Week 3 of Mining Next Generation Science Standards

Week 3 of my MOOC on Next Generation Science Standards is focusing on the "Comparing the NGSS to your local standards to investigate the use of the Practices in the NGSS Framework, compared to the processes and skills of your local standards." The standards in our current curriculum in grey below have a number of standards that I think are more succinctly packaged in NGSS standards but I chose this standard as my seventh graders are using a variety of digital stories to model water movement thus demonstrating the hydrologic cycle. I thought this would make a nice addition to their learning portfolio and wouldn't be trashed like some musty poster at the end of the year. At the bottom of this post, you'll see some examples of student work that have been recently presented!

Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the ways water changes its state as it moves through the multiple pathways of the hydrologic cycle. Examples of models can be conceptual or physical.] [Assessment Boundary: A quantitative understanding of the latent heats of vaporization and fusion is not assessed.]

DE: GLE: ScienceDE: Grade 7 S5: Earth as a Dynamic System

A. Water cycles from one reservoir to another through the processes of evaporation, transpiration, condensation and precipitation. Energy transfers and/or transformations are associated with each of these processes.
Level: Essential
B. Water within a watershed travels over and through the land at various speeds based on the rate of change in elevation and the permeability and porosity of the soil. Water carries with it products of human activity.
Level: Important
C. Surface water always flows downhill. Areas of higher elevation separate watersheds. In Delaware, this water eventually reaches the Delaware River, the Delaware Bay, the Atlantic Ocean or the Chesapeake Bay.
Level: Important

DE: GLE: ScienceDE: Grade 7 S1: Nature & Application of Science Technology
Form explanations based on accurate and logical analysis of evidence. Revise the explanation using alternative descriptions, predictions, models and knowledge from other sources as well as results of further investigation.
Level: Essential

The above standard on "Nature and Application of Science Technology" strands in DE is implicit in standard MS-ESS2-4 as it clearly starts with "develop a model" and the DE states that students should "form explanations and revise through models" but this is a "Nature of Science" skill that teachers must connect to earth science standards. 

The first notable difference is that this skill in DE can be selected over and over to demonstrate and model scientific phenomenon but NGSS connects the skill to the standard so the teacher doesn't have to "connect the dots" or wonder how they'll find a skill to match to a content standard or how they'll have students demonstrate knowledge mastery with a skill. 

The second difference is that when on the NGSS website, simply hovering the mouse over the standard allows teachers not only the ability to highlight crosscutting examples and core practices, but a grey pop up bubble notifies teachers of background knowledge as show through vertical alignment in the NGSS curriculum. 

Examples of student work modelling the hydro logical cycle

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