Episode 002: 5 NGSS Innovations

Uncategorized Oct 31, 2018

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Episode 002 Summary

(With time stamps)

(0:13) So today's episode we're going to be talking about the five innovations of NGSS; what makes NGSS so the next generation science standards different than the traditional standards in the past and how that might look like in your class.

(2:39) The first innovation is that lessons and units are now driven by phenomena or phenomenon.  Students are learning to make sense of this phenomenon- that's the purpose of the of the lesson or the unit.

Now, if it's an engineering lesson or unit the goal is that students are creating solutions to a problem that is related to the phenomenon.

The second innovation is that as students are making sense of this phenomenon, or they're designing a solution to a problem that’s related to the phenomenon, they need to use three dimensional learning. Our students are going to need to engage in science and engineering practices, and link cross cutting concepts to fully understand the disciplinary core ideas.

(4:36) Innovation number three is that NGSS is explicit in building progression. As students progress through kindergarten through 12th grade- these cross cutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and these disciplinary core ideas progress in complexity.

(7:18) Innovation number four, that the lessons and units are specifically aligned with grade appropriate English and Language arts and Mathematics.

(8:05) And the fifth innovation is that called, All standards  All students. NGSS science instructional materials support all students and make sure that they all have equitable access to our science education. We want to make sure that our students identify as scientists and as engineers.

(10:34) What is a phenomenon and what does it look like in an NGSS classrooms?

(13:36) How do we use a phenomenon to develop an engineering lesson?

(15:17) How engineering and technology are defined in the Framework and how these definitions spark new ideas of implementing more engineering and technology focused lessons.

(17:25) How does the engineering design process progresses from K-8?

(21:11)How does engineering focused lessons help students develop a deeper understanding of a disciplinary core idea?

Benefits of using phenomenon to drive your lessons

  • Students are provided with a reason to learn besides “Is this going to be on the test?”
  • Shifts student focus from passively learning about a topic to actively figuring out why or how something happens.
  • When learning is based on our students own experiences and driven by their questions about phenomena science becomes accessible to all our students.

Innovation 1: Making Sense of Phenomena & Designing Solutions to Problems

                        Less of This*

                 (*not never, just less)

                          More of This*

                 (*not always, just more)

  • Less disciplinary core ideas neatly organized by related content topics

(ex. Ch. 1 Circulatory System Ch. 2 Digestive System)

  • More figuring out why something happened (phenomena) or designing a solution to a problem
  • Less using phenomena as just “hooks” or only loosely connected to a disciplinary core idea, or only used as an end of unit or enrichment activity.
  • More using phenomena or problems that can be explained or solved using targeted grade-appropriate SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs
  • Phenomena and problems that are meaningful, relevant, and accessible to all students
  • Less instructions that are step-by-step directions-following an exercise.
  • More learning how to design solutions using the design process.
  • Less only talking or reading about phenomena or how other scientists and engineers engaged with phenomena and problems.
  • More students experiencing phenomena directly or through rich multimedia.
  • Less leading students to just getting the “right” answer when making sense of phenomena.
  • More using student sense-making and solution-designing as teachable moments and a way to figure out what students are actually understanding.


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