• Digging into the DCIs
  • Teacher workshop
  • DCI Anatomy
  • DCI progression
  • Teacher workshop
  • Digging into the DCIs

What is the philosophy of the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs)?  How are they structured?  How do they progress across grade levels?  Dig into these questions and give your educators the tools to understand what content they will be teaching with the NGSS.  This introductory activity will orient participants to the structure of this dimension and explains the rationale behind the new DCIs.

About this activity

disciplinary core ideas
  • These materials are designed to help you facilitate successful NGSS training for a team of educators.
  • On each activity page, you will find a short video overview of the activity and a fully detailed lesson plan.
  • This introductory activity about the Disciplinary Core Ideas will give your educators a strong foundation to build on as they prepare for implementation.
  • Each activity can stand alone, and you can mix and match with your own materials.

Activity: Anatomy of a DCI

DCI diagram

The Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) of the NGSS prioritize moving away from the “mile wide, inch deep” model of science learning. Instead, the emphasis is on making room for teachers to support students in building deeper understanding. In this activity, participants will learn more about the criteria used to determine the DCIs within each discipline and will examine a K-12 progression for one Component Idea, a specific concept within a DCI.

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