I have been struggling all year with how to assess, how to see if my students were growing in the Cross-Cutting Concepts. Trying to see if they are learning how to apply the CCC’s is not as easy as assessing the DCI’s. Recently, I have taken a two-pronged approach to trying to assess the Cross-Cutting Concepts.

I know that you will be working through multiple Cross-Cutting Concepts at any time but what I have been trying is to at the top of a project or lab this semester is to list the one or two Cross-Cutting Concepts that I want my students to focus on for this activity. Then at the end, they have to explain where they saw those CCC’s used and how they applied them in the project/lab. This has been an interesting approach, one that I think that I will keep for next year and expand if possible.

Recently, my students and I watched “How the Wolves Changed the River”. The video was about the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. We watched it once and they were asked to write down anything they noticed, to which we then had a short discussion. I brought up the Cross-Cutting Concept “Cause and Effect”, we discussed and watched the same video again, only focusing on that one concept. My students had a great discussion about where they saw Cause and Effect evident in the video. So, I brought up “Systems and system models” and the class watched it one more time. This time they were trying to determine the system and interactions within that system. Again, we had a rich discussion on what a system is and how we define it. My only regret is, why didn’t I do this earlier in the year?

It worked for my kids and wasn’t overly complicated. I like those activities that you can that are simple but get the point across with a great discussion.

Is this correct? I’m not sure. I hope so. It seemed to help my students in better understanding how to look at something (lab, project, video) and see how the Cross-Cutting Concepts can be applied.

What do you all think? Is this on track or am I off in left field again?

Love to hear your comments!