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 Get to Know the New State-Approved Science Instructional Materials

Science instructional materials based on NGSS have been approved by the state for use in k to 8 classrooms.

Administrators and teacher leaders can get a hands-on, interactive look at the 29 new State Board of Education-approved science instructional programs at a San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) event next month. 

The Science Instructional Materials Fair on Feb. 6 at the SDCOE main campus features publisher presentations, an exhibit hall, and an overview of the new instructional shifts in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the basis for the new materials.

In November, the State Board of Education approved the first-ever instructional materials that incorporate California's groundbreaking NGSS for grades K-8. Approved publishers are invited to showcase their materials available for high school grades at the fair.

The new standards train students to act like scientists by posing questions and developing their own experiments. It's a different way of teaching and learning.

"A strong foundation in science is essential in equipping every student to graduate prepared for college and career," said County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. "It's about equity and ensuring every student is successful."

The new science materials will provide students with learning opportunities to apply their understanding of the larger crosscutting concepts and apply engineering design principles. In addition, the materials will include the integration of the California Environmental Principles and Concepts to increase student interest in science and develop their environmental literacy.

To help districts and schools with the adoption of high-quality science materials, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) created the CA NGSS Toolkit for Instructional Materials Evaluation (TIME).

The SDCOE Science team will give an overview of the new toolkit at the fair. NGSS TIME was designed for analyzing, evaluating, selecting, and implementing the new science programs. The process outlined in the toolkit is more extensive than previous toolkits due to the complexity of NGSS.

The benefit to this in-depth process is that teachers receive the hands-on professional learning they will need to familiarize themselves with NGSS while evaluating the instructional materials. The toolkit training is a separate three-day learning opportunity that will be offered March 20 to 22 and registration is available here.

The NGSS TIME resources include rubrics for evaluating the foundational quality, student learning, student progress, and teacher support to gather the data needed for a thorough evaluation of the new science programs.

The Science Instructional Materials Fair from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. is free and includes a light breakfast and lunch. It will be held at the San Diego County Office of Education main campus at 6401 Linda Vista Road in San Diego.