Finally some curriculum that "Meets Expectations" from EdReports for MS & HS
Curriculum Case Study: A Massachusetts Town Boosts Students’ STEM Learning by Letting the Students Do the Talking, ‘It’s Real Life’
Can you believe it?! Free science curriculum from OpenSciEd. Currently they have middle school curriculum available and the High School curriculum is currently being piloted. They are also scheduled to have an EdReports review. When this data becomes available, it will be reflected here.
To be completely transparent, below is a response to my questions about this curriculum from Casandra Gonzalez, Science Content Support Specialist from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education where they have been using OpenSciEd for over two years in middle schools:
"OpenSciEd is an NGSS-designed curriculum where students use the science and engineering practices to figure out a scientific phenomena. There is a big emphasis on discussion, use of evidence, and what I have heard called “minds-on” learning. So the students do lab activities and experiments in each unit, but they are very much connected to the overall themes that they are figuring out. They don’t necessarily do a lab every day – some days are more dedicated to discussion or making sense of data. There is a lot of writing as well.
The biggest shifts are pedagogical. The content is usually well within the wheelhouse of the teachers. But it’s a shift from starting each class with “ok, this is what we’re going to talk about today” to “hey, who can tell me what we figured out in our last class? And what questions will still have to answer about our anchoring phenomenon?” The students are really co-piloting the unit.
The biggest challenges we have run into are – 1-the first time around, teachers take a longer time than estimated to do the unit. It usually stresses them out a bit. But by the second time around it is much easier and smoother. And 2-the students are often not used to the teacher really turning around on them and saying “no, I’m not going to tell you the answer, you tell me what the evidence says”, but if the teacher sticks to it and really makes it a classroom expectation, the students do rise to the occasion.
It is critical to have the PD along with the curriculum, and OpenSciEd has certified providers that do it. I also strongly recommend that whenever possible, building administrators or whoever is in charge of evaluating teachers also attend the PD, so that they know what to expect and are on board with the changes. OpenSciEd classrooms are not necessarily going to be quiet and orderly, so admin need to know that is not a bad thing.
One legitimate critique of the curriculum is that, in appealing to a national audience, there may not be locally/culturally relevant phenomena or connections for every place in the country. I think this is an important concern. My recommendation would be that if the teachers & students feel this way, they spend the first year trying to teach the curriculum “out of the box” so that they get used to the pedagogical shifts, which are critical and important. Then spend some time, maybe in PLCs or with support from experts on culturally relevant teaching, thinking about how they could modify the phenomena, the transfer tasks, or other components of the units to make them more relevant, but still staying true to the rigor and coherence of the units. I do also know that the middle school student materials are available in Spanish. I am hopeful that they will add more languages soon."
NextGen Science, NGSS, and Edreports release on, "Critical Features of Instructional Materials Design for Today's Science Standards: A Resource for Science Curriculum Developers and the Educations Field" Released July 2021
NSTA's Daily Do Playlists
are suggested instructional sequences of NSTA Lessons that can be used to help students coherently build science ideas over time.
Grant Funded NGSS Aligned 9th Grade Curriculum
- Physics and Chemistry Course, The Montana Office of Public Instruction worked in conjunction with Washington, Idaho, and Oregon in the Northwest Earth and Space Science Pipeline (NESSP) grant that was sponsored by NASA. One product to be shared among the states (if you so choose), is the following:
- High School Integrated
The High School Integrated Conceptual Science Program (ICSP) is a NGSS-aligned curriculum that utilizes the conceptual progressions model for bundling of the NGSS, High School Conceptual Model Course 1 and strategies from Ambitious Science Teaching (AST) to focus on teaching practices needed to engage students in science discourse and learning.
Course 1 is the High School Integrated Physics and Chemistry Course. The goal of these units is to encourage students to continue in STEM by providing engaging and aligned curriculum. The focus of this year long course is on the first year of high school (freshman). While the course is designed to be taught as a collection of the units, each unit could be taught as a separate unit in a science course.
A video about the new course shared its unique approach to learning and teaching. Wenatchee School District, one of the participating districts, wanted a way to share the program with the community. https://youtu.be/9AGk19YUi2o
Course 1 of the ICSP development was funded by Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP) which is funded through the NASA Science Mission Directorate and housed with Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium at the University of Washington.
Montana Science Assessment (MSA) and MSA Alt
New Self-paced Hub Course: New Montana Science Assessment
The state of Montana implemented the summative Montana Science Assessment (MSA) field test and the Alt MSA that aligns with the current science standards for the first time in the spring of 2022, as a scored test.
Summative Assessment Preparedness and Resources Available
The assessments measure the three dimensions of the science standards, the Science and Engineering Practices, the Disciplinary Core Ideas, and the Crosscutting Concepts.
Science Alternate Assessment Information
MONTANA ALTERNATE ASSESSMENT FOR SCIENCE – NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)
Purpose of the Alternate Academic Achievement Standards in Science (AAAS)
The Montana Board of Public Education (Board) is responsible for adopting standards of accreditation for Montana schools including challenging academic achievement standards (see §20-2-121 and §20-7-101, MCA). All Montana public and non-public accredited schools are required to follow these standards of accreditation and participate in state assessments (see ARM 10.55.603):
Montana was a member-state of this consortium and leveraged the grant to help design, develop, and deliver the OPI’s Alternate Assessments that assess student proficiency and progress on Alternate Academic Achievement Standards (AAAS) in mathematics (math), English Language Arts (ELA), science, and English language proficiency (ELP) for students with significant cognitive disabilities (NCSC Brief 1 and ARM 10.53).
The AAAS set expectations of performance that differ in scope and complexity from grade-level achievement standards. In Montana, the AAAS are not adopted separately by the Board because they are the “same but different” standards-based expectations for students with significant cognitive disabilities. For students who, because of their disability, cannot participate in the state’s general assessment, the OPI has constructed and implemented guidelines for participation in the Alternate Assessment, including eligibility criteria (see Appendix A). The OPI meets the requirement of providing Alternate Assessments aligned to the State challenging academic achievement standards through its selection of the state assessments.
The decision to move a special education student to an Alternate Assessment has significant implications for the path that a student will take in their K–12 school career. It means the student is not able to participate in the general education curriculum even when provided with accommodations. A student who participates in an Alternate Assessment requires a modified curriculum. In addition, the IEP team for a student shall determine if the student meets the eligibility criteria for the Alternate Assessment. All students enrolled in accredited schools are expected to take part in state assessments in one of three ways:
1. Participate in the general education assessments without accommodations (ARM 10.56.104(1)).
2. Participate in the general education assessments with accommodations (ARM 10.56.104(1)).
3. Participate in Alternate Assessments when the participation criteria are met (see Appendix A and ARM 10.56.104(2)).
Formative assessment is valuable to teachers in the classroom. Below are examples of formative assessment that align with the 3 Dimensional science standards.
What does formative assessment look like in 3D Science?
Want to learn more about…
…how NGSA designed and developed 3-dimensional assessments using evidence-center design?
…how NGSA developed 3-dimensional scoring rubrics for formative assessment tasks?
- Designing NGSS-aligned Assessment Tasks and Rubrics to Support Classroom-based Formative Assessment. We describe how principles of evidence-centered design inform the development of classroom-based science assessment tasks and rubrics that integrate three dimensions of science proficiency addressed in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The rubric development approach centers on the development of multiple rubric components, each of which corresponds to distinct aspects of proficiency of interest to teachers for classroom assessment.
…the NGSA 3-dimensional tasks?
…how NGSA designed and developed formative assessment tasks to promote equity?
Montana Science Standards
Standards and Resources
Model Curriculum Guides
Grade Level and Grade Band
Tech Directors: To access a machine readable version of the official Montana Content Standards for Science, please visit the 1EdTech CASE Network site. Create a free login, select Montana Office of Public Instruction, and view or download the standards. The CASE version of the standards can be uploaded to student information systems, curriculum mapping programs, and a variety of other uses. Learn more about the CASE Network CASE Network FAQ