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UtNGSS Module 4: From Standards to Units

In this module we will explore how to use Understanding by Design to help move NGSS into units.  If you are not familiar with this process, check out the Introduction: What is the UbD Framework document from ASCD.


Join us online.  Wednesday May 8th.

  • 7:00 PM Central on Twitter (#NGSSchat)
  • 8:15 PM Central on Chatzy (Chat Room)


Task One: Visioning Science Education

This activity fit better next week, but let's have fun with it anyway.  As we think about transitioning to NGSS, it is important to keep in mind what we value in our science teaching -- where would we want to "be" with our teaching in an ideal world.  These two activities can help you create a vision for science in your classroom.

1.  Newspaper Headlines: Imagine that it is 5 years in the future and you have implemented NGSS.  What news headlines will the local paper be writing about your students?

For example:  "North Middle School Students Showcase STEM Projects Connected to Local Industry"

2. Again, imagine that it is 5 years in the future after successful implementation of NGSS.  Craft an "elevator speech" to describe what learning science is like in your course.  An elevator speech is a brief sales pitch -- it should only be as long as it takes to ride an elevator from  the 1st to the 3rd floor.  (Let's shoot for a paragraph or two).

Share your values (newspaper headlines and/or elevator speeches) in the Module 4 Discussion Forum.


Task Two: NGSS and UbD


You can download a UbD template here.


Task Three:

What do you think?  Discuss your thoughts about unit planning using NGSS in the Module 4 Discussion Forum.


Going Further

I didn't get into the actual instructional planning in this module.  If you are interested in learning about the "Learning Cycle" approach to instructional sequences, watch this FIZZ style video.  Post your thoughts in the Module 4 Discussion Forum (use the same forum as the UbD discussion).

by Eric Brunsell last modified May 06, 2013 08:40 PM

Developing sustainable partnerships focused on raising STEM awareness in the community, enabling innovations in STEM education, and improving STEM teacher preparation.