There are no tricks this Halloween, just a treat in the form of the Next Generation Science Standards Evidence Statements!
While I have been working on incorporating the NGSS into my teaching, I am feeling pretty good about day to day work with the Three Dimensions – Practices, Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts. You can read about some of my efforts to bring NGSS into my classroom here. However, I still have more work to do on making my assessments align with NGSS. Fellow blogger Tom Hathorn is farther ahead than I am and shared some of his work in this post. If you’re like me though, and this is an area that you’re still working on, I think tonight’s treat will be helpful.
Before jumping into Evidence Statements it’s important to understand Performance Expectations. Standards all begin with one, or more, Performance Expectations (PE) that explain what students should be able to do at the end of instruction. Performance Expectations incorporate the Three Dimensions of NGSS. (For more on the Three Dimensions of NGSS read the post by Douglas Ferguson here.) If you’re looking at the standards online you can hover over sections of each PE for more information, or see them color coded to each dimension. If I do my job in the unit students will be able to use all Three Dimensions to demonstrate their understanding of the topic.
Evidence Statements came out last year and are available at all grade levels. They were designed to add clarification and detail to the Performance Expectations and to take the guess work out of what we should be looking for as students demonstrate their understanding. As those more familiar with the Evidence Statements will tell you, they are not curriculum. The statements are not telling you what to teach, or how, but they are there to help you understand how students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge. Teachers still hold control of their own creativity on how to help their students reach the goals.
How to use Evidence Statements
I first learned about Evidence Statements this summer on an #NGSSchat on Twitter (you can read through the chat archived here). Since then I have been learning more by reading the overview of the statements here, and I watched an NSTA Webinar on Evidence Statements. An important element to Evidence Statements is that they are meant to be used as a set. NGSS area all about the Three Dimensional learning, and this includes demonstrating those dimensions in the assessment. You are not supposed to choose just part of an ES, by the end of the unit/course students should be able to show evidence in all areas. Below is a brief list of how some teachers are already using the evidence statements:
- Use the Evidence Statements to design summative assessments (however, they are not meant to be used as a checklist).
- Some people are using the Evidence Statements after they have planned unit. Once the unit is planned they are then thinking about what evidence they can collect and then comparing them to the evidence statements as a way to check their work and it’s becoming a reflection piece of their work.
- Use the Evidence Statements to help build a rubric.
- Use the Evidence Statements to help examine current assessments. Analyze the information the current assessment would give you and then see how you might modify it to give you more of what you need.
I believe the Evidence Statements are a valuable tool and will be an important part of my work as I design summative assessments. Are you using Evidence Statements yet? If so, how are you using them?
Latest posts by Hallie Mills (see all)
- Surviving the Holidays with Science - December 17, 2015
- Giving Thanks for Next Generation Science Standards - December 1, 2015
- A Treat for Science Teachers – Evidence Statements! - October 31, 2015