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For MS-LS1-6, this is a task-neutral proficiency scale. NGSS.NSTA.org, Appendix E from the NextGenScience site, and the real performance expectations were used to create this. This scale was developed with the help of four middle school teachers. Note that proficiency scales are based on the premise of learning development.
Expectation/Indicator of Performance:
MS-LS1-6 is an abbreviated version of MS-LS1-6. Create a theoretical explanation for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and the transfer of energy into and out of organisms based on facts. 1. Getting started2. Rising 3. Experience (4) Extension I’m able to relate parts of the photosynthesis process to the needs of living organisms. I can explain the role of photosynthesis in matter cycling and energy transfer in and out of organisms using data. I can explain the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and the flow of energy into and out of organisms using valid and reliable evidence. I may use my photosynthesis description to predict the effects of changing a variable on matter cycling and energy flow.

Ms-ls1-6 intro to photosynthesis

Photosynthesis – Matter Cycling and Energy Flow (MS-LS1-6)

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Establish a scientific explanation for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and the transfer of energy into and out of organisms based on facts.
Teachers who are implementing the NGSS expressed the following evaluations. Many of these are rough drafts and should be viewed as such. Please feel free to improve these ratings or add your own. More information can be found here.
Connections to the Core
Achieve’s trademark for ELA/LiteracyMathematics*Next Generation Science Requirements is ELA/LiteracyMathematics*. This product was not created by Achieve or the lead states and collaborators that established the Next Generation Science Standards, and it is not recommended. Visit the NGSS website for more information.

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What a student should be able to do to demonstrate mastery of a concept is called a Performance Expectation (PE). A Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary are included in some PEs. These can be found by pressing the “More Detail” button on the PE. When you hover your mouse over a PE, it will highlight the pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts that correspond to it.
Constructing explanations and designing solutions in grades 6–8 builds on K–5 interactions by asking students to creat explanations and develop solutions based on various sources of evidence that are compatible with scientific concepts, values, and theories.
You may read more about a particular Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Principle by clicking on it. You will find the corresponding elements in the PEs by hovering over them.

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MS-LS1-4: Endorse an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures influence the likelihood of successful reproduction in animals and plants, respectively, using empirical evidence and scientific reasoning.
MS-LS3-1: Create and apply a model to explain why structural changes to genes on chromosomes can affect proteins and have harmful, beneficial, or neutral effects on the organism’s structure and function.
MS-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret evidence in the fossil record for trends that track the existence, diversity, disappearance, and alteration of life forms in the history of life on Earth, assuming that natural laws still apply today.
MS-LS4-2: Infer evolutionary relationships by using scientific ideas to create an explanation for anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms.
MS-LS4-3: Evaluate pictorial data displays to compare patterns of embryological growth across different organisms to find associations that aren’t apparent in fully developed anatomy.