Next Generation Science Standards in Three Stages
November 2, 2017
This one is going out to all the teachers and parents who are staring at the Next Generation Science Standards and sayin’ Whaaaaa?
Knowing the History of The Standards
In 2013 a coalition of institutions released a series of Benchmarks for Science Education which were felt to be the first step in creating a National Standard for Classroom Instruction. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a Grade-by-Grade Outline of Practices meant to build a Strong Conceptual Continuity for Scientific Thought in College-Bound Students
Knowing the Reasoning for The Standards
Growing out of sentiments similar to those that bred the Common Core, Science and Education experts gathered together and shared their expertise in an effort to create a more rational progression of scientific learning from Kindergarten to Grade 12, while also combating the creep of irrational anti-science assertions in the national dialogue.
While many states have begun to integrate the NGSS into their district standards, the fact that they are not tied to financial incentives, as is the Common Core, has significantly delayed their adoption in many public sectors.
Knowing How to Navigate the Standards
Upon first glance, the NGSS read like Ikea instructions for building The Large Hadron Collider. The language is stiff, didactic and more than a little menacing. A FULL reading, however, reveals that while they may not seem like the most fun people to sit down with and chat about the wonder and whimsy of The Sciences, their hearts ARE in the right place.
SOOOOO, why should I read on and why should I care?
Well, you should read on because I am incredibly charming and write very goodly, but more importantly, you should care because, like the flowers in May, they will continue to grow and become increasingly central to the educational and political landscape with respect to The Sciences in the United States in the foreseeable future.
DON’T PANIC. I got this
As clearly stated at the outset by the folks at the NGSS, the primary goal of the standards is to create a multidisciplinary curriculum that constitutes a continuous and comprehensive narrative that will carry a single child from their first day of elementary school to their first day of college.
That is me ALL over. One of the benefits of having done this for so long is that I have a solid sense of how all the parts fit together.
My discussions with students have ALWAYS been principle-based
I Stress the Connecting Points and Building Blocks of Science
Speaking of Building Blocks, let’s talk about atoms.
Atoms are essentially the primogenitors of the Big Three Natural Sciences. They are the foundation of our Universe and glide easily from one discipline to the next. To build atoms, Quantum Physics gives quarks and muons to form protons, neutrons, and electrons. Chemistry Swaps and Shares electrons and protons to form Elements and then the Elements bind together in Molecular Biology to form the Carbohydrates, Proteins, and DNA which give us all life.
Download (PDF, 770KB)
I and the Standards agree here that what matters most in The Sciences is this Flow and Continuity of Ideas that constitute THE BIG PICTURE
When you see the big picture you take command of the narrative as it unfolds
If you are a teacher staring at The NGSS and feel lost, reach out to me.
If you are a parent and don’t EVEN know how to begin, reach out to me.
If you are someone who just wants to better understand what it all means, reach out to me.
I’ve read and reviewed The Standards and I am here for EVERYONE.
Download (PDF, 148KB)
Student Performance Expectations aligned with College and Career Readiness (CCRPI) Benchmarks
NGSS Aligned Resources
Instruction (Implementation Planning): EQuIP Peer-Reviewed (Quality) Lesson Plans and Units
Prentice Hall Molecular Model Set
Everyone LOVES this kit.
Everyone who intends to have more than a passing relationship with Science should have this kit.
There are many different kits on the market, but they can tend to be expensive.
Luckily Barnes & Noble has EXCELLENT pricing on this particular MUST-HAVE Geek Gear Essential.