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Last Chance to Comment on the New Next Generation Science Standards
posted by: Alix | January 23, 2013, 09:31 PM   


Along with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English-language arts and mathematics, new standards are being rolled out across the content areas as well.  The new science standards, called the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), rolled out a draft and are now seeking input on the project.



Like the Common Core Mathematics Standards, the NGSS attempt to go deeper with fewer topics.  The standards identify several key areas that students must know and then teach them at increasing depth as students advance through school.  For example, students start learning about energy in a very rudimentary way in Kindergarten, then they revisit and expand on this standard in 2nd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, middle school, and high school.


Unlike the CCSS, the new science standards get comparably more complicated after that.  Each key area is given several standards per grade level.  These standards are comprised of a science and engineering practice, a disciplinary core idea, and a crosscutting practice.  For example, in the standard “organize simple weather data sets to record local weather data and identify day-to-day variations, as well as long-term patterns of weather.”  The science and engineering practice is organizing simple data to reveal patterns.  The disciplinary core idea is that weather is the minute-by-minute and day-by-day variation of the atmosphere’s condition, while recognizing similarities and differences in patterns over time is the crosscutting concept. On top of this, after each standard, there is sometimes additional information on how they should be assessed or clarifying what is covered by the standard.


Since this is fairly complicated to figure out, the standards are both color coded and are broken down into practices, ideas, and crosscutting concepts underneath.  So, when you are looking at the standards on the web, they look like the following:


You’ll notice that at the bottom of the standards, they also tie into the Common Core State Standards that are covered.  NGSS has also provided a video to help teach how to read the standards.


While the standards seem fairly specific and detailed, the writers are quick to point out that the NGSS are not curriculum and that even for the amount of detail provided, they can still be taught a number of ways.


You can read the standards for yourself on the Next Generation Science Standards webpage, as well as provide feedback about the standards.  Feedback will only be accepted up until January 29th, so it’s imperative to make sure that teacher voices are heard.

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