NGSS Assessment Documents

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) site has released two key documents on the soon to be developed Next Generation Science Standards high-stakes assessments. The Science Assessment Item Collaborate has released the following:

I haven’t had a chance to read these documents completely but I’m interested to hear what others think about these guiding assessment documents.

In Washington state, our science assessment team is currently using these documents as the basis for designing our NGSS science assessment system.

Introducing Engineering Design with Picture Books

I have discovered that picture books are a great way to introduce students (and adults) to Engineering Design in the Next Generation Science Standards. I picked a few of my favorite picture books, assigned each a grade level and created a lesson guide for teachers.

Each of the teacher guides below provides a Common Core ELA close reading lesson using a specific picture book. The picture books and teacher guides also provide opportunities to introduce students to the Engineering Design Process in the Next Generation Science Standards. Each book has a focus- and may only target a part of the engineering design process in NGSS. For example, If I Built a Car tends to focus on Optimizing Solutions.

Click the teacher guide link to download a MS Word document of the guide and if you need a copy of the book (these are all excellent books by the way) I’ve embedded a link to Amazon for each.

These literacy guides are a great way to introduce engineering to students (and teachers).

Grade Picture Book (Amazon Link) Teacher Guide Link
Pre- K Stuck by Oliver Jeffers Stuck TG
K Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem by Chris Monroe Monkey TG
1 If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen If I Built a Car TG
2 If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen If I Built a House TG
3 Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri Those Darn Squirrels TG
4 Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty Rosie Revere Eng TG
5 Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming Papa’s Mechanical Fish TG
ALL Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh and Melissa Sweet Many of the above guides refer to readings from this informational text. An excellent book.

The NGSS: Where are We Now and What Have We Learned?

The NGSS: Where are We Now and What Have We Learned? by Stephen Pruitt is a FREE online article published in all of the July 2015 issues of journals from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). This article is a must read for anyone who is on the journey of learning about and implementing the Next Generation Science Standards.

Click HERE to access the article.

Elementary and Middle School NGSS Evidence Statements Released

Well it feels like it’s been a long time coming, but the elementary and middle school NGSS evidence statements are finally available (after months of Coming Soon! listed on the site.). Now it’s quite possible that I’m one of the only people excited about this…but I hope not!

The evidence statements provide clearly defined expectations for what a student might do to demonstrate proficiency at a given performance expectation. It has been very helpful to have the evidence statements at High School but having them at K-8 will be a huge benefit to curriculum writers, PD providers, district leaders and teachers who are looking to take another step forward in implementing NGSS next school year.

You can find the K-5 NGSS Evidence Statements HERE and the Middle School NGSS Evidence Statements HERE. Also, make sure and read over the Executive Summary and the Introduction and Overview so you have a solid understanding of the purpose of the evidence statements and how to use them most effectively.

I’m interested to hear how folks plan on using this new tool for planning 3 Dimensional learning opportunities for K-8 students.

Arkansas becomes 14th State to Adopt NGSS

The state of Arkansas has adopted the K-8 Next Generation Science Standards. It’s nice to see more friends coming to play in the sandbox together… and ultimately it’s going to be good for the students.

A couple of interesting notes are that Arkansas made some modifications to the clarification statements in a couple of performance expectations. Read more HERE.

It sounds like Arkansas will also be looking at adopting the High School band of the standards next year.

Provide Feedback on the DRAFT NGSS PEEC- Alignment Document

The first draft of the NGSS Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria for Alignment (PEEC-Alignment) is now available for review and feedback. This should be a useful tool for reviewing instructional materials and for modifying and creating instructional materials.

Click HERE to review the PEEC-Alignment document as a PDF or Word document. Then you can provide feedback HERE by July 1, 2015.

Here is a piece of text from the front matter of the document on p. 2:

First, a few words about PEEC-Alignment. The acronym is intentionally a play on words. In one sense, the evaluation is a peek, or a quick look at a program. In another sense, this document describes a peak, the highest point, principal, or most important features of NGSS-aligned programs. PEEC-Alignment is designed to achieve both of these important goals.

NSTA: NGSS Classroom Resources

NSTA has been slowly adding NGSS resources to their NGSS@ NSTA hub. This week they released a more clearly organized “gateway” to these resources. Click HERE to search and browse for NGSS resources. Resources are vetted and curated by the NGSS@NSTA Curators. Each resource starts with an introduction page that describes the resource and how it connects to NGSS. This page also contains connections to specific performance expectations and may say something like… “This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.” Many resources are FREE but I did notice that a few require a fee or a registration.