Category Archives: Science teacher Professional Development

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

FREE Professional Development Resources on Equitable 3 Dimensional Formative Assessment in Science

OVERVIEW: The Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE, or “access”) project recently released an Open Educational Resource (OER) module for professional learning on equitable 3Dimensional formative assessment tasks in science.

AUDIENCE: science professional development providers, teacher leaders, school district leaders, teacher educators, etc

PURPOSE: The module provides all the resources needed to provide a 60-90 minute session of professional learning on Equitable 3D Formative Assessment. You will find slides, facilitation notes, and embedded resources. Lots of good stuff here… I’m looking forward to more impactful resources from this project.

LINK: Click HERE to learn more about this resource and to find all of the materials.

What do Pre-service Teachers Need to Know About NGSS? A Twitter Essay

OVERVIEW: Dr. Phil Bell at the University of Washington was recently asked what pre-service teachers should know about the Next Generation Science Standards. He responded with a series of Tweets or a Twitter Essay. (As an instructor of multiple science methods courses I’m considering making this a part of my syllabus.)

AUDIENCE: Any teacher educators of K-12 teachers of science (I think this list also applies to practicing teachers of science and those who provide science professional development.)

PURPOSE: This Twitter essay provides specific resources and reminders about how the teaching of science is much more than just putting a bunch of content into the heads of learners. My personal favorite is recommendation #3:

Make equity & social justice a central, daily focus of your science teaching practice —not an add-on 

LINK: https://twitter.com/philiplbell/status/805927250210144259

I also highly recommend following Dr. Bell on Twitter if you don’t already:

https://twitter.com/philiplbell

Here is a short video of Dr. Bell discussing the role of play and personal engagement in science learning.

Integrating Crosscutting Concepts into 3D Science Assessment Tasks

OVERVIEW: Design Based Implementation Research (DBIR) recently posted a tool for intentionally integrating the seven Crosscutting Concepts of NGSS into 3 Dimensional Assessment Tasks. The tool provides possible prompts and questions for uncovering student understanding of each specific Crosscutting Concept.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science, curriculum directors, PD providers, curriculum writers, assessment writers, etc.

PURPOSE: Provide specific questions and prompts for uncovering student understanding of the seven Crosscutting Concepts. If you’ve been working on developing 3D assessments and tasks you’ve probably seen that the Crosscutting Concepts tend to be subtle or in the background in typical assessment items. These prompts and questions zoom in on a given Crosscutting Concept and pull them into the foreground for assessment and instructional purposes. This document is a great companion piece to the Integrating Science Practices into Assessment Tasks Tool.

Here is an example for Patterns.

Ask after presenting students with observational data as part of the scenario:

What patterns do you observe in the data presented above in the [table, chart, graph, model output]?

LINK: http://learndbir.org/resources/CrosscuttingConceptsPrompts-160822.pdf

NGSS EQuIP Rubric version 3.0

As many of you know, the NGSS EQuIP Rubric is a tool for assessing and providing feedback on the three-dimensional design of science lessons and units of instruction. These lessons and units might be from a publisher or teacher-created.

Whether you are new to the world of the NGSS EQuIP Rubric or you are a veteran user, it is important to know that version 3.0 of this tool was recently released. This latest version has some key revisions:

  • Scoring Guides to provide numerical evaluations in the 3 categories
  • Language changes from “alignment” to “design”
  • Specific names for Category I, II, and III to facilitate easier group discussion

Click HERE to download the full list of 3.0 revisions.

Click HERE to access NGSS EQuIP Rubric 3.0 and see other upcoming support documents.

Science Assessment Events Fall 2016 (WA Only)

Hi all,

Wanted to pass on opportunities to participate in development of the Washington State Science Assessment system. The text below is copied directly from a communication sent by OSPI.

Upcoming Science Assessment Development Events

The Science Assessment team is planning our next round of assessment development meetings. We are developing assessments aligned to the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (Next Generation Science Standards).

This is your invitation to APPLY for item cluster development committees, test design planning meetings, and/or content review committees.

Separate meetings will be held for grades 5, 8, and high school.

Educators are encouraged to apply for the committees at multiple grades based on content expertise. For example, a middle school teacher with content expertise in earth science is encouraged to apply for grades 5, 8, and/or high school committees.

Item Cluster Development (Olympia): Teams of 2-3 committee members each write approximately 10 items associated with a common stimulus. The teams also develop rubrics designed to measure student understanding of the science standards. Item clusters will be developed for all four domains (Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Earth and Space Sciences, and Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science). Each 5-day workshop will consist of 10-12 committee members.

High School                  October 10-14, 2016
Grade 8                        October 17-21, 2016

Grade 5                        October 17-21, 2016

Science Assessment Planning Meeting (SeaTac): Educators at each grade level review new science standards and advise OSPI assessment staff on design principles for new science assessments in grades 5, 8, and high school for the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (NGSS). Fifteen applicants will be chosen for each 1-day committee.

High School                  November 7, 2016
Grade 8                        November 8, 2016

Grade 5                        November 9, 2016

Content Review (Olympia): Committee members will review stimuli, items, and rubrics developed during the Item Cluster Development Workshops in October. Participants will assure every stimulus, item, and rubric is scientifically accurate and gathers evidence about student mastery of the standards. Five applicants will be chosen for each 5-day committee.

High School                  December 5-9, 2016
Grade 8                        December 12-16, 2016

Grade 5                        December 12-16, 2016

Committee members will be chosen to provide a well-balanced group in terms of previous science assessment experience, content and grade-level expertise, and state demographics.

If you would like to apply for any (or all) of these events please complete the application survey by 5pm Friday, September 16, 2016.

Survey Application link: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2510696/e15c60f6978f 

If you previously completed our survey application in 2016 and would like to use that application (no needed changes) please email Jessica.Cole@k12.wa.us to have your previous application pulled from our database. Please state in your email which event(s) you are currently applying for.

Please forward this invitation to your colleagues.

Logistics
The committees will begin with breakfast each morning at 7:30 a.m. and will run from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily. Committee members are expected to attend the entire event. For their participation, committee members will receive:

  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Free clock hours
  • Personal travel reimbursement (mileage, dinner, parking, etc.), provided state guidelines and regulations are met
  • Lodging for those living more than 50 miles from the meeting location
  • Flights for those traveling over 150 miles from the meeting location
  • Substitute Reimbursement if applicable during the school year

The Item Cluster Development and Content Review committees will be held in Olympia, WA. The Science Assessment Planning meeting will be held at SeaTac, WA.

Accommodations for persons with disabilities can be arranged with advance notice by contacting Jessica Cole at 360-725-6298/TTY: 360-664-3631 or by email at Jessica.cole@k12.wa.us as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event. The ADA does not require OSPI to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.

WA-AIM Alignment Study and Science Development Activities

This year the Washington Access to Instruction & Measurement (WA-AIM) Alternate Assessment will have a number of activities which require both special and general educator participation.

WA-AIM Alignment Study: Five teams of 4-5 members will review the current English language arts, math, and science WA-AIM for alignment. Specifically, members will look at the alignment among the Performance Tasks and related components, Access Points, Essential Elements/Performance Expectations and the Washington K-12 Learning Standards.

Anticipated Date: Early November

Anticipated Duration: 2 days

WA-AIM Science Development-Performance Expectation Selection: Three teams of 8-10 members will select the Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations and focused SEPs and CCCs for use in the new WA-AIM Science. 

Anticipated Date: Early October

Anticipated Duration: 3 days

WA-AIM Science Development-Access Point Frameworks: Three teams of 8-10 members will focus on developing the Science Access Point Frameworks and drafting the Access Points, Requirements and Restriction for the Performance Expectations selected.

Anticipated Date: Late October

Anticipated Duration: 3 days

WA-AIM Science Development-Performance Tasks: Three teams of 8-10 members will focus on development of the Performance Tasks and item/question examples.

Anticipated Date: End January/beginning February

Anticipated Duration: 4 days

WA-AIM Science Content and Sensitivity/Bias Review: Three teams of 8-10 member will review the complete WA-AIM Science Assessment for content, sensitivity, and bias.

Anticipated Date: Mid to Late Spring

Anticipated Duration: TBD

Committee members will be chosen to provide a well-balanced group in terms of previous WA-AIM assessment experience, content and grade-level expertise, and state demographics.

If you would like to apply for any or all of these WA-AIM events please complete the application survey by 5pm Friday, September 16, 2016 for priority selection.

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2992791/WA-AIM-Alternate-Assessment-Teacher-Participation-Opportunities-for-2016-2017

Logistics

  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided
  • Free clock hours will be provided
  • Personal travel reimbursement (mileage, dinner, parking, etc.), provided state guidelines and regulations are met
  • Lodging for those living more than 50 miles from the meeting location will be provided
  • Flights for those traveling over 150 miles from the meeting location will be provided
  • Substitute Reimbursement offered as appropriate during the school year

 

The WA-AIM alignment and development meetings will be held in SeaTac, WA.

Please direct all questions in regards to WA-AIM to Toni Wheeler at Toni.Wheeler@k12.wa.us