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NGSS alignment in the high school

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Rania Amaireh Rania Amaireh 20 Points

I need some information about how the schools in the States are aligning the highschool curriculum with the NGSS, specifically the Earth science Part. Where do you exactly teach this as we have 3main core science physics, biology and chemistry. do you include it under biology or do u have a separate ellective as Earth science. Please help and give me more information about how the science is taught in the high school from 10-12.  Thanks

Kendra Grinsell Kendra Grinsell 130 Points

Hello, We are in the same boat as you. We are looking at a 3 year modified curriculum with Bio. Chem, and Physics each incorporating Earth Science standards into the mix. We are in California and our state still hasn't adopted a new science framework with the NGSS standards in it, so we are a bit behind other states. I would also love to hear how other states have made the transition work. Please share your process with us folks. Kendra

Jessica Sawko Jessica Sawko 385 Points

California's draft (but nearly finished) curriculum framework offers a couple of options. I have attached the drafts to this post. Please do note that these are drafts and may undergo edits between now and November 2016 based on public feedback that was submitted during the public review period that closed on August 29, 2016.

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28185 Points

Hi Rania -

Many small rural school districts in our region also have the traditional Biology, Chemistry and Physics offerings.  These 3 courses are often still required for college admissions too.  These districts traditionally have not offered Earth & Space Science.
These small districts also have only 2 - 3 HS science teachers, who are teaching multiple courses preps already.  

Thus, some rural districts in our area are now working to integrate Earth & Space Science into each of these courses (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) where appropriate.  One benefit is that this approach makes more cross-disciplinary connections for students.

Some examples:
- Biology:  Teach History of Earth, when studying Biological Evolution
- Chemistry:  Teach about the earth's core or the sun's life cycle, when studying Nuclear Energy
- Physics: Teach Planetary Orbits, when studying force and motion.

NGSS Appendix K has several Model Course Pathways for MS and HS.
It also looks like Jessica had provided you with some great information from the CA Curriculum Framework drafts.

Good luck with your NGSS implementation.


Our freshmen take physical science. I incorporated Earth Systems as much as I could integrating with physics and chemistry topics. In my rural setting, I focused on water and tied that into all of my science courses.

Twice a week we started class by reviewing the weather maps for the entire year; Monday, students were interested in the weather looking ahead in the week for activities, sports, and even what to wear. Thursday we revisited the weather to see how it may have changed and to prepare for the weekend. 

I incorporated forces and motion with an avalanche unit that connected to materials chemistry. More importantly that relates to meteorology and hydrology. 

Teaching in a rural school, I found it easy to incorporate place-and project-based instruction and activities that incorporated what we now call cross-cutting concepts. 

I know this is a bit late but how are you doing now with NGSS alignment?

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