Jan 11, 2016

Getting to Know the Next Generation Science Standards: K & 1st Grade...PLUS FREEBIES!

Ever since the Next Generation Science Standards came out, I have overheard or often been asked for help by teachers who flat out admit the struggle they have with effectively implementing these still fairly new standards in the classroom. Especially with kids at the Kindergarten and First grade levels. 

So today's post is the first in a series I'm going to do on the Next Generation Science Standards for Kindergarten and First grade teachers. 

Here's what it's going to look like: 
First, (today) I'm going to do an introduction to the standards, (including the standards themselves and the performance expectations as well). Then I'll jump right into the Kindergarten standards and then move on to the First grade standards. By the end, I guarantee that you will be feeling more confident about boosting science instruction in your classroom while effectively engaging your cute little learners! I also have some FREEBIES for you today!

For you to be successful in teaching the science standards, it's important that you know and understand them yourself...to know what they are asking of students...to know what future ideas or concepts you are building a foundation for.

There is a great series of videos on YouTube from Bozeman Science, created by Paul Anderson, that goes into great detail explaining everything you need to know about the Next Generations Science Standards-great in depth behind-the-scenes information that will help you understand them at a whole new level. 
I highly encourage you to check these videos out. If anything, even just the first video in his series on the NGSS. You won't be sorry you did.

So what exactly are these standards asking our students to do? Well, at the Kindergarten level, here is what is expected of students:

And at the First Grade level, here is what is expected of students:
It's important that students know what's expected of them, so here is a FREEBIE that you can hang around your classroom. Having a visual hanging up will help them stay focused and on task.
Now let's move on to the standards. Do you already know what ideas you'll be teaching?

At the Kindergarten level, you'll be covering these Core Ideas:
-Motion & Stability: Forces & Interaction (I call this the "Fore & Motion" unit.)
-Energy (I call this the "Our Sun Warms" unit.)
-From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
(I call this the "Living Things" unit.)
-Earth's Systems (My "Weather Patterns" unit.)
-Earth & Human Activity (My "We Love Earth" unit.)
-Engineering Design

At the First Grade level, you'll be covering these Core Ideas:
-Waves: Light & Sound
-Structure, Function, & Information Processing
(I call this my "Grow. Survive. Thrive." unit.)
-Space Systems: Pattern & Cycles
-Engineering Design

When it comes to the NGSS, I firmly believe it's important to keep the standards simple. The more you complicate them, the harder of a time you're going to have getting your littles to understand the concepts that are involved.
Here are two sets of FREE "I CAN" Poster Sets for your classroom. One is for Kindergarten and the other for First Grade:

Tomorrow I'm going to share a topic that I like to cover before I dive into the standards with my students. If you have any questions about NGSS or the standards, please feel free to email me at TheBarefootTeacher@gmail.com. Just remember, I did not create these standards and am in no way affiliated with them. I'm simply a fellow teacher, sharing my interpretation and ideas on the NGSS!

-Til next time
           

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