Science NGSS Research

During 2017-2018, the Science Department will be involved in research about NGSS and  changes it represents to teaching and learning:  how can we move from current AERO standards to NGSS, how can we design assessments around core idea, cross-cutting concepts, and practices, etc?

As the research unfolds, we will document main resources, findings and ideas on this page. Here a few so far:

Conceptual Differences in NGSS

NGSS differs conceptually from AERO standards in the following ways:

AERO-NGSS: Standards by Grade level

A good suggestion for a vertical sequence of NGSS standards is given by Project AERO in the document Model Course Mapping. You can a snapshot example below around the DCI PS3 Energy. You can click on this Three Dimensions of the Framework to see a summary list:

Another resource that helps visualize the transition from AERO to NGSS is given by this AERO-NGSS Alignment 5-8 document. See the snapshot below for an example that corresponds to the Model Course Mapping above:

Why Learning Targets

The design and documentation of Learning Targets is a school wide goal for the 2017-2018 school year, supporting the “Be Successful” aspect of Graded’s Strategic Plan, specifically around a cohesive, viable and vertically-aligned curriculum. The blog post Learning Targets: What Can You Learn from ELA Curriculum Renewal  explain the reasons why learning targets support student learning and also vertical/horizontal alignment conversations. The example of learning Targets below is from Standards x Learning Targets ,Tacoma Public Schools.

Unpacking NGSS Standards

The process of unpacking a standard helps understand it better and frame it in a way that is not only clear to students and but also provides a clear learning path for them. The video below explains how to unpack standards by breaking down nouns ( what students need to KNOW) and verbs (what students need to be able to DO) directly from the standard. Then you will see a snapshot example of how to break a standard into nouns and verbs that will lead o learning targets:

A helpful resource to support writing of Learning Targets is written as “observable features of student performance” within NGSS documents, for example the Bundle 3: What Happens When Energy Moves from One Place to Another?. NGSS provides bundle suggestions as a way to prioritise and organise standards (Bundling the NGSS). This presentation on Prioritising Standards provides the guidelines for making some standards the focus of teaching and assessment, while other standards represent support for learning. After prioritising and unpacking NGSS standards and discussing  what students need to know and be able to do (verbs and nouns), you can check against these observable performances.

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