Planning For Engagement with Important Science IDeas

This first stage of MBI focuses on doing the intellectually rigorous work of unpacking standards, developing an anchoring phenomenon and driving question, and identifying the important science ideas students will need to build a scientific explanation of the phenomenon. In addition, we plan "with the end in mind" by constructing a draft model and target explanation to use as learning targets throughout the unit.

Part A. UNPACK THE STANDARDS

This is completed by reviewing the Framework for K-12 Science Education to identify the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI), DCI Progressions, and Performance Expectations that will make up the student learning targets of the unit. Note: Resources are provided for each Part/Step in the link.

STEP 1. Identifying Disciplinary Core Ideas

Based on the science area focus above, identify the appropriate disciplinary core idea(s) (DCI) [include both DCI (e.g., MS-LS2) and applicable sub-DCIs (e.g., MS-LS2A)]. The following is an example:

STEP 2. Identify Disciplinary Core Idea Progression

Identify the DCI grade band progressions for each of your DCIs. These will serve as resources for helping you draw on past student learning to connect to current learning and help you understand how this will be useful for students in future learning. In other words, what does the progression say about your DCI(s) in the grade bands just before and after your grade band? The following is an example:

STEP 3. Summarizing the disciplinary core idea(s)

Summarize the disciplinary core idea(s). Using the available resources, write a brief summary in your own words that describes why this is a/these are core idea(s) in science, along with the individual pieces of the core idea(s) that are most important for students to understand. The following is an example:

STEP 4. Identify the relevant performance expectations

Identify the relevant performance expectations that you are working toward. The following is an example:

Part B. IDENTIFY A SCIENTIFICALLY RICH, COMPLEX ANCHORING PHENOMENON

The anchoring phenomenon will serve as the real-world event that students work to explain as the purpose for engaging in the unit.

STEP 1. Describe a scientifically rich, complex phenomena

Use the following guidelines, describe a scientifically rich, complex phenomena that will require students to use multiple science ideas that are central to the DCI(s) to explain in approximately one paragraph. (Resources for learning about phenomena as well as example anchoring phenomena.) The following is an example:

NOTE: As you're identifying the anchoring phenomenon, consider what role social justice and equity might play in engaging students around this phenomenon.

STEP 2. List resources

List resources (websites, articles, books, etc.) that help you (i.e., the teacher) better understand the anchoring phenomenon. The following is an example:

STEP 3. Develop a driving question

Develop a driving question to frame the anchoring phenomenon for the students. The following is an example:

Part C. PROVIDE A TARGET WRITTEN EXPLANATION

The target written explanation serves as a resource for identifying which science ideas are important for explaining the phenomenon. After identifying the important science ideas, you can consider when and how these ideas are introduced and explored across the unit.

Provide a target written explanation of the phenomenon. This should be written at the appropriate grade level. (Note: the explanation should identify how science ideas are coordinated to explain the occurrence or event that happened in the world). The following is an example:

Part D. CONSTRUCT AN EXAMPLE MODEL

This is completed to ensure a vision for what a student model might include, as one possibility, among many, is considered ahead of implementation of the unit. This can also help with the development of a modeling template and/or conventions that students might consider that are specific to the anchoring phenomenon for the unit.

Construct an example final model that you would expect your students to develop over the course of the unit. Be sure to include the system boundaries, components of the system, connections between those components, the “unseen” mechanisms at work, labels, and text boxes. Be sure to consider the alignment between your target explanation (above) and your final model. The following is an example:

Part E: IDENTIFYING SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUITY IDEAS

Identify the social justice ideas that are either central to supporting student engagement and connection to science (i.e., identity, diversity) you want to focus on during the unit or essential for explaining and taking action to resolve social injustices related to the phenomenon. After identifying the social justice ideas, identify at least one instructional strategy or task that will help you realize each social justice idea as a resource that can be used during Stage #3.

STEP 1. Identify the social justice ideas

Identify the social justice ideas that are central to supporting student engagement and connection to science (i.e., identity, diversity) or essential for explaining and/or taking action to resolving social injustices related to the phenomenon. The following is an example:

STEP 2. Provide an activity for each social justice idea

For each social justice idea identified above, choose one instructional strategy, task, reading, video, simulation, or investigation that will help students understand this important idea and begin to see its importance in supporting their connection with science (i.e., identity, diversity) or for explaining and taking action to resolve social injustices related to the phenomenon. Do this for each social justice idea below.

Part F: IDENTIFY SCIENCE IDEAS (REVISITING AND FINALIZING PART A: UNPACKING THE STANDARDS)

Using the final model and target explanation above, identify the science ideas that are essential for explaining the phenomenon. After identifying the science ideas, identify at least one science task for each science idea as a resource that can be used during Stage #3.

STEP 1. Identify science ideas

From your target explanation and example final model, identify the science ideas within the explanation that are central to students explaining the phenomenon. The following is an example:

STEP 2. Provide an activity for each science idea

For each science idea identified above, choose one task, reading, video, simulation, or investigation that will help students understand this important idea and begin to see its usefulness in explaining the anchoring phenomenon. Do this for each science idea below. The following is an example: