NGSS and CCSSM in Action

Educator plans and analyzes a lesson that relates to a conceptual category of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) or the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) to improve professional practice and student learning outcomes.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

The educator selects a conceptual category of the NGSS or CCSSM that they wish to explore in greater depth. They engage in a detailed analysis of the standards in that conceptual category, including the analysis of classroom tasks that address the standard. The educator devises a set of criteria for measuring student progress on the standards in that category appropriate to their grade level, designs and teaches a series of lessons addressing the standards to be measured, then analyzes student performance using the created criteria.

Method Components

Components of Standards Analysis

  • Analyze the content of a set of related mathematics or science standards
  • Identify aspects of student performance that would indicate the standard has been met
  • Identify and analyze mathematics/science tasks that have the potential to support student learning related to the set of standards
  • Design lessons that support student learning opportunities related to the standards under study
  • Create a measurement tool (rubric, standards-based grading criteria) that capture student performance related to the standards
  • Analyze student performance related to the standards after students engage in the target lessons

Suggested Implementation

  1. Discuss the dimensions of CCSSM and NGSS and the instructional shifts represented by the documents
  2. Select a conceptual category or cluster of standards that you will teach soon in one of your classes and would like to learn more about
  3. Read and analyze the set of standards and associated resources provided by the facilitation team
  4. Identify and analyze math/science tasks related to the set of standards
  5. Design a measurement tool to assess student progress toward the standards
  6. Design lessons to be taught addressing those standards
  7. Teach the lesson and analyze student performance (action research)

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

Many aspects of CCSSM and NGSS may be new to secondary educators.  In this badge, you will identify an area to investigate within one of the standards from the list suggested below.  You will engage in readings about that content using the resources noted above to deepen your knowledge of the content area then plan, implement, and study a lesson related to that content with your students.

Not all the resources above are relevant to each of the content areas.  Consult with your MMTP badge partner so you select good resources to explore.

Mathematics Resources:

  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2014). Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All. Reston, VA; NCTM. (pages 17-29)
  • National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers (2010) Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.  Washington, D.C.: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers
  • Steketee, S. & Scher, D. (2016). Connecting Functions in Geometry and Algebra. Mathematics Teacher 109(6), 448-455.

Science Resources

  • National Research Council (NRC) 2012. A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Washington D.C., National Academies Press


It is suggested that the work be completed in a small learning community to accomplish and discuss the learning activities.

Session 1

  • Discuss the following questions:
    • What are the design principles and assumptions that undergird the set of standards?
    • How is each set of standards organized?
    • What myths or questions surround the standards? (What might you have heard or seen in the community, from parents, from peers, on the Internet?)
    • Now that you have considered the design features of the standards, what are the barriers you see to implementation?
    • What particular challenges to implementation present themselves in the urban context?
  • Identify a conceptual category or set of topics (see Table 1 below for suggestions) that relates to content that you will soon be teaching.
  • Table 1 – Standard clusters to consider (please download full version of micro-credential to see table)
  • Although the math suggestions are for high school, this badge could be applied to any grade level.  This is not an exhaustive list of possibilities.  Choose a cluster which you are less familiar with.
  • Review the set of standards you have chosen and skim the following additional document:
    • CCSSM: The cluster progressions document. See
    • NGSS: Cluster storyline documents. See
    • What does this set of standards suggest that students should know and do, and how does that knowledge inform our instructional design and decisions?
    • What sorts of evidence would you expect students to demonstrate who have achieved these standards?
    • What features would you expect in a high-quality lesson related to this content?
    • How does the "big picture" of a unit change when considering planning with CCSS or NGSS?
  • Browse the instructional resources in Table 2.  What do you notice?

Instructional Resources to Consider

  • Return to the KWL chart from the beginning and fill in the third column.  What have you learned about the Standards?

Session 2:

  • Read the additional article(s) listed in the badge resources relevant to your topic, or identify and read other resources relevant to your topic.
  • Identify 3-5 tasks related to the mathematics or science cluster of standards that is your focus, using the provided online resources and other curricular resources. Analyze these tasks with respect to the extent to which they embody the standards.
  • Read about the features of a good lesson in math or science:
    • Math: NCTM Principles to Actions Excerpt (pp. 17-29) and Schmidt & Houang (2012)
    • Science: National Academies Press Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (2015), available as a free pdf here:

Session 3:

  • Using the tasks identified in Session 2, use a research-based analytical framework to categorize tasks and identify strong candidates for classroom implementation.
  • The first set of readings for this badge discussed what it means to be a good mathematics task or science activity that promotes reasoning and problem solving.
    • What are the non-negotiable characteristics of a good math task or science activity?
    • What are the nice-to-have characteristics of a good math task or science activity?
    • What characteristics indicate that the task or activity is not high quality?
  • Having a high-quality task or activity does not by itself guarantee high-quality teaching and learning.  What sorts of pedagogical practices need to be deployed to support students in engaging with the key math or science ideas in the task or activity?
  • Plan for lessons using the tasks, including anticipating student thinking, identifying purposeful questions to ask, and considering ways to promote student engagement and productive struggle.
  • Lesson-planning resources to consider as you think about your lesson/task/activity:
  • Identify a task or activity to use for your lesson.  As you do, consider the following:
    • In what ways does your task or activity meet your target group of standards (or some subset of them)?
    • What sorts of student thinking (correct thinking, incomplete thinking, misconceptions) do you expect to surface?
    • What’s the mathematical or scientific storyline of the lesson?
    • Make use of the resources available to you about the progressions of math and science ideas across the standards.
  • Tailor possible existing rubrics to measure outcomes related to the target standards.
  • Create a specific rubric for your intended lesson to measure student progress.  If you have an existing general rubric, use it as a starting point.
  • Incorporate multiple sources of evidence as much as possible:
    • Student written work (individual or group);
    • Individual or small-group discourse;
    • Posters, presentations, or demonstrations;
    • Reflections on learning.
  • Be clear enough with this rubric that you will be able to assess the success of your lesson (and share the rubric with your students).
  • Share overviews of math and science standards and potential lessons across the group to better understand the other content area.
  • Possible format: Case Stories
    • The story-teller shares the story (e.g., brief description of what will occur during the lesson) with a small group of colleagues. The group members review the story and use a recording sheet (a T-chart marked with the headings “noticing” and “wondering”) to make note of what they see in the evidence and the questions it raises for them. (5 minutes)
    • The group members make factual statements in the form of “I noticed…” that draw on the presented evidence and refrain from making evaluative comments or statements of personal preference. The group members make statements in the form of “I’m wondering…” that focus on aspects of instruction that appear to be influencing students’ opportunities to learn and how the story-teller is measuring student learning (during this time, the story-teller remains quiet, listens, and takes notes on her own “noticing” and “wondering” T-chart). (5 minutes)
    • The story-teller shares his/her perspective on the lesson, and may respond to the “noticing” and “wonderings” of the group, drawing on the notes (s)he recorded during the earlier phases of the process. (5 minutes)

Session 4

  • Teach the lesson(s) planned and collect data on student learning.
  • Include student reflections a source of data.
  • Reflect on the ways in which the critical features of the standards (Math: focus, coherence, and rigor; science: cross-cutting concepts) are embodied in the lesson that was taught and the data that was collected.

Additional Resources

  • National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers (2010) Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.  Washington, D.C.: National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers.  Available at
  • NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.  Available at

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To earn the NGSS and CCSSM in Action badge, you must receive a passing evaluation on Parts 1 and 3, and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview Questions

Response may be written or provided through a video.

  • Describe what you learned about the content standard that you studied.
  • Attach your lesson plan and a brief narrative about how the lesson plan addresses the standards that you focused on.  Be sure to describe how your lesson plan makes use of a meaningful task for students using the key instructional shifts for your domain (Math: Focus, Coherence, Rigor; Science: Engagement, NGSS 3 Dimensions, Inquiry – 5 E's Model)

Part 2. Work Examples/Artifacts

To earn this micro-credential, please submit the following:

  • Student learning artifacts collected from classroom practice, analyzed using the tailored math/science rubrics

Part 3. Student Reflection

  • Ask students to reflect on their experience as a learner in this lesson or series of lessons.  Aggregate their responses in a narrative summary and include it here.

Part 4. Educator Reflection

Reflect on the effectiveness of the lesson from your perspective as an educator.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for NGSS and CCSSM in Action
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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