Next Generation

Science Standards
Created by Kelly Lynn

Please complete the NGSS Professional
Development Goals Ranking

Our Goals for Today
● discover the components of the Next Generation
Science Standards
● be able to explain the NGSS 3-dimensional design
● become familiar with the Science and Engineering
Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting
Concepts and Engineering Design
● explain Key Shifts in NGSS and Science Assessment
● become familiar with Storylines, Phenomena and
Guiding Questions

Next Generation Science Standards

View free PDF from
The National Academies Press

Shifting Science Instruction


“The architecture of the NGSS differs significantly from
prior standards for science education. In the NGSS, the
three dimensions of Science and Engineering Practices
(SEPs), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), and Crosscutting
Concepts (CCCs) are crafted into performance
expectations that describe what is to be assessable
following instruction. The NGSS performance expectations
are therefore a measure of competency.”
Next Generation Science Standards: Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria for Alignment

Components of
the NGSS

3 - Dimensional
•What is it? Blending the three dimensions (core ideas,
crosscutting concepts and scientific and engineering
practices) to focus instruction and assessment
•Three-dimensional learning shifts the focus of the science
classroom to environments where students use core ideas,
crosscutting concepts with scientific practices to explore,
examine, and use science ideas to explain how and why
phenomena occur

Content and Practices Work together to Build
Understanding: 3 – Dimensional Learning
•To form useable understanding, knowing and
doing cannot be separated
•Scientific ideas are best learned when
students engage in practices
•Allows for problem-solving, decisions making,
explaining real-world phenomena, and
integrating new ideas

Science and Engineering Practices Video
While watching this Teaching Channel video,
please reflect on:
● How do the SEP practices engage students
in thinking deeply about their work?
● How are the practices interrelated?
● How can the teacher focus on the SEPs with
their students?

Science and Engineering Practices
Take a few minutes to look through Appendix F
reflecting on:
● Guiding Principles
● Progressions
● Condensed Practices

Science and Engineering PracticeAsking Questions

Disciplinary Core Ideas Video
While watching this video, please reflect on:
● How are DCIs used differently than content has been in
the past?
● How do DCIs progress through the grades?
● How are the DCIs being presented in the instruction?

Disciplinary Core Ideas
Take a few minutes to look through Appendix E
reflecting on:
● Progressions for
○ Earth Science
○ Life Science
○ Physical Science

Crosscutting Concepts Video
While watching this Teaching Channel video,
please reflect on:
● What is the purpose of Crosscutting
Concepts in the NGSS?
● How do students benefit from understanding
the Crosscutting Concepts?
● How can the teacher best facilitate student’s
learning the Crosscutting Concepts?

Crosscutting Concepts
Take a few minutes to look through Appendix G
reflecting on:
● Guiding Principles
● Progressions
● Statements

Crosscutting Concept Cause and Effect

CrossCut Symbols

NGSS- Thinking like a
K-8 and the Shift to NGSS:

reflects how science is done in the real world – how scientists acquire it,
how engineers apply it and how it is connected through crosscutting
Example is the Scientific Method vs. the Science and Engineering
the core ideas are limited in number, but form a coherent progression of
knowledge leading to a more complexity of student understanding by the
end of high school

K-2 is where it all begins

Engineering Design
In NGSS, both engineering design and the
nature of science are taught in an integrated
manner with science disciplines (ex; design
projects require science knowledge in order to
develop a good solution; the engineering
process contributes to building science

Engineering Design
Take a few minutes to look through Appendix I
reflecting on:
● Components of Engineering Design
● Grade Spans
● PEs that incorporate Engineering Practices

Shifts in NGSS
“In NGSS, students engage in explaining phenomena and
designing solutions. In science education aligned to the
NGSS, the goal of instruction is not solely for students to
memorize content. Content becomes meaningful to
students when they see its usefulness — when they need it
to answer a question. Therefore, in science education
aligned to the NGSS, an important component of instruction
is to pique students’ curiosity to help them see a need for
the content.”
-Next Generation Science Standards: Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria for Alignment

Shifts in NGSS
“The ultimate goal of an NGSS-aligned science education
is for students to be able to explain real-world phenomena
and to design solutions to problems using their
understanding of the DCIs, CCCs, and SEPs. Students
also develop their understanding of the DCIs by engaging
in the SEPs and applying the CCCs. These three
dimensions are tools that students can acquire and use to
answer questions about the world around them and to
solve design problems.”
-Next Generation Science Standards: Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria for Alignment

What do these shifts look like?

Shift 1 - Science education reflects threedimensional learning
From: providing discrete facts and
concepts in science disciplines, with
limited application of practice or the
interconnected nature of the
disciplines. Where Crosscutting
themes were included, they were
implicit and not noticed or used by
the student.

To: providing learning experiences
for students that blend multiple
SEPs, CCCs and DCIs with the goal
that students are actively engaged in
scientific processes. Crosscutting
concepts are included explicitly, and
students learn to use them as tools
to make sense of phenomena and
make connections across disciplines.

Shift 2 - Students engage in explaining
phenomena and designing solutions
From: focusing on disconnected
topics and memorizing content that
is treated as an end in itself

To: focusing on engaging students
with meaningful phenomena or
problems that can be explained or
solved through the application of
SEPs, CCCs, and DCIs

Shift 3 - The NGSS incorporate engineering design and the
nature of science as SEPs and CCCs
From: presenting engineering design
and the nature of science as
supplemental or as disconnected
from science learning, with neither
included in assessments (ex: design
projects that do not require science
knowledge to complete successfully)

To: incorporating learning
experiences that include the DCIs of
engineering design as well as the
SEPs and CCCs of both engineering
and the nature of science, with both
being included in the assessments.

Shift 4 - SEPs, DCIs, and CCCs build coherent
learning progressions from K to grade 12
From: a curriculum that lacks
coherence in knowledge and
expertise; provides repetitive,
discrete knowledge that students
memorize at each grade level; and
often misses essential knowledge
that has to be filled at later grade

To: providing learning experiences
for students that develop a coherent
progression of knowledge and skills
from elementary through high
school. The learning experiences
focus on a smaller set of disciplinary
concepts that build on what has
been learned in previous grades and
provides the foundation for learning
at the next grade span

Shift 5 - The NGSS connect to ELA and Math
From: providing siloed science
knowledge that students learn in
isolation from reading, writing, and
math - the “basic” knowledge

To: providing science learning
experiences for students that
explicitly connect to Math and ELA
learning in meaningful and
substantive ways and that provide
broad and deep conceptual
understanding in all three subject

Shifts in Assessment
From: Assessments within past
science education programs
exclusively addressed disciplinary
concepts of science; neither the
processes, inquiry, or SEPs nor the
CCCs, unifying themes, or big ideas
were included in the assessments

To: Assessments within the
learning reflects each of the
three distinct dimensions of
science and their

Assessment and the NGSS
Read “Assessment in Instructional Materials” from Next
Generation Science Standards: Primary Evaluation of
Essential Criteria for Alignment and highlight and annotate
Key Shifts in Science Assessment.

Assessment Contrast
The major movement of
the plates and description
of the plate boundaries of
the Earth are:
d.All of the above

A. Draw a model of volcano formation at a hot spot
using arrows to show movement in the model. Be
sure to label all parts of your model.
B. Use your model to explain what happens with the
plate and what happens at the hot spot when a
volcano forms.
C. Draw a model to show the side view (crosssection) of volcano formation near a plate boundary
(at a subduction zone or divergent boundary). Be
sure to label all parts of your model.
D. Use your model to explain what happens when a
volcano forms near a plate boundary.

Planning Instruction to Meet the Intent of the Next
Generation Science Standards


Select PEs that work together - a bundle - to promote proficiency in using
the ideas expressed
Inspect the PEs, Clarification Statements, and Assessment Boundaries to
identify implications for instruction
Examine DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs coded to the Performance Expectations
to identify implication for instruction
Look closely at the DCIs and PEs. What understandings need to be
developed? What content ideas will students need to know? What must
students be able to do? Take into consideration prior PEs that serve as a
foundation for topics that will be addressed.
Identify SEPs that support instruction of the core ideas.

Planning Instruction to Meet the Intent of the Next
Generation Science Standards
6. Determine the acceptable evidence for assessing lesson level
performances, both formative and summative.

Review related Common Core Math and ELA standards

8. Carefully construct a storyline to help learners build ideas from prior ideas,
using evidence that builds to the understanding described in the PEs. Describe
how the ideas will unfold. What do students need to be introduced to first?
How would the ideas and practices develop over time?
9. Create the guiding questions that will develop a coherent sequence of
learning using various SEPs with the core ideas and CCCs.
10. Create lesson level tasks that guide the lesson development to promote
student thinking and learning. Continuously reflect: How will this task help
students more towards understanding of the Performance Expectations?

● Provides a framework for coherence of unit
○ Coherence to overarching unit phenomena
○ Coherence in narrative flow of unit
○ Coherence towards a culminating performance

● Do students know WHY they are doing each
activity in the unit?

Qualities of a good phenomenon:
● a puzzling observable event or process
● generates student interest and questions
● intersects with numerous PEs
● can be explore through SEPs
● can be a real-world experience, photograph,
video, etc

Phenomena Examples
OLD: I can define evaporation.
Phenom-driven Question:
What happens to the puddles of water on the
street after a rainfall?
How and why did the water “dry up”?

Phenomena Examples
OLD: I can define inheritance.
Phenom-driven Question:
My brother and I both look like my parents. I
know we got DNA from our parents. But if we
both got DNA from the same parents, why do
my brother and I look different from each other?

Guiding Questions Criteria

developed to serve as a scope and sequence
more detailed questions that guide the learner
open ended, yet focus inquiry on a specific topic
encourages a wide range of answers and opportunities
to explore/discuss
● are short and succinct - only a handful of words-yet they
demand a lot

How to Write Guiding Questions

Examine all three-dimensions of the Performance Expectation


Think about questions that you believe will cause your students to think
about the topic, but not dictate the direction or outcome of their thinking


Generate a list of possible questions, trying not to think too much about
whether they fit the criteria of being a good guiding question


Reflect and refine the list and start putting them in a sequence


Revise the questions using the Guiding Questions Criteria

Instructional strategies and ideas to consider:

create a yearlong map of the suggested learning progressions that could
be used in the planning of day-to-day instruction
become familiar with how the grade levels progress for coherence and so
you know what your students are coming in with and where their learning is
consider ways to show students the connections between science and
other subject areas (ex: math, language arts, social science, visual and
performing arts, career and technical education)
consider expectations students needs when performing hands-on
experiences and engaging in productive arguments
embed instructional strategies that support student thinking vs. memorizing
(ex: Science journaling, interactive note-taking, think-pair-share, quick
writes, questioning techniques, Socratic seminars, small-group instruction)

Instructional strategies and ideas to consider:

consider reasons that students may have difficulty mastering or
demonstrating their mastery of the three dimensions of NGSS (ex: need of
support, differentiation, language, background knowledge, foundation)
plan for alternative approaches and instruction delivery to meet the needs
of all students (ex: ELLS, special need students, advanced learners,
struggling students) and adapt to different learning styles
identify ways in which activities and learning experiences can be
contextualized to the school environment
create a list of resource materials that would need to be used or requested
during the student’s learning experiences
consider possible safety practices and room arrangements need for
student success

NGSS Resources
NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) - Classroom
Science EQuIP rubric
Wood Dale Instructional Coaches NGSS Resources
Wood Dale Instructional Coaches SEPs Ideas

Reiser, B.J. (2013). What professional development strategies are needed for successful implementation of the next
generation science standards? Invitational Research Symposium on Science Assessment: Washington, DC: K-12
Center at ETS
Krajcik, Joseph. Codere, Susan. Dahsah, Chanyah. Bayer, Renee, Mun, Kongju. Planning Instruction to Meet the Intent
of the Next Generation Science Standards. Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, Lansing, MI. 2014
Michaels, Sarah. Shouse, Andrew. Schweingruber, Heidi Ready, Set, Science. The National Academy Press.
Washington, DC, 2008