I was going to write a post about another topic, but I just got an email that I have been anticipating. My state has just adopted our model of the NGSS. I read a final recommendation report on July 17th or thereabouts, so I have been curious as to when a decision might be made. Just in time for school to start, it appears. Our AEA consultant, whom I respect greatly said in the email that there will be PD coming out this school year to help us implement the standards. I am definitely going to take advantage of what I can.
This will be my 6th year teaching at the middle school/junior high level, and last year was my first year without 6th grade. This summer I lost my lab and had to move everything out to my "regular" classroom. You have to laugh about the timing of things (otherwise you might cry) because many of the things I moved, I'm fairly certain will have to go back over to 5th/6th grade at some point because of how the standards are structured. In the past, the science standards have been a 6th-8th grade band. I like this and I implemented a mostly unified theme to each grade. For example, 7th grade was primarily Life Science. However, what we adopted specifies standards to be taught in particular grades. Things that had in 6th grade science will probably be moved into 7th or 8th grade. Several of the things I taught in 7th & 8th grade will go down to 6th grade. Each year will now be completely integrated science. I see positives of this, as were outlined in the reports, but I see negatives with this as well.
I am hopeful that my school will provide strong leadership for implementing these and making sure grade level spans can ensure the standards are being worked in appropriately. I am also looking forward to working with a few teachers from other districts as they will begin this work too. At the very least, maybe we will have an easier time with "I can" statements!
I guess I know what I'll be working on for next summer! :)