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S1 E3: How You Can Implement the NGSS Today

June 9, 2020 No Comments

In this solo episode, Nicole discusses 3 main ways to start implementing the NGSS. Nicole discusses getting to the heart of the instructional shifts without worrying about the NGSS jargon.

Three Steps to Implement the NGSS Today

Here are three ways that you can start to meet the intent of the NGSS when you are planning and delivering your instruction.

  1. Quit the Chapter by Chapter Approach
  2. Use an Explore Before Explain Approach
  3. Trim your Content and Focus on the Big Ideas

Quitting the Chapter-By-Chapter Approach and Shift to Using a Storyline (2:39)

The first way to start to meet the intent of the NGSS is to quit the chapter-by-chapter approach.

Traditionally we look at content as pieces that are taught separately. However, this prevents students from seeing the connection between units. With an NGSS approach, lessons are woven together to emphasize this connection.

Nicole uses the examples of cells and photosynthesis. The topics are inter-related and can be taught together. The process of combining like standards is called bundling.

When looking at bundles, you should look for an anchoring phenomenon that ties these pieces together.

Shift to an Explore-Before-Explain Approach (7:40)

The second way to implement the NGSS is to use an “explore-before-explain” approach.

There are many models that can be used in a science classroom. These include, but aren't limited to project-based learning, problem-based learning, or the 5E model.

But, no matter which model you choose to use, you should be using an Explore-before-Explain approach.

This means that you allow students to engage in exploration activities before you tell them anything. This will promote a discovery-based approach in your classroom.

Shift your instruction by Focusing on the Big Ideas (13:24)

Look at your content and realize that you are going to have to trim it. You should limit your content to focus on the information that is listed in the evidence statements (linked below).

For example, you don't need to teach all of the organelles in a cell. You are only going to teach the function of organelles that are relevant to the phenomenon.

You sacrifice some details to help students understand the content that you cover in more depth.

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