NGSS Lesson Screener Helps Teachers Evaluate Lessons against Learning Standards

A team of education organizations has created a tool intended to help educators evaluate the lessons they use in the classroom to see how well they meet the criteria of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The "NGSS Lesson Screener" was the result of work by Achieve, which focuses on college and career readiness; the National Science Teachers Association; and members of the NGSS Network, a group of states and partners that share ideas and practices for implementing the learning standards.

The screening tool is actually a fillable PDF or Word form that helps groups of teachers review a lesson to determine three things:

  • Whether the lesson is on the right track;
  • Whether it warrants further review against a rubric that evaluates instructional content against NGSS; and
  • Whether the group of reviewers has a common understanding of a science standard.

The tool assumes an understanding of NGSS as well as the ideas put forth in "A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas," published by the National Academies Press in 2012.

The rubric used is EQuIP for science. The "Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products" is a project to identify high-quality materials aligned with the learning standards by examining the degree to which the lessons and units are designed for NGSS.

The directions for use encourage teachers to approach the job as collaborative effort. "Working as a group will not only result in a better lesson, but can also bring the group to a common and deeper understanding of designing lessons for the NGSS," the screener stated.

The Lesson Screener is freely available on the NGSS site here.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.