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FOSS Next Generation K–8 Is Here: Three-Dimensional Learning for All!

FOSS Newsletter Staff
March 02, 2017 | Program News

FOSS Next Generation logo

In Fall 2015, we announced the release of FOSS Next Generation K–5. We're happy to now update that news to announce that all FOSS middle school courses are final or in final development and that FOSS Next Generation K–8 will soon be complete. In addition to the new K–8 FOSS program, there will be new professional learning tools for teachers at all grade levels and new online assessments to support in three-dimensional learning.

The FOSS Project staff and Delta Education are dedicated to partnering with new and experienced users of FOSS to plan a smooth transition to FOSS Next Generation K–8.

FOSS K–8 is a coherent program based on learning progressions that guide nine years of a student's academic career. Some of the effective teaching strategies of the elementary program have been carried through to middle school, and some of the successful instructional tools from middle school have been incorporated into the K–5 program. A unified K–8 program strengthens every FOSS elementary module and middle school course. A consistent K–8 program benefits all students.

FOSS Next Generation K–8 is an active learning science program that engages students with natural and human-made phenomena; the program features instructional guidance, student equipment, integrated student reading materials, digital resources, and a fully integrated assessment system. FOSS has always utilized an inquiry approach to teaching and learning, but the National Research Council's A Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (2012), on which the NGSS are based, has provided a new way for the FOSS developers to design learning experiences and frame focus questions for learners. Guided by the Framework, FOSS provides a school science curriculum with a cohesive approach at each grade level and articulated learning progressions within and between grade levels. The NGSS gave us the opportunity to look at things from a grade-level perspective. Now that we know what teachers are being asked to teach at each grade level, we can thoughtfully plan and integrate with Common Core ELA and mathematics in a grade-appropriate manner.

When we first began working on learning progressions for FOSS Next Generation K–5, we quickly came to the conclusion that to stop there was to do a disservice to our students. We needed to develop those progressions from kindergarten through grade 8.

FOSS Next Generation K-8 Scope and Sequence table (NGSS National)

The Next Generation program consists of three modules at each grade for K–5 and 12 courses at 6–8. For a detailed breakdown of the 12 middle school courses, visit deltaeducation.com/foss/middle-school.

In FOSS First Edition K–6, we developed the multisensory approach to active learning of science, and in the Second Edition (K–6), we refined and enriched that approach by integrating quality reading materials. FOSS Middle School came into being in 2000, and the role of technology became an important new tool for teaching and learning. When FOSS Third Edition K–6 fully integrated the use of science notebooks, outdoor applications, and formative assessment with strong conceptual frameworks through the science strands, FOSS Middle School soon followed suit.

In FOSS Next Generation K–8, we've built upon all of these previous editions, strengthening and making more explicit the connections to the three dimensions of science, to engineering teaching and learning, and to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts at each grade level.

The FOSS instructional design is, at its core, three-dimensional learning. To that end we strive to seamlessly:

  1. communicate the disciplinary core ideas (content) of science;
  2. facilitate student engagement in science and engineering practices (inquiry methods) to develop knowledge of the disciplinary core ideas; and
  3. help students comprehend the crosscutting concepts (overarching concepts) that connect the learning experiences within a discipline and bridge meaningfully across disciplines as students gain more and more knowledge of the natural world.

The pedagogy of our program is now consistent across K–8 and is applied in a way that supports students and teachers appropriately at each grade level.

The NGSS describe the knowledge and skills we expect our students to be able to demonstrate after completing their science instruction experience. The expectations are demanding and include no small measure of ability to communicate scientific knowledge. The ability to communicate complex ideas assumes that students have had a significant amount of experience and practice building coherent explanations, defending claims, and organizing and presenting reasoned arguments in the context of their science curriculum. FOSS Next Generation experiences will prepare your students to meet these expectations; students actively interact with objects, organisms, and systems to learn about natural and human designed phenomena.

FOSS Next Generation is strongly grounded in the realities of the classroom and the interests and experiences of the learner. It is crafted with a teaching philosophy that embraces the 21st-century skills: collaborative teamwork, critical thinking, and problem solving that applies the content of science and engineering. FOSS Next Generation curriculum design promotes a classroom culture that allows both teachers and students to assume prominent rolls in the management of and responsibility for the learning environment. The content in FOSS is teachable and learnable over multiple grade levels as students increase in their abilities to reason about and integrate complex ideas within and between disciplines.

FOSS Next Generation is built on the assumptions that understanding of core scientific phenomena and how science functions are essential for citizenship. And, as always, FOSS believes that all teachers can teach science, and that all students can learn science.

FOSS Next Generation K-8 Scope and Sequence table (NGSS California Integrated)

This scope and sequence was developed for the California NGSS.

For more information, to request a presentation, or to inquire about piloting, please contact your local FOSS sales manager. To request a program sample, please visit deltaeducation.com/sampleFOSS.