opportunity for upper elementary and middle school science teachers in the Puget Sound Region to dig into STEM education and equity.

Here is the link if you are interested in signing up:

http://tinyurl.com/Nov29Registration

Below is information copied from the registration site…

DATE AND TIME

Wed, November 29, 2017

8:30 AM – 4:00 PM PST

LOCATION

Microsoft Conference Center

16070 NE 36th Way

Redmond, WA 98052

DESCRIPTION

This full-day workshop for upper elementary and middle school teachers will give participants tools to engage their students in science and engineering practices aligned with the NGSS. From building low-cost sensors, to iterating design challenges to writing across the STEM disciplines, teachers will add to their toolkit of effective and engaging teacher practices. Professor Jose Rios’ keynote will challenge participants to develop their ideas about educating for equity and access in STEM.

Six STEM clock hours will available for an extra fee, pending approval.

Tenative Agenda

  • 8:30-8:45 am – Opening
  • 8:45:- 10:30 am – Hacking STEM
  • 10:30 – 10: 45 am – Break
  • 10:45 – 12:30 pm – Science/Engineering Notebooks
  • 12:30 – 1:15 pm – Lunch
  • 1:15 – 2:00 pm – Equity Presentation
  • 2:00 – 3:45 pm – Engineering Fellow Program
  • 3:45 – 4:00 pm – Closing

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.