Hi, my name is Tara Andersson, honors chemistry and college prep chemistry teacher. I currently live in Carlsbad with my husband, Dave, and two daughters, Cate (10) and Lucy (3). This year Cate will be a 5th grader at Hope elementary and Lucy will begin her first year of preschool. I am originally from Washington state and moved to Carlsbad five years ago. My family and I love living in Carlsbad and the close community of friends we have here. I am thrilled to be teaching a subject I love and to get kids excited about science and chemistry! I am so happy to be a part of the Sage Creek Team!
Sage Creek High School
-College Prep Chemistry
-National Honor Society Advisor
University of Washington
Research Scientist I
-Gene Therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
California State University, San Marcos
Single Subject Teaching Credential - Chemistry
University of Washington, Seattle
B.S. Biochemistry and Minor in Chemistry
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Your top 5 questions about NGSS answered (if not, just ask!)
What are the Next Generation Science Standards and why are they being implemented?
NGSS are sets of Performance Expectations that students’ should be able to do to show they understand the content being explored. These standards include three dimensional learning that incorporates the Disciplinary Core Ideas -the content, as well as Science and Engineering Practices - the “doing” of science as well as Crosscutting Concepts that are taught in all areas of science so students can pull from prior knowledge to build depth not breadth of content. In my opinion, there are three main reasons for changing the standards; 1. We have been teaching to the same standards for over 10 years and our world has changed drastically during that time (climate change, for example.) By making these changes current we can help to produce able and willing science minded citizens that are aware of our Earth so they can engineer and come up with ideas to make changes/solutions to our current and/or future issues. 2. To get students to do more science. No longer will we see teachers stand up in front of a class lecturing for an entire class period and students sit passively taking notes, rather students will be problem solving and thinking critically to discover the science content through laboratory experimentation, designing models (both physical and computer models) while working with their peers. 3. Finally, so students across the nation are showing their mastery of content by completing the same performance expectations regardless if they are in a classroom in Carlsbad, CA or in Cleveland, OH. By writing the standards as Performance Expectations, teachers have freedom and choices to implement many different strategies for students to be successful in their classroom because all students learn differently and we as educators know our own students better than anyone else. In addition, based on where students live, teachers have a choice/freedom to implement local phenomena to engage our students with they want and desire to learn about science that is around them.
NOTE: These standards will be fully implemented at Sage Creek during the 2017-2018 school year.
What do these standards mean for your child’s education?
These new standards mean that the way parents learned science in high school is no longer what their child will experience. It means that our students will be bringing home different products that show their understanding and mastery of science content that will look much different than a scantron test or what parents remembered from when they were in school. It will also mean that our students will have many more questions about science (some will be answered but many are left up for our students to discover) and at any given day we will have a lot of frustrations and failure while learning the science...but those are aspects of learning that will create an environment where students will appreciate when they are successful because they worked hard and earned that knowledge and therefore possessing a sense of ownership of the content. Students will not be expected to memorize content but rather show they have an understanding of the content by doing and applying the science to new and unique situations. Students will be guiding instruction through questioning and wondering, where in the past teachers told the students what they will be learning.
What are the conceptual shifts in the NGSS including the 3 dimensions?
One main conceptual shift in the NGSS is to create an interconnected science education for all students throughout their K-12 education. Having a coherent science education students will therefore build on skills and content year after year therefore deepening their understanding of science. A second conceptual shift is that students are learning skills and content about the world around them in an interconnected manner that encompasses three dimensional learning in each science class. This interconnected way of doing science is how scientists practice daily. therefore we are creating a classroom environment for our students K-12 science curriculum that models those same practice that scientists and engineers use daily. These three dimensions are: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts and Science and Engineering Practices. Currently, these dimensions are taught in separate classes and assessment is based on memorization of facts but with NGSS students will be assessed on the application of these scientific practice through a cohesive science instruction, year after year. The goal of this conceptual shift in science is to better prepare all students for college and career through challenging tasks that require critical thinking and problem solving skills. Students will be doing and applying science as it relates to the world around them rather than memorizing facts that have no meaning or relatability to our students in the 21st century.
The difference between Performance Expectations and Assessments.
Before science standards in K-12 detailed what students should know or understand. Students were expected to memorize certain facts and be able to show through an assessment that they meet the goals. In some cases these assessments had little to no relationship to what the student was learning in the classroom. In addition, these assessments did not ask students to apply the science content to new and unique situations. The NGSS has set up Performance Expectations that detail what the students should be able to do to show they have mastery of the standard and are aligned directly to curriculum and instruction. These Performance Expectations incorporates the 3 dimensions (Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts and Science and Engineering Practices) creating an assessment that incompases all aspects of real science in each classroom.
A short list of hyperlinked resources for parents, family members, students who would like to learn more about the NGSS.
My NGSS LiveBinder: http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=2018788
A Look at the Next Generation Science Standards, By Ted Willard: http://nstahosted.org/pdfs/ngss/InsideTheNGSSBox.pdf
Why NGSS Video: http://ngss.nsta.org/About.aspx
Why It’s Time for New Standards Infograph: http://ngss.nsta.org/Documents/ngss_infographic.pdf
K-12 Disciplinary Core Ideas Progression for all sciences: http://nstahosted.org/pdfs/ngss/resources/MatrixForK-12ProgressionOfDisciplinaryCoreIdeasInNGSS.8.8.14.pdf