On Tuesday, November 11th, the SLWRP network met to explore the implications for Environmental Education in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
Alameda County Office of Education Science Coordinator, Sara Dozier, provided an introduction to the structure and organization of NGSS with a focus on framework Core Idea ESS3: Earth and Human Activity. In particular, ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems asks students to investigate and understand, "How do humans change the planet?"
The new science standards put an increased emphasis on Science and Engineering Practices while working to reinforce Cross-Cutting Concepts grades K-12. The shifts in the standards are good news for teachers interested in engaging their students in projects and service-learning to design solutions to real-life challenges using the tools of science and engineering (including data collection, analysis, building and testing models, and engineering solutions.)
Teachers in all content areas are being asked to support the implementation of the new Common Core State Standards for English-Language Arts and Math. The new CCSS includes reading standards for "Science and Technical Subjects," reflecting an overall shift to an increased emphasis on technical and expository text.
To investigate the new CCSS reading standards, participants brought an environmental text they might consider reading with students this year. Using the new standards as a guide, participants tried to do the tasks that students will be asked to do when reading, such as: determining central ideas or conclusions of a text; determining the meaning of symbols, key terms and other domain-specific words and phrases; and analyzing the structure an author uses to organize a text.
This year, the SLWRP network will collaborate to build an "Environmental Reader" of teacher selected texts that help promote environmental literacy while addressing the new CCSS and NGSS standards. Because CCSS takes a broad view of "texts" to include multiple forms of media and communication forms to share ideas, the "Environmental Reader" may include traditional texts like magazine or news articles, excerpts from books or journals, etc., but also items like videos, photos, blog posts, radio programs and other multi-media items. To contribute a text to the Environmental Reader, click here.
Materials from the November 12, 2013 SLWRP Network Meeting
- NGSS/CCSS Venn Diagram
- NGSS Human Impact Performance Expectations with Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts
- Grades 6-8 Common Core Reading Guide
- Grades 9-10 Common Core Reading Guide
- Grades 11-12 Common Core Reading Guide
Link to Environmental Reader text submission form