Using Evidence Statements to Write Objectives

Lesson Planning NGSS NGSS Newbies

Pinterest Using Evidence StatementsI love using evidence statements to write my objectives.  This is one of the first steps in my unit planning process.

In February, we had a district-wide collaboration to discuss planning.  The 6-8 grade science team broke into smaller groups and were tasked with planning a unit along with a performance task that we could use as a common assessment.  I mentioned that I use the NGSS Evidence Statements to do all of my planning and only a few people in my group knew what I was talking about.

I pulled out my binder of evidence statements, grabbed the standard were were focusing on and gave the group a 3 minute explanation.  They were awed and amazed and everyone cheered.  Not really.  But they did find them useful and it made for a much more productive planning day.

Here is a brief video of how I use evidence statements for writing objectives and identifying vocabulary terms:

1. Read the entire evidence statement.

All of it.  It includes Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, clarification statements, assessment boundaries and observable features of the student performance by the end of the course.  You need all of that.

2. Write objectives for each section.  

I just do this in order from top to bottom because it helps me make sure that I don’t miss anything.  I carefully read through and identify all of the things that students need to be able to do to meet this performance expectation.

For the particular evidence statement in this video, I came up with 11 objectives.  This isn’t typical, and I generally only come up with 2-3 objective.  As you group performance expectations you will definitely notice some overlap, but you can take care of this later.

3. Write down vocabulary terms for each objective. 

You might as well get two things done at once, right?!?!  I find this is an easy way for me to start thinking about vocabulary.

4. Edit your objectives and start putting them in order.

Spend some time editing your objectives.  This includes identifying errors.  For example, in the above video above I wrote the objective “Using a balanced chemical reaction, create a diagram that shows how the total number of atoms on both sides of a reaction are the same.”   It is more accurate to replace the term “chemical reaction” with “chemical equation”.  

You can also go back and combine and remove objectives.

Last Updated 6/18/2018*

This post and video were originally created to discuss using evidence statements for backwards planning purposes.  However,  I have decided instead to focus just on writing objectives and identifying vocabulary.  I am in the process of create a series of blog posts to discuss my planning process in more detail.

Thumbnail Unit Planning Organizer.png To access this unit planning organizer that was mentioned in this post, click here.

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