Mrs. Watkins Judith Watkins » 7th Grade Integrated Science: NGSS

7th Grade Integrated Science: NGSS

What are the Next Generation Science Standards? The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a new set of science standards for kindergarten through high school. The NGSS were designed with the idea that students should have a science education that they can use in their lives. It should empower students to be able to make sense of the world around them. And it should give students the critical thinking, problem solving, and data analysis and interpretation skills they can use in any career, and that will help them make decisions that affect themselves, their families, and their communities. California and many other states have adopted the NGSS or very similar standards.
In order to accomplish this, the NGSS call for science learning in which students do not just memorize a set of science facts, but rather engage in figuring out how and why things happen. Core ideas in life science, Earth science, physical science, and engineering, are intentionally arranged from kindergarten through 12th grade so that students can build their understanding over time, and can see the connections between different ideas and across disciplines. To figure out these core ideas, while building the skills that will help them make sense of the world around them, students engage in the same practices that real scientists and engineers do. For example, students will develop and use models, analyze data, and make evidence-based arguments. They also learn to make sense of core ideas using crosscutting concepts that are useful ways of thinking about and making connections across different areas of science and engineering, for example thinking in terms of systems or cause and effect. The NGSS website provides additional information and resources for families.
The NGSS calls for these three dimensions—core ideas, practices, and crosscutting concepts—to work together in science classes. For example, students could develop and use models (a science practice) that show stability and change (a crosscutting concept) in populations of animals as affected by resource availability in an ecosystem (a core science idea). Each Amplify Science unit has students engage as scientists or engineers in making explanations or designing solutions as they figure out a real-world problem. Students will use the three dimensions of the NGSS together as they build their understanding of the concepts and skills they can use in their lives.
7th Grade Science will be piloting 3 different curricula for the remainder of this year. At the end of our pilot, students, parent and teachers will have the opportunity to give their feedback on the curricula. This feedback will be used t make a final decision as to which curriculum the district will purchase and use in our Science classrooms starting next year.
Amplify will be the first program that we pilot.                            
Chemical Reactions is the unit that our 7th grades will be working on from November 26 through December 21st.Here is the overview of this unit:
Students figure out how changes at the atomic scale caused a large-scale problem in a town’s water supply. They ask questions, use models, and read articles to learn about properties of substances, atoms and molecules, and chemical reactions.