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.

Videos: In the NGSS Classroom

NSTA recently posted a series of videos of high school science teachers and students engaged in the type of science instruction outlines in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. The videos are connected with the FREE Interactions high school NGSS curriculum I mentioned in March. The videos could be useful for professional learning communities of science teachers, professional development workshops, administrators or anyone working to understand the key instructional shifts in NGSS.

Notice how the teachers in the video structure discourse and use strategies to allow students to construct and revise models and explanations over time.

Click HERE to see the videos.

WA State: Science Assessment Update March 2015

Hi all,

OSPI just sent out an email announcement regarding Science Assessment so I wanted to push out the information here as well. The text below is copied directly from the email.

A couple of items to note:

a. The online Science Training Test for the Grade 5 and Grade 8 Science MSP is up and ready for use. This year there is a different test engine/platform so you will want to check it out.

b. The first state assessments (testing the Next Generation Science Standards) are expected no sooner than the spring of 2018.

Questions regarding the information below can be directed to

Science Training Test for the Online Measurements of Student Progress (MSP)

The Science Training Test for the Grade 5 and the Grade 8 MSP is now available on the Washington State Comprehensive Assessment Program (WCAP) Portal.  The WCAP portal is the access point for the Washington assessment system tools and resources.

The 2015 spring online Science MSP will use the same test engine/platform as the Smarter Balanced Assessments for ELA and Mathematics. There are several features on the test engine that will be different from prior versions of the online science tests:

  • There are no “click to enlarge” graphics, or bulleted lists in items.
  • Short answer items will not appear over multiple screens.
  • Items for a scenario will appear together on the right side of the screen, just like the ELA passages and items appear together on the Smarter Balanced test. 

Science Assessment Resources

Please visit the Science Assessment Educator Resources webpage to access a variety of documents intended to assist teachers, students, and parents in preparation for the Science MSP and Biology End-of-Course (EOC).

 Examples of resources include:

  • Science Short-Answer Scoring Trainings
    Video presentations showing how student responses are scored using rubrics for the Biology EOC/COE and Science MSP.
  • Science Assessment Updates
    These documents include: information about the science assessment system; sample items to familiarize teachers and students with the item types on the assessments; and scoring information for educators.
  • Lessons Learned from Scoring Student Work
    The Science Assessment Team shares observations about student responses for the Measurements of Student Progress and the Biology End-of-Course exam pilot items.
  • Science Short-Answer Item Templates
    Templates that can be edited for use in classroom practice by incorporating content from any unit in a science curriculum.

Science Assessment Development Update

WA State 2009 K-12 Science Learning Standards

Invitations to apply for summer Pilot Rangefinding and fall Data Review committees will be sent via GovDelivery in May. Information will be posted on the Science Assessment Professional Development Opportunities webpage.

WA State 2013 K-12 Science Learning Standards (NGSS)

Washington has joined a collaborative group of 13 states and 1 territory 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). This group met for the first time in February. We will keep you posted about the progress of the collaborative, and if there are opportunities for educator reviews of documents during the development stages we will be sure to let you know.

The first state assessments for the new standards are expected no earlier than spring 2018.