Science 6-8 Summary of Alignment & Usability

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 do not meet expectations for Alignment to NGSS, Gateways 1 and 2. Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS; Criterion 1: Three-Dimensional Learning does not meet expectations. The materials do not engage students through the integration of the DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs or engage students in sensemaking. While each lesson includes learning objectives, very few of the lessons have three-dimensional learning objectives; often the CCC is missing from the learning objectives. Every unit includes summative assessments as well as a culminating project. Each unit includes Performance Expectations (PEs) as the three-dimensional learning objective but often the summative assessments only assess a portion of that PE. 

Criterion 2: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning does not meet expectations. There are few opportunities for students to engage in phenomena and/or problems throughout the series. The majority of the phenomena are seen in Grade 6 and are within the physical science and earth and space science domains. While students engage in problems throughout each grade level, there are few opportunities to engage in problems; when problems are present they are seen in the physical science and earth and space science domains. When phenomena and problems are present, they meet expectations of being connected to grade level DCIs and are presented as directly as possible to students. However, science topics typically organize student learning, as opposed to phenomena or problems driving student learning. Additionally, the materials do not leverage students’ prior knowledge or experiences related to the phenomena or problems.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grades 6-8 do not meet expectations for Alignment to NGSS, Gateways 1 and 2. Gateway 1: Designed for NGSS; Criterion 1: Three-Dimensional Learning does not meet expectations. The materials do not engage students through the integration of the DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs or engage students in sensemaking. While each lesson includes learning objectives, very few of the lessons have three-dimensional learning objectives; often the CCC is missing from the learning objectives. Every unit includes summative assessments as well as a culminating project. Each unit includes Performance Expectations (PEs) as the three-dimensional learning objective but often the summative assessments only assess a portion of that PE. 

Criterion 2: Phenomena and Problems Drive Learning does not meet expectations. There are few opportunities for students to engage in phenomena and/or problems throughout the series. The majority of the phenomena are seen in Grade 6 and are within the physical science and earth and space science domains. While students engage in problems throughout each grade level, there are few opportunities to engage in problems; when problems are present they are seen in the physical science and earth and space science domains. When phenomena and problems are present, they meet expectations of being connected to grade level DCIs and are presented as directly as possible to students. However, science topics typically organize student learning, as opposed to phenomena or problems driving student learning. Additionally, the materials do not leverage students’ prior knowledge or experiences related to the phenomena or problems.