Learning more about NGSS

Next Generation Science Standards logoI’m a science teacher in a small district, and I’m curious about lessons that incorporate the three NGSS dimensions of and what they “look like.” Where can I find examples to share?  —B., New Hampshire

A good place to find examples of lessons aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is NSTA’s K-12 journals (Science and Children, Science Scope, and The Science Teacher). The featured articles in each issue describe classroom lessons, and each has a graphic at the end that connects the lesson to a performance expectation and the three dimensions (Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts). After I read an article, I try to determine the connections to NGSS as a way to check my understanding. The photographs and other documentation in the article also help identify the focus and outcomes of the lesson.

Here are some examples from recent issues:

In a recent discussion forum, Peggy Ashbrook (who writes the Early Years blog) noted, “I find it useful to look at photos of children at work in a science and/or engineering activity, such as building with blocks, and name which practices I see in use.”

To continue your study and find more examples, see the resources at NGSS@NSTA, including Curriculum Planning and Classroom Resources

There are also examples on NSTA’s You Tube channel. Check out Introduction to Three-Dimensional Learning and The Vision for Science Education and the New Role of Teachers

If you have specific questions or requests, NGSS and STEM are topics in the NSTA discussion forums and e-mail lists. Our colleagues are always willing to help, and we can all learn together!

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One Comment

  1. Harry E. Keller
    Posted March 5, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    NGSS is being implemented in many states across our nation. Building quality lessons that support NGSS presents a challenge to many, partly because these are assessment standards rather than curricular standards. Also, they have multiple dimensions and other aspects that tend to be confusing.

    Speaking for myself, my colleagues and I are working tirelessly to ensure that our online service fully meets these standards. Fortunately, we already embody their spirit because we began with the watchwords: inquire, explore, discover.

    I am a scientist myself, trained at Caltech and Columbia University. I have done postdoctoral work, am a former university professor, and a former industrial research scientist. The NGSS attempts to deliver an understanding of the nature of science (and engineering), the skills of scientific thinking, and an appreciation of the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work. Those also have been our goals from the beginning.

    Whatever resources you use, you should ensure that these goals and this approach fill them. Those crosscutting dimensions helped the writers of NGSS build their document, but you should focus on the fundamentals before putting great effort into the dimensions. You will most likely find that you have fulfilled them without further effort.

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