With the 2015 adoption of the Michigan Science Standards, reliant on the Next Generation Science Standards, the State of Michigan has dramatically changed the way our students learn science. From kindergarten through high school, the goal is to make science education more closely resemble the actual thinking and processes our scientific communities partake in on a daily basis. The A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas and the Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States were designed to guide instruction in order for students to make sense of their natural and engineered worlds as they explore various phenomena and design problems.
With the shift to 3-dimensional instruction, educators must also prepare for the shift to 3-dimensional assessment. In general, typical science assessment items could be described as 1-dimensional. Explain a concept. Demonstrate a practice. A 3-dimensional assessment, however, will integrate disciplinary content, scientific & engineering practices, as well as crosscutting concepts together in order to assess a student’s ability to use their knowledge - not just exhibit it.
The following assessment resources are meant to provide you with more insight into some of these assessment changes as well as tools to begin transforming your journey.
Introduction to the new item cluster format for the M-Step Science Assessments.
Short response, short performance and instructionally-embedded task examples written to be aligned with the NGSS.
Middle and High School level tasks, written to integrate the 3-dimensions of the NGSS and align with the MI Math and ELA standards as well. Teachers are encouraged to adapt and use as needed.
These practice briefs highlight specific issues that arise during STEM teaching. There are many briefs to explore in their assessment category, however, familiarizing yourself with Practice Briefs 26, 29 and 30 may be particularly useful.