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Target Core Ideas

Goal for this session:  The new vision of science education focuses on deep understanding of a limited number of disciplinary core science ideas (DCIs). In this session, you analyze a short sequence of learning experiences within your curriculum through the lens of a DCI. You’ll identify target core ideas for the sequence.

Study Guide

 Download pdf version of this Study Guide.

Prepare - To prepare to analyze your classroom learning experiences, review an Example Target Core Idea Planning Tool for Investigations 10-12 in the 5th grade curriculum Investigating Water Transformations.

a. This curriculum focuses on the DCI Matter and Its Interactions.

b.   With the target goals in mind, the next step is to identify learning goals that contribute to students’ understanding of the DCI-- and omit those that do not.

    • Use The Developing Model of Matter chart to see the sequence of activities and learning goals in the complete curriculum unit. Zoom into Investigations 10-12 to see goals for the 3 learning experience sequence.
    • On the Example Planning Tool, find the learning goals were identified to help students move closer to the target DCI components

Use the Planning Tool

  1. Find the standards for the DCI that your curriculum addresses. (See the NGSS.)
  2. Review what came before and what will come after in the students’ learning about this DCI. You can find descriptions of how each DCI develops from K-12 in the Framework.
  3. Complete the Target Core Idea Planning Tool (docx).

Note: You can look at a single lesson, one or more sequences of learning experiences, or an entire curriculum unit through the lens of a DCI.

Discuss in Your PLC

With your colleagues, share your filled out Planning Tool.  

Grapple with questions.  Provide feedback and support. Plan your next steps.