Category Archives: Science teacher Professional Development

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.


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  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


NGSS Adoption & Implementation Workbook

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 2.07.45 PMOVERVIEW: Achieve and the U.S. Education Delivery Institute recently developed the NGSS Adoption and Implementation Workbook to support states (and districts) in thoughtfully adopting and implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.

PURPOSE: The workbook provides a series of scaffolded exercises that a group can use to do everything from establishing a leadership team to articulating a vision and identifying stakeholders and developing a plan.

AUDIENCE: State and district science education leaders (while I am none of these roles- I also find this helpful as a PD provider and consultant in providing guidance for my work)

LINK:  Download the full NGSS Adoption and Implementation Workbook as a PDF  here or as a Word doc here.

Instructional Leadership for Science Practices

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 1.37.47 PMOVERVIEW: The Instructional Leadership for Science Practices (ILSP) is a project to support school principals and other instructional leaders in supporting shifts in science education practices. Their site provides multiple tools for instructional leaders to use in developing their own understanding of the required shifts in practices and how to support teachers in these same shifts.

PURPOSE: The ILSP project seeks to support instructional leaders in providing ambitious supervision of science teachers that provides a focus on engaging students in the science and engineering practices. The site provides supervision tools, instructional tools, example lessons and lots more. This is a great way for building principals to find science-specific support to supplement TPEP frameworks such as Danielson and CEL 5D.

AUDIENCE: Building principals, district leaders, coaches, TOSAs, lead teachers, professional development providers


Supporting Productive Science Talk: STEM Teaching Tool #48

OVERVIEW: You probably don’t need me to tell you this- but the site has created and curated an amazing set of resources for supporting the implementation of effective science teaching and learning through the NGSS. One of the latest tools in #48 titled: How can teachers guide classroom conversations to support students’ science learning? This tool makes the case for student science talk as not only an instructional move but as an equity move… and then provides a series of resources to support students (and teachers) who might just be starting this work and need some scaffolds and supports. The following tools are provided as links:

Talk Resource Cards Partner Conversational Supports Pre- and Post-Talk Writing Supports

PURPOSE: To provide guidance and tools to support teachers and students in engaging in productive science talk and thinking.

AUDIENCE: teachers of science, administrators, PD providers, teacher educators, etc



NGSS District Implementation Indicators

OVERVIEW: A short document titled- Next Generation Science Standards District Implementation Indicators was recently released on the site. This document was built with multiple partners around the US and includes thoughtful recommendations using 13 Indicators of Success.

PURPOSE: This document provides school district leaders with guidance for moving beyond an implementation process that might only include a materials adoption and a quick alignment document. The 13 indicators can be used for making the case about how to thoughtfully and intentionally implement the NGSS over a given length of time.
AUDIENCE: District administrators, PD providers, teacher leaders, state science supervisors, etc.