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NSTA District Professional Learning Packages

NSTA offers tailored packages of onsite presentations and workshops, online experiences, and books on popular topics—including three-dimensional instruction—for schools, districts, or states. Using a blended approach, NSTA combines a face-to-face component with additional online opportunities to extend learning. Implementing this approach promotes sustained change in classroom practice.

NGSS training sessionA Framework for K–12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) encourage students to engage in science and engineering practices to develop deeper understanding of disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts. As a partner in the development of the NGSS, NSTA has been at the forefront of the shift toward improving the quality of science instruction for all students. Let us support your school or district efforts to implement three-dimensional standards and transform classroom instruction, with programs for

  • administrators
  • curriculum leaders
  • all classroom teachers

NGSS training session - Trish SheltonNSTA aims to increase teacher, school, and district capacity to implement three-dimensional programs, with innovative instructional strategies that model the student learning experience. Participants have opportunities to engage in and observe three-dimensional activities—then reflect on and discuss what they experienced and saw.

NSTA professional learning is customizable, and each workshop can be tailored by grade and discipline.

NSTA Professional Learning aligns to the "Science Professional Learning Standards," a set of guidelines released by the Council of State Science Supervisors in 2017 to ensure high-quality teacher experiences.

NSTA Now Offers OpenSciEd Professional Learning!

OpenSciEd logoIs your district implementing OpenSciEd open-source instructional materials? NSTA is an official provider of OpenSciEd professional learning. Let us support your implementation efforts with professional learning that can be adapted to meet your specific district needs. Contact us to find out how: professionallearning@nsta.org.

Virtual Mentoring and Instructional Coaching

Virtual mentoring and coaching models help districts and schools increase their capacity for strong science instruction.

Mentoring

NSTA's mentoring service provides a customizable suite of tools, virtually, for district personnel so that NSTA can support the facilitation of professional learning while leveraging the expertise of district staff.

Instructional Coaching

NSTA's instructional coaching service supports classroom implementation of contemporary research and three-dimensional standards. Through the use of NSTA's 3-D specific protocols, teachers receive personalized support in contemporary pedagogy to successfully lead three-dimensional teaching and learning in their classroom.

Programs

Making Sense of Three-Dimensional Teaching and Learning Workshop

This workshop develops deep understanding of the three-dimensions of science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. Participants engage in professional learning using high-quality instructional materials paired with a powerful toolkit of resources to implement the three-dimensional learning centered on phenomena and design solutions in the classroom. Facilitators model instructional strategies and use of curricular materials consistent with the innovations in A Framework for K–12 Science Education.

Best For: Educators implementing or working to implement three-dimensional learning in the classroom

Workshop Time: Two full days (These hours may be spread out over multiple days to meet individual school or district needs.)

Recommended Materials:

NSTA Quick-Reference Guide to the NGSS   Discover the NGSS Primer and Unit Planner

Learning Objectives:

  • Conduct an investigation where participants actively engage in the science and engineering practices in the context of explaining a phenomena or designing a solution to a problem in order to understand the essential features of all three-dimensions (science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts) and why all three dimensions must be integrated for effective instruction.
  • Construct an evidence-based argument on how to use phenomena to generate student questions to motivate student sense-making and support three-dimensional teaching and learning of targeted core ideas.
  • Analyze a lesson and/or unit's potential to support three-dimensional teaching and learning by building on student's prior knowledge, providing students opportunities to express their ideas, and helping students see how lessons fit coherently into an overall unit of instruction or storyline.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to

  • Make sense of three-dimensional teaching and learning in the classroom
  • Begin to implement instructional strategies that engage students in three-dimensional learning that integrates the science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas
  • Understand the role of phenomena in organizing three-dimensional instruction
Designing Three-Dimensional Lessons and Units Workshop

This workshop supports the design and implementation of three-dimensional units of instruction that focus on students explaining phenomena or designing solutions to problems. The workshop also prepares participants to facilitate professional learning around the new science standards and implement three-dimensional units of instruction. The learning activities center on using the elements of the dimensions to inform instructional design and assessment of classroom learning, integrating the three dimensions to plan a unit of instruction, and choosing phenomena that drive teaching and learning.

Prerequisite: This workshop requires a solid foundation in understanding three-dimensional learning and the organization of storylines. Potential participants who lack these understandings should consider attending "Making Sense of Three-Dimensional Teaching and Learning" prior to this professional learning.

Best For: Educators designing or supporting others in developing three-dimensional units of instruction and educators supporting three-dimensional professional development.

Workshop Time: Two full days (These hours may be spread out over multiple days to meet individual school or district needs.)

Recommended Materials:

NSTA Quick-Reference Guide to the NGSS   Discover the NGSS Primer and Unit Planner

Learning Objectives:

  • Conduct an investigation where participants actively engage in the science and engineering practices in the context of explaining a phenomena or designing a solution to a problem in order to understand the essential features of all three-dimensions (science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts) and why all three dimensions must be integrated for effective instruction.
  • Analyze the science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts to support the development of coherent lessons and units.
  • Construct a coherent storyline for a unit of instruction that supports students in understanding of phenomena and use of practices, core ideas, and crosscutting concepts to attain this understanding.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to

  • Understand the design of three-dimensional units of instruction
  • Begin to design instructional units that engage students in learning that integrates the three dimensions
  • Identify relevant and interesting phenomena to drive instructional planning
EQuIP Rubric Workshop

The EQuIP Rubric is a tool for examining the alignment and overall quality of lessons and units with respect to three-dimensional standards such as the NGSS. This workshop deepens educators’ understanding of the NGSS while also increasing their proficiency in applying the EQuIP Rubric for Science, version 3.0. Educators will gain the knowledge and experience needed to review science lessons and units, provide effective feedback and suggestions for improvement of instructional materials, identify model lessons and units, and inform the development of new instructional materials. In addition, this professional learning also helps educators understand the NGSS, identify shifts in instruction that may be needed to better target the NGSS, and transition science teaching and learning.

Best For: Educators charged with selecting or designing instructional materials.

Workshop Time: Two full days (These hours may be spread out over multiple days to meet individual school or district needs.)

Learning Objectives:

  • Conduct an investigation where participants actively engage in the science and engineering practices in the context of explaining a phenomena or designing a solution to a problem in order to understand the essential features of all three-dimensions (science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts) and why all three dimensions must be integrated for effective instruction.
  • Analyze the elements of the science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts to support the development and evaluation of coherent lessons and units.
  • Evaluate a lesson or unit using criteria focused on NGSS 3D Design, Instructional Supports, and Monitoring NGSS Student Progress; and provide feedback to developers.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to

  • Make sense of three-dimensional teaching and learning in the classroom
  • Participate in a collegial process that centers on the use of a criteria-based rubric for evaluating lessons and units
  • Understand the shifts embodied in the NGSS and how to identify them in instructional materials
  • Evaluate instructional materials for their alignment to the NGSS and provide criterion-based feedback
Administrators Institute

This institute focuses on developing an understanding of three-dimensional teaching and learning and offers guidance on how to support teachers' professional learning as part of district implementation of standards based on A Framework for K–12 Science Education, such as NGSS.

Best For: Administrators (such as principals, assistant principals, science department chairs, district science supervisors, curriculum coordinators, or professional learning coaches) charged with supporting teachers' implementation of three-dimensional standards.

Workshop Time: One Day

Recommended Materials:

NSTA Quick-Reference Guide to the NGSS   

Learning Objectives:

  • Conduct an investigation where participants actively engage in the science and engineering practices in the context of explaining a phenomena or designing a solution to a problem in order to understand the essential features of all three-dimensions (science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts) and why all three dimensions must be integrated for effective instruction.
  • Construct an evidence-based argument on what criteria are most essential for effective professional learning about standards-based three-dimensional teaching and learning.
  • Develop a professional learning plan to support effective implementation of three-dimensional standards.

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to

  • Make sense of three-dimensional teaching and learning in the classroom
  • Explain what factors lead to successful professional learning for teachers who are implementing three-dimensional standards
  • Assess their districts needs for professional learning
Three-Dimensional Teaching and Learning Powered by STEM

Empower educators to better integrate STEM and three-dimensional standards for teaching and learning, and learn how STEM initiatives and 3-D instruction support each other. Participants explore the vision of a scientifically literate society described in A Framework for K–12 Science Education. They examine how this vision supports, and is supported by, STEM education, focusing on aspects of the designed world through the application of science and engineering practices.

Achieving Equity with Three-Dimensional Teaching and Learning

Explore how 3-D science instruction, driven by phenomena and problem solving, can create opportunities for ALL students to develop scientific literacy. Participants develop an understanding of 3-D teaching and learning, and gain a powerful toolkit to support learning for all students in the classroom.

Assessing Three-Dimensional Learning

3-D teaching and learning poses new challenges—and new opportunities—in assessment. Participants learn how to examine student models for evidence of 3-D learning. They also learn criteria for evaluating the quality of assessment tasks.

Using Student-Work Protocols to Evaluate 3-D Learning

Participants learn a protocol to examine student work for evidence of 3-D learning, provide feedback, and inform next steps of instruction. The protocol can be used by individual teachers or within professional learning communities.

Additional Learning Modules

Customize your professional learning experience by adding an additional learning module to another workshop or institute. Is there another topic you'd like to explore? Contact us to talk about how we could best meet your school or district goals.

Three-Dimensional Lesson Objectives and Learning Performances

Participants examine the need for lesson-level goals that are more targeted than performance expectations but are still three-dimensional in nature. They then learn how to construct such goals from the elements of the three dimensions based on unit storylines. Participants also explore the differences between instruction and assessment.

Best For: Educators who want to construct goals to guide instruction and assessment.

Workshop Time: Two hours

Exploring the Science and Engineering Practices

Participants receive an overview of three-dimensional standards with specific emphasis on the science and engineering practices. They then break into small groups and take a deep dive into one of the practices by reading excerpts of A Framework for K–12 Science Education and studying K–12 progressions of the practice while using a set of guiding questions. Finally, the groups come together and share what they learned about each of the practices.

Best For: Educators who want a better understanding of the science and engineering practices.

Workshop Time: Two hours

Recommended Materials:

NSTA Quick-Reference Guide to the NGSS   

Instructionally Productive Phenomena Module

Participants focus on the questions "What are phenomena?" and "How are phenomena related to three-dimensional teaching and learning?" Participants explore various phenomena as purposeful means of driving instruction in the classroom, and determine what makes a particular phenomenon effective.

Best For: Educators who want to deepen their understanding of the role of phenomena in three-dimensional teaching and learning, and how to choose phenomena that drive instruction.

Workshop Time: Three hours

Personalized Web Seminars

Add a series of tailored web seminars to extend your onsite learning, help deepen understanding, and offer educators a virtual space for collaboration via the Learning Center.

Tools for Planning, Evaluating, and Revising Instructional Sequences

Multiple open-source tools are available to plan, evaluate, and revise instructional sequences (lessons/units/storylines) designed for three-dimensional standards like the NGSS. In this web seminar, you will become familiar with these tools and practice using them to improve or redesign instruction.

Engaging Students with Science and Engineering Practices

Many resources exist to support educators in using the science and engineering practices to engage students in making sense of science ideas. In this web seminar, you will use these resources and an unpacking protocol to figure out what developing and using these practices looks like for your students.

Getting Started with Student Discourse—Talk Moves

Engaging students in discourse is one way we make science learning accessible to them. But how do you get your students to productively talk to one another? This web seminar is the place to start.

Going Deeper with Student Discourse: Discipline-Specific Probes

Discourse between partners or groups alone can only take students so far. Discipline-specific probes are essential in more deeply moving students' thinking forward. Learn how to create discipline-specific probes and know when to use them to move science understanding forward for all students.

Supporting Science Literacy/Exploring Disciplinary Core Ideas

Many resources exist to support educators in unpacking disciplinary core ideas. This web seminar will introduce you to these resources and provide guidance and practice in using an unpacking protocol to better understand the science knowledge students need to build toward ownership of each science idea.

Phenomena Driving Student Learning

Phenomena are observable events that occur in the universe and that we can use knowledge to explain or predict. Learn how phenomena make science learning accessible to all students by engaging in high-quality lessons as both learner and teacher.

Implementing STEM Instruction in the Classroom

How do you design STEM instruction that is truly integrated? Together we'll revise familiar engineering design challenges to create the need for students to develop and/or use grade-appropriate science and math learning to create a solution to a problem (new or improved technology).

The Critical Features of Three-Dimensional Instructional Materials

Shifting teaching and learning to achieve the vision in A Framework for K–12 Science Education and new three-dimensional state and national standards involves new understanding of pedagogy. Participants will explore the critical features of high-quality instructional materials, and new best practice that support three-dimensional classroom teaching and learning for all students.

The Three Key Shifts for Designing Three-Dimensional Learning Sequences

There are three key instructional shifts in A Framework for K–12 Science Education and state or national standards: (1) explaining phenomena or designing solutions to problems, (2) engaging in three-dimensional learning, and (3) building learning progressions over time. This web seminar provides support for designing instructional sequences that incorporate these key shifts for all students.

3-D Assessment: Providing Criterion-Based Feedback to Students

Formative assessment should inform instruction, but what does that really look like in the classroom? Using a student work analysis protocol, you'll learn how to assess student understanding using target elements of the three dimensions, plan for instructional next steps, and develop questions for students to help them move their learning around these target elements forward.

3-D Assessment: Using the Science Assessment Tasks Screening Tools

Three-dimensional teaching and learning presents new opportunities to develop and use assessments that move student learning forward. Gain experience using open-source science assessment tasks screening tools. These tools can help evaluate and improve existing formative and summative assessment tasks, as well as help develop phenomenon-driven, multidimensional tasks.

Supporting English Learners in Science Classrooms

English Learners in STEM Subjects: Transforming Classrooms, Schools and Lives (2018) identifies promising instructional strategies for making learning in science accessible to all students, especially English learners. Participants examine these strategies and provide guidance for implementing them in the classroom.

Integrating Science, Math and ELA Standards

One of the innovations of the NGSS is that they align with Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. Educators learn how to take advantage of the knowledge and skills gained in ELA and math to authentically support students in figuring out science ideas, including examining frameworks and organizers to support this integration.

Contact Us

For more information on professional learning opportunities, please contact professionallearning@nsta.org.

Frequently Asked Questions
NGSS brochure
Download a brochure

How do we partner with NSTA to develop a professional learning package that is right for our school district?
We discuss your needs and go into detail about the content that we can provide in a series of communications involving e-mail, phone, and face-to-face contact, so that we can better understand your goals and how we can help.

In addition to onsite professional learning, do you also offer online courses?
Yes! Our online courses offer additional opportunities to explore three-dimensional teaching and learning. These courses can enhance a face-to-face training or provide a standalone professional learning experience.

Are these packages customizable in any way?
Our professional learning can be tailored by grade and discipline.

Who are the professional learning facilitators?
All NSTA professional learning has been developed by nationally recognized experts Ted Willard and Tricia Shelton, and influenced by notable national partners. Our NGSS facilitators are competitively selected, high-quality educator-presenters who receive ongoing training from NSTA to continually deepen their own understanding of three-dimensional instruction and adult learning strategies.

How is pricing determined?
Pricing for face-to-face professional learning varies based on the number of participants and facilitators, as well as the number of training days. Typical pricing begins at $6,000 and includes all needed materials, books, and travel.

Do you come to me, or do I bring my teachers to you?
Our authors and expert trainers can come to you to offer training tailored to your needs, but other face-to-face workshops, as well as online courses and webinars, are available as well.

What grade levels are these appropriate for?
We have professional learning packages available for teachers of all grade levels—as well as administrators.

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