This NGSS Starter Activity is a scaffolded entry into understanding the meaning and structure of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The activity provides a few processes and an online locator tool to align existing curriculum content to the NGSS. The end product is a grade-level performance expectation that is aligned with the relevant understanding, knowledge, and practices designated in the NGSS.
- First, you start with the NGSS Storylines and identify connections between your big ideas and inquiry questions, and the concepts and practices outlined in the NGSS.
- Next, your team should familiarize itself with the general structure and organization of the NGSS.
- Finally your team can use an online tool to locate the most relevant performance expectations (PE), science and engineering practices (SEP), disciplinary core ideas (DCI), and crosscutting concepts (CCC) for your grade level.
This is ideally a team activity that should take around 45 minutes, a typical length of a PLC meeting. It affords an opportunity to come to shared agreements about goals and content, align your current work to the new standards, and talk about the “big picture” of potential cross-curricular connections. The shared agreement on goals and performance expectations provides the clear foundation to develop assessment tasks, checklist, and rubrics, which are the focus of the next two tools in the PBL set: Assessment Design Activity and the Assessment Review Protocol.