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Dig into the Next Generation Science
Standards for Grades 3-5!

Welcome, NSTA 2024 Attendees!

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Who is this Community for?

Anyone who teaches science to students in Grades 3-5!

This VLC provides resources to support your science instruction, including:

What are the NGSS?

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are science content standards for Grades K-12 and are based on the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education. The NGSS describe what students should know and be able to do, called performance expectations; they do not describe a science curriculum. Each performance expectation within the NGSS integrates three separate but equally important dimensions: crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas.

Understanding the NGSS, implementing three-dimensional instruction, and figuring out how to assess students’ performance in the three dimensions are challenging. The formative assessment tasks and other resources housed in this VLC can help!

Visit the Resources page to explore our formative assessment tasks, and learn more about the NGSS and how the three dimensions intersect.

Why is formative assessment important?

Demonstrate Knowledge

Students at all grade levels need many and varied assessment opportunities to demonstrate their developing knowledge in all three dimensions of the NGSS. Formative assessments are one too you can use to understand what students know and can do.

Support Learning

Formative assessments can help you better understand how to help your students move along learning trajectories in all three dimensions. Thus, formative assessment provides a starting point, and entry into, ways your instruction can support students’ three-dimensional science learning.

Inform Instruction

Formative assessment is assessment that is for learning. Assessments used formatively in science classrooms can take many forms, and fall on a continuum from formal to informal, but they provide information on students’ understanding that can be used to inform your instruction.

Improve Outcomes

Formative assessment improves learning outcomes because it allows you to make real changes to instruction, at both whole-class and individual levels, and students to self-assess and improve understanding before summative or high-stakes assessments.