Three Page Template for Objectives

NGSS Evidence Statements Bring Clarity to the NGSS

February 3, 2018 4 Comments

NGSS Evidence Statements provide answers to many of the questions that you have about the NGSS. Learn more in this post.

What are the NGSS Evidence Statements?

Before I found the Evidence Statements, I was pretty confused about the NGSS.  But they provide clarity in many ways and cut down on the NGSS confusion.

NGSS Evidence Statements are tools that break down performance expectations.  In fact, there is an Evidence Statement for each Performance Expectation.

These statements breakdown everything that a student will need to know and be able to do in order to meet the performance expectation.  They include information about each of the three dimensions of the NGSS.

What can NGSS evidence statements be used for?

Evidence statements are great for getting information about exactly what you need to be teaching in your classroom.  In fact, I use them to create my objectives in my classroom.

How to use Evidence Statements to Create Objectives – Step by Step

I love using evidence statements to write my objectives for my NGSS aligned classroom.  This is one of the first steps in my unit planning process.

I don’t post objectives in my classroom.  This is because I don’t want to “ruin the punch line”.  However, I use them regularly in my planning process.

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

1. Read the entire evidence statement.

Make sure you read the entire evidence statement.  This includes Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, clarification statements, assessment boundaries, and observable features of the student performance.

It’s important that you read it all so that you have an idea of everything that the evidence statement includes.

2. Use the evidence statement to write objectives for all three of the dimensions of NGSS.  

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 objectives.  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.

Be careful.  You don’t want to include too many terms.  You don’t want your classes to be heavily vocabulary focused.   For more vocabulary strategies, check out this episode of the Teaching Science in 3D Podcast.

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

After you have used the evidence statements to create your initial objectives, 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 is 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.

To access this unit planning organizer that was mentioned in this post, click here.

Want to learn more?


Erin Sadler

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  • Hannah schmidt April 28, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Hello! I am not having any luck getting your video to play, I am wondering if any of your other followers have mentioned issues? Thanks 🙂

    • Erin Sadler June 26, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      Hi Hannah,

      I am sorry that it took me so long. I had to reshoot the entire video and reload, but the video is available now. Thank you for bringing the issue to my attention.

  • Hannah Schmidt July 2, 2019 at 10:31 am

    This was very helpful! However, I am a little confused by your use of the word “unit”. My understanding of a unit was standards that have been bundled together to create a storyline. So for instance, I might pair three performance expectations together for my “energy unit”. It seems that you are calling a unit each performance expectation. Can you please clarify? Thank you so much! 🙂

    • Erin Sadler July 2, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      Yes!!! Thanks for asking this question. I apologize… I have been trying to avoid the term unit, because it has a tendency to mean different things to different people. Instead, I have been trying to use the term “instructional sequence” because I think that is more general. It looks like I slipped here.

      So, you could do this process for a single performance expectation which is what I did in the video. However, ideally, you would do it for your entire unit at once so that you could build a coherent storyline. As you said, your unit would have bundled performance expectations rather than a single performance expectation. Your unit could vary in the number of performance expectations that you would address, but 3 sounds good to me. I appreciate you asking this question because it was absolutely unclear. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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