1. Maia Binding
  2. Curriculum Developer
  3. Moving Next Generation Science Standards into Practice: A Middle School Ecology Unit and Teacher Professional Development Model
  4. Lawrence Hall of Science
  1. Dora Kastel
  2. Moving Next Generation Science Standards into Practice: A Middle School Ecology Unit and Teacher Professional Development Model
  3. American Museum of Natural History, Lawrence Hall of Science
  1. Anna MacPherson
  2. Moving Next Generation Science Standards into Practice: A Middle School Ecology Unit and Teacher Professional Development Model
  3. American Museum of Natural History
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Maia Binding

    Maia Binding

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 12:20 a.m.

    We hope you enjoy learning about our Disruptions in Ecosystems project. We are especially looking for ideas on how to share this work with teachers, teacher-educators, and others. Please share your thoughts!

  • Icon for: Stephen Uzzo

    Stephen Uzzo

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 01:14 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your project with us. One of the hardest Dimensions for teachers to understand is the Cross-Cutting Concepts, since most of them require systems thinking in order to be done effectively. If you have approaches to help deepen teachers' understanding of systems, that would be an important resource and way for them to fit the puzzle pieces of the other dimensions together into a coherent whole.

  • Icon for: Maia Binding

    Maia Binding

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 02:17 p.m.

    Thanks for your comment, Stephen. We agree that addressing the CCCs is a real challenge! We've addressed them explicitly in our student and teacher materials, and in our professional development. One of the simplest things our field test teachers have done is to have posters up around their room with the CCC as the header. As they work through the unit (and throughout the year after they finish with the Disruptions unit) they have students offer up examples where they see the specific CCCs in what they are learning. Our teachers say it's been very helpful both for their students and for them.

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Researcher
    May 14, 2018 | 11:58 a.m.

    Hi, I enjoyed your video, and the glimpses of the materials it gave.  How much learning did your field test teachers have to do, to feel comfortable with the science?  Or maybe, What were the hardest things for them in using the materials?

  • Icon for: Maia Binding

    Maia Binding

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 02:19 p.m.

    Hi Brian, We're glad you enjoyed the video. The level of learning for our teachers really varied, but I think overall they would agree that the hardest thing for them in terms of content, and indeed the toughest thing for their middle school students to learn, is matter and energy. That's most deeply addressed in Chapter 2 of the unit, and our field test teachers agree that they have a much better understanding of it than they did before teaching the unit, and that many of their students do as well, although we still haven't found the magic bullet...those are tough concepts with a lot of misconceptions to conquer!

  • Icon for: Anushree Bopardikar

    Anushree Bopardikar

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 02:47 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work on this forum. I think it's important to support teachers with curriculum materials that show clear alignment to the NGSS. Your video presents a glimpse of the BSCS Instructional Model that underlies each chapter of the curriculum unit. I am curious how the teacher participants responded to this model - did they perceive any piece(s) of this model to be challenging or a shift from their routine practice, and if so, how did you tackle this? Further, I imagine that teachers may not always have experience working with formative student assessments to shape their instruction. Can you elaborate on your approach for helping teachers in this regard? Also, can you say more about the PD model accompanying the unit? For example, what are the key components/activities of this model, and in testing the PD model with the field test teachers, what kinds of evaluation did you conduct? Finally, in the field tests, what kinds of impact (on teachers and/or students) did you measure and how?

  • Icon for: Maia Binding

    Maia Binding

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 04:12 p.m.

    Hi Anushree, Thank you for your thoughtful questions! I've asked a few of my colleagues to chime in on some of them, but I'll respond to your questions about the BSCS 5E model. The field test teachers responded well to the 5E model. Many of them had heard of it, and a number of them had some initial misconceptions about the original intent that Bybee and BSCS proposed with the model, but they were open to learning more about it and implementing it with the curriculum. Overall their feedback was that the model worked very well in the classroom and many of the teachers expressed an interest in - or had already begun to - revamping some of their other units to reflect the 5E model. I would add that the most challenging part of the model for teachers was to trust that by the end of the 5Es their students would "get it." It took some faith on their part to follow the way the curriculum develops student understanding and resist the urge to front load a lot of information. A few teachers admitted they were nervous about it from the outset, and several more expressed at the end of the field test that they hadn't voiced their reservations, but were pleased to report that everything worked out even better than we had promised.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Anushree Bopardikar
  • Icon for: Anna MacPherson

    Anna MacPherson

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 04:56 p.m.

    Chiming in here from AMNH - regarding the formative assessment, the teachers guide for the curriculum provides support for administering, analyzing (scoring) and using data from formative assessments. Teachers identified the "assessment chart" at the start of each chapter as a particularly helpful tool for them - the chart identifies formative assessment opportunities and how they address the standards. In the professional learning sessions, we used student examples from field test classrooms (de-identified) to engage teachers in discussions about what they saw in student work. They collaboratively scored examples in two separate sessions and wrote hypothetical feedback to students. We discussed as a group how one might act on formative assessment findings, without "re-teaching" or "reviewing" what the students seemed to be missing. We talked about how the curriculum spirals and where the next opportunity would be to address SEPs, CCCs and DCIs. 

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Anushree Bopardikar
  • Icon for: Barbara Nagle

    Barbara Nagle

    May 14, 2018 | 05:53 p.m.

    The PD included 12 days of face-to-face professional learning activities. The PD began in the summer, and continued into the school year. We always incorporated an introduction to the NGSS and deepening understanding of the three dimensions, and we used the SIMPL model so that teachers always had an opportunity to engage in the activities as learners and then reflect on the activities as educators. As teachers engaged in each of the five chapter of the unit, we built PL around assessment and literacy into the activities. We also reflected regularly with the teachers on their role in supporting students around the three dimensions of NGSS.The final day of PD always focused on feedback and questions from the teachers to the project. Some of the feedback was face-to-face feedback with the curriculum and professional developers, and some was provided through focus groups led by the project's external evaluator. The external evaluator observed much of the PD, and reported observations and the results of the focus groups to the project team.

    One of the things we struggled with was how to balance the need to familiarize teachers with the complete scope and sequence of the unit before they began teaching with opportunities to share experiences and reflect on their teaching during follow-up sessions during the school year.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Anushree Bopardikar
  • Icon for: Donna Charlevoix

    Donna Charlevoix

    Program Director
    May 15, 2018 | 04:19 p.m.

    Great project! Getting everything aligned to NGSS is certainly a challenge for teachers!

  • Icon for: Maia Binding

    Maia Binding

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 07:22 p.m.

    Thanks, Donna. And you're very right, it's a big challenge, but we've been enjoying figuring out how to help teachers meet it.

  • Icon for: Lisa Miller

    Lisa Miller

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 10:15 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your project!  It's good to see curriculum being developed that aligns with the NGSS.  I'm curious about your plans to scale the project.  The response to a previous question says the PD includes 12 days of face-to-face professional learning activities.  Do you feel you will need to reduce the number of PD days for the project to be adopted more broadly?  Do you think teachers would be able to successfully do the curriculum with less PD?  Thanks!

  • Icon for: Maia Binding

    Maia Binding

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 11:54 a.m.

    Hi Lisa, Thanks for your interest in the project. The 12 days of PD was definitely an ideal scenario, and we know it's not entirely realistic for everyone to have that amount of PD time at their disposal (although we wish they did!). I think teachers can successfully do the curriculum with less PD, provided they are somewhat familiar with the NGSS and pay close attention to the teacher materials which include a *ton* of information on how to successfully teach the unit and bring out all three of the dimensions. We look forward to seeing what happens as teachers use the materials outside of the arena of our field tests.

  • Icon for: Rachel Shefner

    Rachel Shefner

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 21, 2018 | 06:08 p.m.

    What kinds of revisions did you make to your PD model for the second round?

  • Icon for: Dora Kastel

    Dora Kastel

    Co-Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 07:06 p.m.

    Hi Rachel!

    One of the major changes to the model over the years was that we had originally spaced out the PD during the school year (ex chapter 1 in the summer, chapter 2 in sept, etc.). This final year we moved all of the PD related materials into the summer (as a two-week institute) and then did two follow up days in Dec. and Feb. to examine student work, discuss enactment issues, etc.

    Another major difference was the online PD component. Our first year we shared resources in google drive, but by the last year of field testing we integrated an asynchronous moodle space for teachers to collaborate as well as synchronous Zoom calls every other week.

    -Dora

  • Icon for: Rachel Shefner

    Rachel Shefner

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 21, 2018 | 07:28 p.m.

    Thanks, Dora! Good to see you!

  • Icon for: Dora Kastel

    Dora Kastel

    Co-Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 07:46 p.m.

    You too Rachel! Actually if you are interested, we used some Five Tools related work when this unit was developed! Feel free to email me if you are interested in learning more

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.