USING VIRTUAL FIELDWORK EXPERIENCES TO INTEGRATE NGSS AND CCSS
VFEs allow students to explore local, regional and global fieldwork sites, giving students an opportunity to participate in a facsimile of fieldwork, not often allowed by school budgets. VFEs are systems based, a concept central to the NGSS. Examples of VFEs can be found at www.virtualfieldwork.org.
While the NGSS do offer appendices showing the connections between the NGSS and the CCSS, there are relatively few examples of classroom practice that illustrate the integration of these two standard sets. VFEs reinforce content while providing avenues to inquiry and the nature of science, making them a perfect fit for NGSS.
VFEs offer authentic, real world applications for the CCSS.MATH standards. Through calculations such as gradient and rates of erosion and graphic representation elevation profiles and stratigraphic columns, VFEs speak directly to the standards. The CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE standards 1-5 are also relevant in essence and can be applied specifically depending on the depth of student investigation.
On the English Language Arts front, not only can VFEs support CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST standards through reading science texts that support different content areas associated with the VFEs, but also the Writing standards through the completion of a field notebook. Speaking/Listening standards are also easily addressed by adding a presentation component to the project.