Earlier this month, the NSTA National Conference in Atlanta invigorated thousands of science educators with new ideas and supplied them with ample swag! Achieve's NGSS Team was thrilled to be there to share the experience with all the passionate and dedicated science educators who were able to be there, but in case you weren't able to join us, here are a few highlights from Achieve's four sessions:
Next Generation Analyzing Instructional Materials (NextGen AIM) / Next Generation Tools for Instructional Materials Evaluation (NextGen TIME)
On Wednesday, Achieve's Aneesha Badrinarayan along with Jody Bintz and Audrey Mohan of BSCS and Kathy DiRanna and Jo Topps of K-12 Alliance/WestEd spoke to an excited preconference crowd about NextGen TIME, a new tool and process stemming from NextGen AIM and PEEC for the evaluation, selection, and implementation of instructional materials designed for the NGSS. Participants used a common set of instructional materials and worked as a mock materials selection committee to learn about the five components of the tools and processes.
- Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria (PEEC) for NGSS Instructional Materials Design - Achieve developed PEEC to evaluate full science programs. An updated evaluation resource, NextGen TIME, is now being developed by building off of both PEEC and NextGen AIM.
- See other Achieve resources for evaluating instructional materials here.
Strategies for Districts to Implement NGSS or Other 3-D Performance Expectations
On Thursday, Achieve's Teresa Eliopoulos and Matt Krehbiel led an interactive workshop for over 100 school and district leaders (after nearly being waylaid by a small fire) about how to best manage the transition to three-dimensional science standards. Participants discussed their biggest challenges in implementing three-dimensional science standards and learned about Achieve’s district resources and how to use them in their schools and districts to guide effective implementation.
- NGSS District Implementation Indicators: This resource provides some key common indicators of successful NGSS implementation at the district level, as well as some concrete actions that districts can take to achieve implementation goals.
- NGSS District Implementation Workbook: The District Workbook provides an overview of the issues and challenges associated with NGSS implementation and outlines some key questions, timelines, decisions, and considerations for district leaders.
One participant tweeted, “A great session on district implementation of 3D Performance expectations. Everyone may not be an NGSS state but we are all in this together. @AchieveInc has great resources that can help you to build a foundation to work from."
NGSS@NSTA Forum Session: Looking for NGSS-Focused Instructional Materials?
Matt Krehbiel on Friday talked to a room full of educators interested in learning about what it means to be a savvy consumer with science materials. Matt talked about how to ask the right questions, get the evidence you need that materials are truly designed for the NGSS, make smart decisions, and learn how to best support student learning.
- NGSS Alignment Claims: What Publishers are Saying - In addition to describing the trends in NGSS alignment claims publishers are making in the current marketplace, this resource provides several examples of claims that Achieve would like to see more frequently.
- Achieve's Resources to Evaluate Science Instructional Materials, including the NGSS Lesson Screener, EQuIP, and PEEC
- NGSS Design Badge – Achieve awards a digital badge called the “NGSS Design Badge” to science units designed for the NGSS that have earned a rating of “E: Example of high-quality NGSS design” on the EQuIP Rubric for Science based on a review conducted Achieve or its Science Peer Review Panel. The EQuIP review of the unit is “baked” into the digital badge, and users can click on it to verify its authenticity. To learn more about the NGSS Design Badge, please join us for a webinar hosted by Achieve and Concentric Sky on April 3 at 1:00 pm ET. Register for the webinar here.
- Matt's presentation can be found here.
One of the participants wrote about attending Matt's session in a blog post titled NSTA Atlanta 2018 – Day 2, saying of Matt's presentation, "Besides all the great resources, another big takeaway was that while no curriculum is going to be a substitute for good teaching, making sense of phenomena and design solutions is a "big lift" for educators - we should work to find quality materials that do that heavy lifting for us!"
Assessing 3-D Learning
Even though it was at the end of a long week, there was no shortage of participants when Aneesha Badrinarayan spoke on Saturday about strategies teachers can use to engage in formative assessment of their students' achievement of three-dimensional performance expectations.
- Science Assessment Criteria: This document describes the most important features of statewide summative assessments designed for three-dimensional standards based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education, such as the NGSS.
- Aneesha's presentation can be found here.
Attendee responses on survey cards said:
"Loved this tool! Can't wait to continue this conversation in my school and make assessments work FOR students and teachers!"
"This session made me realize the importance of good assessments"
"Loved the focus on equity!"