Category Archives: Washington State Science

Science Educator Survey (WA Only)

The Washington State Regional Science Coordinators are conducting a survey to collect data about the state’s knowledge, perceptions and concerns of the Next Generation Science Standards (Washington State Science Standards 2013) so that professional development can better meet the needs of teachers in the region. The information collected in this survey will be used in designing future professional learning opportunities for teachers and teacher leaders around the state.

This survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete.  Please forward this to as many K-12 teachers and administrators within your school district so that we can maximize survey participation.  If you are a district science leader and would like access to the responses from your region/district, please contact your local RSC.  We are happy to share the data as it becomes available.

Please note: This round of data collection will be open from May 9 – June 10.  

Here is a link to the surveyhttp://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2704243/Needs-Assessment-for-Science-PD

Thank you for your time and participation!

Georgia Boatman, ESD 123

Mike Brown, ESD 105

Vickei Hrdina, ESD 112

Scott Killough, ESD 113

Kat Laxton, ESD 121

Michelle LeLanne, ESD 171

Brian MacNevin, ESD 189

Jeff Ryan, ESD 114

Tammie Schrader, ESD 101

NGSS 101: FREE Online PD Modules

Last year I collaborated with the South Sound LASER Alliance- with funding from Washington State LASER– to build a series of easily accessible online professional development modules on the Next Generation Science Standards.

These NGSS 101 modules now live on a page titled NGSS 101, here at the Science for All blog. I’ve also embedded them here in this blog post for convenience in sharing.

There are 4 modules:

  • NGSS 101 Part 1- Overview
  • NGSS 101 Part 2- Science & Engineering Practices
  • NGSS 101 Part 3- Crosscutting Concepts
  • NGSS 101 Part 4- Engineering Design

Below you will find the video modules embedded in the page. Each video module asks you to engage with a variety of documents, external video clips and links. You will find the documents and links for each module directly underneath the video module.

NOTE: These modules were originally created in another online platform called Brainshark- so you may hear some references to the original platform that are no longer relevant.

NGSS 101 Part 1- NGSS Overview

NGSS 101 Part 1 Links and Documents

NGSS 101 Part 2- Science & Engineering Practices

NGSS 101 Part 2 Links and Documents

NGSS 101 Part 3- Crosscutting Concepts

NGSS 101 Part 3 Links and Documents

NGSS 101 Part 4- Engineering Design

NGSS 101 Part 4 Links and Documents

Helping Administrators Understand the NGSS

It is critically important that building and district administrators in K-12 education have a solid understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards. If administrators have a limited understanding of NGSS then they are more likely to design NGSS implementation plans via professional development, curriculum adoption, assessment writing, etc in a shallow way.

Here are some key resources for guiding administrators to understand the vision behind and shifts required by NGSS:

  1. A powerful Practice Brief (What school building administrators should know about the new vision for K-12 science education)
    from stemteachingtools.org designed specifically for administrators. This is a “slick” 2 sided pdf with intentional hyperlinks to key resources.
  2. Document on the overlaps between NGSS and Common Core Math and ELA
  3. New Vision for Science Education Document (A 1-pager of shifts)
  4. Key resources on the NSTA NGSS site for NGSS Professional Learning
  5. Video: A New Vision for Science Education
  6. All Standards, All Students Case Studies from NGSS (These provide a snapshot of what NGSS instruction looks like with a focus on Equity)
  7. Guide to Implementing NGSS (This is a must read for anyone who is guiding NGSS implementation work… lots of great guidance here. Even skimming the Table of Contents will give you lots to consider…)
  8. Designing Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics 3rd Edition (This is the “Bible” for designing thoughtful science professional development)
  9. The Logan Center for Education at the Institute for Systems Biology has a great series of 3 Case Studies with a facilitation guide that tell the story of how science education has shifted over the last few decades of reform.

What other resources might be useful for building and district administrators who are just starting to learn about NGSS? What might be the important entry points for working with administrators who are juggling multiple initiatives with limited resources?

WA State: LASER STEM Education Leadership Institute

Washington State LASER is offering a week-long STEM Education Leadership Institute to be held June 22-26, 2015 in Lynnwood, WA. For registration information and more details about the institute click HERE.

Applications for teams are due April 3, 2015.

Washington State to Collaborate on NGSS Assessment Development

I’ve been waiting anxiously to hear whether Washington State would be developing our own NGSS state-wide assessments or if we would partner with others states. Today the word came out that Washington will in fact be working as part of a collaborative group. Below is text from the official announcement from OSPI.

Beginning of development for 2013 (NGSS) Standards

We are happy to announce that Washington has joined a collaborative group of states to begin the development of assessments based on the Next Generation Science Standards (known in Washington as the Washington State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards). The group work is being coordinated by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The first step of the collaboration is to develop item specifications based on the Standards.

Dawn Cope and Cinda Parton will be attending the group meetings this winter and spring. We will keep you posted about the progress, and if there are opportunities for educator reviews of the documents during the development stages we will make sure to let you know.

The first state-wide assessments of these new standards are expected to be administered in spring 2017 or spring 2018

Sea Star Wasting Syndrome: An Authentic Problem for Students

KCTS 9 in Seattle has an excellent overview of the sea star wasting syndrome that is currently destroying the sea star populations on the west coast of the United States. While the content is sad and disturbing, this case provides a very real and engaging problem for K-12 students to wrestle with.

The KCTS 9 post provides:

– A rich piece of complex informational text for students to read and understand. (Would be perfect for a close reading Common Core ELA lesson).

– Two short video clips that supplement the text and tell the story of the problem and how scientists are zooming in on the cause of the wasting syndrome.

How We Might Use This as Teachers:

  • Connect to science and engineering practices in NGSS
  • Highlight how scientists use evidence to construct claims
  • Draw attention to how authentic science and engineering works vs “The Scientific Method”
  • Highlight the connections between field studies and controlled experiments (How do both ways of “doing science” inform the work?)
  • Create an SBAC-like performance task with a piece of informational text, video, and a writing prompt
  • Engage students in Problem (or project) Based Learning where they learn about the ocean ecosystem and how to solve this (and related) problems

How might you use this information in your classroom?

Click HERE for the entire post.

NGSS Cheat Sheet and Placemat

ImageAs we begin to design and deliver professional development on the Next Generation Science Standards I’m hoping that we will be able to share tools and resources. I’ve accumulated several tools from lots of smart folks and will be posting some in the coming weeks.

A couple of my favorites were developed by the regional science coordinators who work for the Washington State ESDs. These tools are:

– The NGSS “cheat sheet” a 2-sided color key to the 3 dimensions of the NGSS and the abbreviations.

– The NGSS placemat– an 11x 17 colorful sheet for deconstructing a performance expectation of the NGSS during a PD session.

I have used both of these tools with multiple K-12 teachers during initial professional development on the structure of the NGSS

Enjoy…