NGSS Begins Releasing Sample Science Standard Bundles
- By Dian Schaffhauser
The organization behind the Next Generation Science Standards has begun releasing sample "bundles" of standards to help people move away from thinking that the standards are supposed to be taught as a checklist. The bundles are intended to help teachers and curriculum developers understand how they might implement the science standards or student "performance expectations" in ways that can help learners see the connections between concepts and thereby optimize class time.
A 24-page "example bundles guide" provides sample bundles and lays out the rationale behind bundling. For example, a high school bundle pulls together three standards related to interactions between objects, tied to three standards and forming the basis for a four-week course sequence. Another four-week bundle taps four standards tied to electrical forces and matter interactions between particles. Each bundle includes a course summary, a bundle document and a course flowchart.
As the guide emphasizes, the sample bundles are "by no means the only way that standards could be bundled together"; they're "designed to be illustrative of the process of bundling and the types of thinking necessary in building bundles that capitalize on the connections between standards."
"There is no right way to bundle the performance expectations," said Chris Embry Mohr, a science teacher at Olympia High School in Stanford, IL, during a webinar about the bundles. "There are literally thousands of ways to bundle the standards. You and/or your district will need to determine what will work best for your students."
A "full suite" of example bundles is expected to be released through the rest of the summer, in time for the 2016-2017 school year and ultimately covering all grade levels.
Information and links to the bundles is available on the NGSS website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.