Sunday, January 27, 2013

#edchatma: New Science Standards' Conversation

I am looking forward to tonight's #edchatma discussion about the new science standards from 8pm to 9pm. Please join the discussion if you're interested.

I did an initial overview of the material on the NGSS website, and had the following first impressions, questions and thoughts about later learning. Note that the document is on its second revision and there's still time to weigh in with your comments and feedback via the NGSS website.

I was inspired by the introductory video:

Then I quickly found myself moving around the website only to realize that information is both broad and deep, and specific and targeted.  Hence it is essential to create a framework for learning--a learning path that will be both informative and helpful. 

I plan to follow this path:

1. Participate in tonight's #edchatma from 8-9 on Twitter as that will awaken my thoughts and questions with respect to the new standards. 

2. Look at my grade-specific standards' and concepts' recommendations via this the website's search tools, and potentially weave the new standards into our spring endangered species unit, and next fall's science rotations.

Search by topic, concept:

Search by grade and discipline:

4. Keep my eyes open with regard to both State and system timelines and roll out plans. I noted that Massachusetts joined the 26-state collaboration to develop the Next Generation Science Standards in 2011, but I could not find any projected timelines or implementation information.

5. Create a list of questions to lead inquiry beginning with the following:
  • Will our system match its practice and work to the standards?
  • What resources will our system, the state and other professional organizations provide to help teachers learn about, and implement the standards?
  • What kinds of school rooms, tools and schedules will inspire and make possible new standards' study?
  • Will there be a more specific online book club or initiative to learn about the standards in depth?
6. I will download the free version of the new standards book at and read as inspired.

7. Also, as another way to build in the new standards now, I'll look for ways to implement crosscutting concepts when possible throughout my current curriculum. The crosscutting concepts are dynamic concepts for building students' ability to interrelate knowledge and concept with critical thought and work.
    • Patterns, similarity, and diversity;
    • Cause and effect;
    • Scale, proportion and quantity;
    • Systems and system models;
    • Energy and matter; Structure and function;
    • Stability and change.

This is truly just the bugle call for a revised area of professional work and study. Thanks to the #edchatma team to waking me up to the promise this work holds for student learning and engagement.