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S1 E4: How You Know It’s Not NGSS

June 29, 2020

So many activities are labeled as NGSS aligned. But how do you know if it is really aligned? In this episode, Nicole and Erin discuss how you know it's not NGSS.

Introduction (0:00)

Nicole and Erin welcome their listeners to the show. They also ask listeners to rate and review the podcast on iTunes or Spotify.

***Side note*** We can't tell you how much we appreciate the reviews that we have gotten so far. They help other science teachers find the podcast by improving our rankings.

How you know it's not NGSS – NGSS Washing (1:14)

Nicole discusses the term “green-washing”. The term “green” is used often in marketing to imply that some products are healthier than other alternatives. However, the term green isn't regulated and therefore doesn't really mean anything.

Then, Nicole explains that the same things happens with the NGSS. Many products and actvities have the NGSS label, but this label also isn't regulated. This is how Nicole came up with the term “NGSS-washing”.

Where do we see NGSS washing? (3:48)

NGSS washing is rampant. From small TPT sellers who are likely doing it unintentionally to major publishers. If you have adopted curriculum recently, you likely know what we are talking about.

Some of this happens unintentionally. Many small sellers just don't understand the instructional shifts that come with the NGSS. But this is also done to get products out to the public before they are fully aligned.

It's not NGSS it's not grade specific. (8:00)

Products that are NGSS aligned will be grade specific. For elementary, the standards align to a specific grade level. For middle or high school, the standards can be associated with any grade level within a band.

So, if you see a product that says its for multiple grade levels, it probably isn't aligned to NGSS. For example, a product that says it's for 5th through 8th grade probably isn't aligned because it spans two different grade bands.

It's not NGSS if it is Lecture-Based. (10:47)

If a product is made primarily of presentations, it's likely not aligned to the NGSS. Also, NGSS aligned materials shouldn't be made primarily of worksheets.

The K-12 Science Framework suggests that effective classrooms are student-driven rather than teacher-led.

This doesn't mean that you will never lecture in an NGSS aligned classroom. However, you should not lecture before students have an opportunity to investigate the content. Also, you won't lecture as much in an NGSS aligned classroom.

It's not aligned if it doesn't include the CCC's or SEPS. (12:52)

Resources that are NGSS-washed are likely to align to the Disciplinary Core Ideas. This is because the DCI align most closely with the older versions of the standards.

However, the emphasis on the Crosscutting Concepts (CCC's) and the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) are unique to the NGSS. If these pieces are missing from a resource, it's likely not aligned to the NGSS.

It's not NGSS if it has traditional assessments.

The NGSS are three-dimensional standards. Therefore, the standards also need to be three-dimensional.

If the assessments aren't three-dimensional, you know it's not NGSS.

An NGSS aligned assessment should also present students with a novel scenario for phenomenon. Students will use the practices to explain, describe or figure out this new phenomenon.

Traditional, multiple-choice assessments are not appropriate to assess students on their progress of the NGSS.

It's not NGSS if it wasn't specifically designed for NGSS.

If a resource was written for another set of standards, it's probably not aligned to NGSS. It is incredibly difficult to create resources that are aligned to NGSS. So NGSS alignment next happens coincidentally.

So, if it's an older resource that wasn't created for the NGSS or if it was written for another state's standards, it is unlikely to be NGSS aligned.

Want to learn more?

To learn more, check out these resources.

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