January/February 2018 – Vol. 31 No. 2

Teachers Discussing the Challenges of Implementing NGSS

Posted: Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

by Peter A’Hearn

The following is a conversation that took place between a group of science teachers on a patio on a warm Southern California night after a long day of science training. The topic of conversation was the challenges of implementing NGSS.

K. (2nd grade teacher): I am overwhelmed by the huge shift in instruction and the level of rigor that is being asked for. It’s overwhelming. When you think about time and what we have to doI do lots of rigor but when you think about other teachers who are on page 345 in their study book and how they are going to have to change.

P. (8th grade teacher): In order to have kids do what we just did (in the training) will need a huge shift in classroom culture. I heard this morning that it will take nine years to have kids prepared for NGSS.

K.: That’s the danger of the pendulum shift. We are giving more autonomy to kids– teachers have a hard time letting go. That is the big shift.

Mi. (1st grade teacher): If you have a teacher who can create great engagement then the kids will go with the shift.

P.: The key thing you said was that it depends on the teacher.

D. (4th grade teacher): It’s going to take a lot of support to get NGSS to look right and feel right.

J. (high school biology teacher): At my school when I talked about NGSS nobody got it–they have only heard of Common Core.

Ma. (7th grade teacher): If it doesn’t click fast they will get discouraged and give up fast–they need to see it.

D.: Initial success or total failure”–the motto of the Air Force explosive ordinance disposal team.

J.: It’s not that we don’t do parts of what NGSS does–we do PBL, we do projects–but we don’t do it continuously. It’s like it’s flipping–right now projects are interspersed in the teaching but now the projects drive the thing.

P.: I think it’s a big shift in classroom culture—real inquiry where they don’t get the answer at the end of the day—where they go home without the answer and where the answer comes from class consensus and not the teacher.

Mi.: The kind of writing that we worked on today for constructing explanations—that needs to be happen over and over again with kids to be successful and teachers are just used to doing it once or twice a year. That is a huge demand on time.

J.: At my school, students are uncomfortable without having a right answer–am I correct or am I wrong? But in NGSS they are supposed to be leading, they are not used to that.

Ma.: Kids are conditioned–they want to be told the answer.

P.: What I’m hearing is they don’t want to persevere.

J.: Perseverance is a big issue—I don’t know if it’s the culture of the classroom or the wider culture.

Ma.: The outside world is not going to go away.

P.: I worked with a class of emotionally disturbed kids at my school on science–which sounds challenging, but the group has established norms that actually let you talk about things in more depth than in other classes.

Mi.: If we think about the opportunities of the perfect storm of CCSS and NGSS, it’s the only time in my long career that ELA, Math, Science, and the coming Social Studies framework that they are all aligned and they dovetail. It’s an opportunity to seize that they are all connected in a way that helps people think differently about how they learn.

Message on a wine cork: “Over a bottle of Wine Many a Friend is Found”- Yiddish Proverb

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Written by Peter AHearn

Peter AHearn

Peter A’Hearn is the Region 4 Director for CSTA.

3 Responses

  1. Thank you for this article. I believe it is a good representation of what everyone will be processing through. The one thing that I have learned from all of this is that the closer an instructor is to the scientist side of the spectrum, the easier it is to ‘quilt’ together ideas, lessons and units that are NGSS friendly.

    If it is helpful to anyone out there, I have been using the cloud and social media to create a bank of resources and ideas along with the opportunity to create conversation… If anyone out there want to join you can find the resources on Symbaloo by search for ‘Webmixes’ with NGSS and LCER . Another resource that has the advantage of sharing and conversation can be found on FB @ https://www.facebook.com/scienceatlcer

    Enjoy what remains of summer! Matthew

  2. PS… Another resource that some may find useful can be found @ http://www.lewiscenter.org/AAE/Departments/Science/Teaching-the-Next-Generations-Science/index.html

    All for the Cause, Cheers, Matt

  3. […] Implementing NGSS will undoubtedly challenge most schools and teachers in participating states on several fronts. Its emphasis on process-oriented tasks and dynamic, student-centered content will require large shifts in culture, and place heavy demands on time. Many students and teachers will be outside of their comfort zones; some teachers may not be comfortable covering engineering practices, while some kids are used to being given the right answer as opposed to an inquiry-based approach that encourages problem-solving and debate. Add to that the fact that girls, minorities and other underrepresented students are falling behind in STEM compared to well-funded school districts, and the need for schools to get all kids up to speed and prepared for the future job market becomes even more crucial and challenging. Recently, science teachers sounded off on just a few of these challenges (Teachers Discussing the Challenges of Implementing NGSS). […]

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LATEST POST

California Science Test Academy for Educators

Posted: Thursday, February 15th, 2018

California Science Test Academy for Educators

To support implementation of the California Science Test (CAST), the California Department of Education is partnering with Educational Testing Service and WestEd to offer a one-day CAST Academy for local educational agency (LEA) science educators, to be presented at three locations in California from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. As an alternative to traveling, LEA teams can participate virtually via WebEx on one of the dates listed below.

The dates and locations for the CAST Academy are as follows:

  • Monday, April 23, 2018—Sacramento
  • Wednesday, April 25, 2018—Fresno
  • Thursday, April 26, 2018—Irvine

The CAST Academy will help participants develop a deeper understanding of the assessment design and expectations of the CAST. The academy also will provide information and activities designed to assist educators in their implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards and three-dimensional learning to help them gain an understanding of how these new science assessment item types can inform teaching and learning. The CAST Academy dates above are intended for school and district science instructional leaders, including teacher leaders, teacher trainers, and instructional coaches. Additional trainings will be offered at a later date specifically for county staff. In addition, curriculum, professional development, and assessment leaders would benefit from this training.

A $100 registration fee will be charged for each person attending the in-person training. Each virtual team participating via WebEx will be charged $100 for up to 10 participants through one access point. Each workshop will have the capacity to accommodate a maximum of 50 virtual teams. Each virtual team will need to designate a lead, who is responsible for organizing the group locally. Registration and payment must be completed online at http://www.cvent.com/d/6tqg8k.

For more information regarding the CAST Academy, please contact Elizabeth Dilke, Program Coordinator, Educational Testing Service, by phone at 916-403-2407 or by e‑mail at caasppworkshops@ets.org.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Accelerating into NGSS – A Statewide Rollout Series Now Accepting Registrations

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

Are you feeling behind on the implementation of NGSS? Then Accelerating into NGSS – the Statewide Rollout event – is right for you!

WHO SHOULD ATTEND
If you have not experienced Phases 1-4 of the Statewide Rollout, or are feeling behind with the implementation of NGSS, the Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout will provide you with the greatest hits from Phases 1-4!

OVERVIEW
Accelerating Into NGSS Statewide Rollout is a two-day training geared toward grade K-12 academic coaches, administrators, curriculum leads, and teacher leaders. Check-in for the two-day rollout begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a continental breakfast. Sessions run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Day One and from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Day Two.

Cost of training is $250 per attendee. Fee includes all materials, continental breakfast, and lunch on both days. It is recommended that districts send teams of four to six, which include at least one administrator. Payment can be made by check or credit card. If paying by check, registration is NOT complete until payment has been received. All payments must be received prior to the Rollout location date you are attending. Paying by credit card secures your seat at time of registration. No purchase orders accepted. No participant cancellation refunds.

For questions or more information, please contact Amy Kennedy at akennedy@sjcoe.net or (209) 468-9027.

REGISTER

http://bit.ly/ACCELERATINGINTONGSS

DATES & LOCATIONS
MARCH 28-29, 2018
Host: San Mateo County Office of Education
Location: San Mateo County Office of Education, Redwood City

APRIL 10-11, 2018
Host: Orange County Office of Education
Location: Brandman University, Irvine

MAY 1-2, 2018
Host: Tulare County Office of Education
Location: Tulare County Office of Education, Visalia

MAY 3-4, 2018
Host: San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools
Location: West End Educational Service Center, Rancho Cucamonga

MAY 7-8, 2018
Host: Sacramento County Office of Education
Location: Sacramento County Office of Education Conference Center and David P. Meaney Education Center, Mather

JUNE 14-15, 2018
Host: Imperial County Office of Education
Location: Imperial Valley College, Imperial

Presented by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Offices of Education, K-12 Alliance @WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

The Teaching and Learning Collaborative, Reflections from an Administrator

Posted: Friday, January 19th, 2018

by Kelly Patchen

My name is Mrs. Kelly Patchen, and I am proud to be an elementary assistant principal working in the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) at Louis Bohn and McKinley Elementary Schools. Each of the schools I support are Title I K-5 schools with about 450 students, a diverse student population, a high percentage of English Language Learners, and students living in poverty. We’re also lucky to be part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative with the K-12 Alliance. Learn More…

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Written by NGSS Early Implementer

NGSS Early Implementer

In 2015 CSTA began to publish a series of articles written by teachers participating in the California NGSS k-8 Early Implementation Initiative. This article was written by an educator(s) participating in the initiative. CSTA thanks them for their contributions and for sharing their experience with the science teaching community.

2018 CSTA Conference Call for Proposals

Posted: Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

CSTA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting proposals for 90-minute workshops and three- and six-hour short courses for the 2018 California Science Education Conference. Workshops and short courses make up the bulk of the content and professional learning opportunities available at the conference. In recognition of their contribution, members who present a workshop or short course receive 50% off of their registration fees. Click for more information regarding proposals, or submit one today by following the links below.

Short Course Proposal

Workshop Proposal Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

CSTA’s New Administrator Facebook Group Page

Posted: Monday, January 15th, 2018

by Holly Steele

The California Science Teachers Association’s mission is to promote high-quality science education, and one of the best practice’s we use to fulfill that mission is through the use of our Facebook group pages. CSTA hosts several closed and moderated Facebook group pages for specific grade levels, (Elementary, Middle, and High School), pages for district coaches and science education faculty, and the official CSTA Facebook page. These pages serve as an online resource for teachers and coaches to exchange teaching methods, materials, staying update on science events in California and asking questions. CSTA is happy to announce the creation of a 6th group page called, California Administrators Supporting Science. Learn More…

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From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.