• NGSS Demystified Banner
  • Comparing Science and Engineering Practices
  • Exploring the SEPs
  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
  • Considering the CCCs
  • Practices Circus
  • Digging into the DCIs
  • Science and Engineering Practices

Are you preparing to lead professional development for educators on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? Need a little help with your planning? Explore this toolkit to find resources that will help you prepare to lead your own PD experience for educators.

A Toolkit for Training Teachers

We've compiled a professional development toolkit to share what we’ve learned during three years of running Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) trainings for hundreds of teachers throughout the Bay Area. The tools and activities included here:

  • are not intended to be an individual learning experience or self-guided course.

  • are not intended to be classroom activities for K-12 students.

  • ARE designed to help you facilitate successful NGSS training for a team of educators.

All of these activities are flexible and modular. You can use them all together, or just pick and choose a few that meet your needs. You can combine them with your own materials, adapt them to suit your specific audience, or just use them as they are. While suggestions for sequencing are provided, you can easily create your own learning pathway for your group of teachers.

However you choose to use these resources, the teachers you work with will gain knowledge, insight, and confidence about the NGSS!

NGSS Unlocked
NGSS Unlocked

Professional learning for: K-12 educators
Estimated time: two activities lasting approximately 30 minutes
Learning modes: presentation, group discussion, grade-level discussion

What is a performance expectation, and how do you read those colorful tables?
Use these activities to orient your team to the three dimensions of the NGSS: the Science and Engineering Practices, the Crosscutting Concepts, and the Disciplinary Core Ideas. Your educators will leave these activities equipped to read and interpret the NGSS tables—and may even say it’s a piece of cake!

Exploring the Science and Engineering Practices
Exploring the SEPs

Professional learning for: K-12 educators
Estimated time: three activities lasting approximately 35-50 minutes each 
Learning modes: presentation, interactive, hands-on stations, group discussion, grade-level discussion, small-group work

What do scientists and engineers do?
This dimension of the NGSS engages students in actively doing science and thinking like a scientist—or an engineer! Bring these activities to your PD to help educators get familiar with the eight Practices, consider what they might look like in the classroom, and see how engineering fits in.

Considering the Crosscutting Concepts
Considering the CCCs

Professional learning for: K-12 educators
Estimated time: three activities lasting approximately 15-40 minutes each
Learning modes: presentation, interactive, hands-on stations, group discussion, grade-level discussion, small group work

How should the Crosscutting Concepts be used in the classroom?
Are they just a way to categorize activities or can they be a tool to deepen student learning?  Help your educators get familiar with the seven Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs), and explore how applying different CCCs to the same content can bring out different learning outcomes.

Digging into the Disciplinary Core Ideas
Digging into the DCIs

Professional learning for: K-12 educators
Estimated time: one activity lasting approximately 35 minutes 
Learning modes: presentation, small group discussion, group discussion

Is your team prepared to dig deeply into the new grade-level content?
The Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) are the content of the NGSS, and are organized in a hierarchy that develops key ideas from kindergarten through high school. Use these activities to introduce your educators to the structure of the DCIs and explore how content builds from one grade band to the next.

Facilitation 101
Facilitation 101

What does really good professional development look like?

Explore the foundations of successful teacher professional development. Learn best practices for setting group norms, designing PD for variable learning styles, and more. You will also find practical planning tools to help you set your PD goals and craft your agenda.

[Coming soon! Check back in early 2017.]

Teacher Professional Development at the Academy

Since 2013, we've been recognized for professional development around the NGSS. Our introductory and intermediate courses have served over 600 teachers, many of whom lead training for school teams.

Each Academy workshop includes relevant science activities, thoughtful discussions, and the opportunity to connect with other educators. Please join us for some fun and meaningful professional development!

At the Academy, we take feedback seriously. Read some of the feedback—both positive and constructive—that our teacher professional development team received in 2015.

About the NGSS Right Rail

What are the NGSS?

The Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS) are the nation's new K–12 science standards, rich in content and practice. The NGSS are arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines to provide all students an internationally-benchmarked science education.

Bingham + ELI combined donor support

We Thank Our Donors

The W. Richard Bingham Family provides generous support for online educational materials for teachers. 

Environmental Literacy Initiative, major funding provided by

Pisces Foundation and S.D Bechtel, Jr. Foundation logos