Category Archives: Science teacher Professional Development

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: https://www.achieve.org/publications/ngss-adoption-and-implementation-workbook  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

LINK: http://www.sciencepracticesleadership.com/

Supporting Productive Science Talk: STEM Teaching Tool #48

OVERVIEW: You probably don’t need me to tell you this- but the STEMteachingtools.org 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

LINK: http://stemteachingtools.org/brief/48

 

NGSS District Implementation Indicators

OVERVIEW: A short document titled- Next Generation Science Standards District Implementation Indicators was recently released on the Nextgenscience.org 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.

LINK: http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/default/files/NGSS%20District%20Implementation%20Indicators%20-%20FINAL.pdf

 

Learning Targets in a NGSS Classroom

OVERVIEW: I have had several conversations with teachers and administrators about how learning targets, objectives, and success criteria should look different in science learning than they might in other content areas. Some of these conversations have been greeted with skepticism (to say the least) so it will be nice to have a resource to help guide this topic in the future. The latest STEM Teaching Tool #46 is titled: How to define meaningful daily learning objectives for science investigations… and it looks like a brilliant overview of this important topic.

PURPOSE: This STEM Teaching tool provides clarity and examples for how learning targets in science can be public, helpful, constructed with students, and designed in a way to not “give away” the concept being learned.

AUDIENCE: district and building administrators, teachers of science, PD providers, teacher educators, curriculum writers

LINK: http://stemteachingtools.org/brief/46

 

NGSS Lesson Screener

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-2-21-58-pmOVERVIEW: The NGSS Lesson Screener is a tool designed for quickly reviewing a science learning sequence to see if the design is 3 Dimensional and on the road to meeting the expectations and shifts of the NGSS. This tool might also be useful to use prior to the more extensive NGSS EQuIP Rubric.

PURPOSE: As many of us work to build and modify K-12 science lessons and units that align to the NGSS- the NGSS Lesson Screener can be used by teams and professional development providers to make sure that work is on the right track. The NGSS Lesson Screener is designed to evaluate similar criteria to the NGSS EQuIP Rubric but is more brief and looks to be more flexible.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, science teacher leaders, administrators, curriculum directors, PD providers, others

LINK: http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/default/files/NGSS%20Screening%20Tool%20Fillable%20Form.pdf

Next Generation Science Assessment Tasks: Bethel School District

OVERVIEW: Tom HathornK-12 Science Specialist for the Bethel School District in Washington State, has worked with his science team to create a spectacular set of grade 6-12 science formative assessment tasks for understanding the Next Generation Science Standards. These assessments are designed to be “objects of study” as we all continue to learn about 2 Dimensional and 3 Dimensional assessment. The assessment tasks meet the following criteria:

  • Items are based on a stimulus with an anchoring phenomena
  • Each item assesses at least 2 of the 3 Dimensions of NGSS
  • Tasks are based on bundles of NGSS performance expectations
  • Individual items are connected to specific evidence statements

There are currently 17 assessment tasks and I can just about guarantee that any grade 6-12 teacher of science will find at least one task that matches NGSS Performance Expectations in your course/grade. You will find tasks targeting life science, physical science, Earth/Space science and Engineering Design.

PURPOSE: These NGSS assessment tasks are intended to be used as professional learning objects so that we can all move forward in our understanding of how 3 Dimensional Assessment will be different than typical classroom assessments. In Bethel, they have created modified lessons and units that match these assessment tasks. Here is how Tom describes the use of these assessment tasks with his teachers:

Purpose & Expectations:  Become More Proficient at 3-D Learning & Assessment

  • Primary Purpose:  These lessons and assessments afford teachers the chance to understand, implement, and discuss “3-dimensional” lessons and assessments.
  • All teachers should:
    • Use the NGSS lesson modifications.
    • Give the NGSS assessment.
    • Use the assessment as fodder for student-student conversation.
    • Discuss their lesson observations & student work with colleagues.
  • The results will be used to “optimize” the lesson plans.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, district leaders, Curriculum and Assessment Directors, PD providers, pre-service teachers, building administrators, parents, others

LINK: Tom has built a shared Google Folder at the link HERE. You will find several supporting documents. You will want to go to the folder titled Bethel NGSAs- For 3D Planning… Inside this folder you will find labeled folders with documents for each of the assessment tasks. Each folder contains the Stimulus and the Items as separate documents. There is purposefully No Answer Key or Rubric for these.

Here is a note from Tom on the use of these assessments:

About these NGSAs (Next Generation Science Assessments)

You’ll see presentation materials as well as the assessments themselves.

Caveat – These represent our first efforts…we’re getting better at it:

We are learning a lot about 3D assessment and instruction (happily…that’s the point).  A few lessons-learned:

  • Doing the NGSAs, studying the evidence statements, and tweaking the items is very good learning for teachers.
  • The new Task Formats document is a great tool for assessment & instructional tasks; the slides from AIR’s presentation about item types is also very helpful to teachers who want to do NGSA work.
  • In our 2nd round of NGSA work I left more room for improving the items/cluster, which engaged the teachers in considering the different selected-response item types.  With one group I wrote all items as constructed-response, then had them decide which ones to revise into selected-response…this seemed to work very well.
  • These NGSAs are time-consuming, and so we’re getting better at using selected-response items and writing fewer items that target important-but-not-every evidence statement.
  • Teachers are using the NGSAs in alternate ways, not always single-sitting (choosing only some items, using as homework, spreading them out over time).
  • We are emphasizing that these are intended as formative assessments, so consider which items to discuss, and what kind of discourse to use (see Page Keeley’s Formative Assessment in Science vol.1 & vol.2, which have been revised to focus on NGSS Practices & Crosscutting Concepts).  These student conversations are nice opportunities to engage students in the 3 dimensions.
  • Engaging administrators with a few items from NGSAs has helped them to understand NGSS, what’s reasonable (or not) to expect from teachers at this point, and how to support teachers & teacher leaders.

 

Cheers,

Tom Hathorn

K-12 Science Specialist

Bethel School District