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Science Education in CT Presentation for Teach for America Mon, Aug 11, 2008

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1 Science Education in CT Presentation for Teach for America Mon, Aug 11, 2008


3 SCIENCE EDUCATION GOALS Supported By The New State Framework An Invitation for Students and Teachers to Explore Science and Its Role in Society  Science literacy for ALL; solid foundation & motivation for advanced study for MORE!  Science learning in a context of real world issues and technologies  Science learning that is interesting & relevant to students  Science learning that is an active and thoughtful exploration of questions and problems  CT State Dept of Ed Science:

4 CURRICULUM - Framework  Content Standards = CURRICULUM guidelines  Expected Performances = CMT guidelines  Teach more than is tested  3 major concepts per year + STS application  Conceptual connections within the grade  Learning progressions across grades (Matrix)  Balance knowing Science & Doing Science  Standards (K-10):  Matrix (K-10):

5 CONNECTIONS THAT SUPPORT LEARNING STANDARDS: What Students Should Know CURRICULUM INSTRUCTION ASSESSMENT District Scope & Sequence District Summative & Classroom Formative Assessments State FrameworkState Summative CMT & CAPT State: CCT & BEST District: Professional Growth Plan & PD

6 How Are Framework Learning Goals Organized? PreK-2:  Development of wonder about the natural world and the ability to apply basic process skills Grades 3-5:  Development of basic descriptions of natural phenomena and the ability to perform simple explorations Grades 6-8:  Development of basic explanations for natural phenomena, and the ability to apply experimental procedures to acquire new knowledge Grades 9-10:  Development of interest in global issues and the ability to collect, analyze and use data to explore and explain related science concepts

7 Science Standards

8 Scientific INQUIRY SKILLS  Inquiry (Experiments)  Numeracy (Math connection)  Literacy: includesScience, Technology, Society

9 Standards parts Essential Questions Content Standards Performance Standards (tested) (tested) Embedded Tasks

10 Grade Level Expectations  Draft in Summer 2007, sequential conceptual developments, include vocab words found on CMTs, teacher language (  Draft2 in Summer 2008, shorter, use kid language and expectation.   BOTH can be used!  Not available for High School (CAPT) :(

11 Example GLE

12 Science Curriculum Overview: Vision ✴ Science is for All Students ✴ Science Literacy ✴ Active Learning ✴ Teachers Facilitators

13 Science Curriculum Overview ✴ Instruction Philosophy ✴ Learning CYCLE (5 E’s) ✴ Key Research Based Strategies ✴ Assessment Philosophy

14 Grades 6-8 Core Scientific Inquiry, Literacy and Numeracy How is scientific knowledge created and communicated? C INQ.1Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigation. C INQ.2Read, interpret and examine the credibility of scientific claims in different sources of information. C INQ.3Design and conduct appropriate types of scientific investigations to answer different questions. C INQ.4Identify independent and dependent variables, and those variables that are kept constant, when designing an experiment. C INQ.5Use appropriate tools and techniques to make observations and gather data. C INQ.6Use mathematical operations to analyze and interpret data. C INQ.7Identify and present relationships between variables in appropriate graphs. C INQ.8Draw conclusions and identify sources of error. C INQ.9Provide explanations to investigated problems or questions. C INQ.10 Communicate about science in different formats, using relevant science vocabulary, supporting evidence and clear logic.

15 Learning Cycle Engagement: stimulate students ’ interest, curiosity and preconceptions; Exploration: first-hand experiences with concepts without direct instruction; Explanation: students ’ explanations followed by introduction of formal terms and clarifications; Elaboration: applying knowledge to solve a problem. Students frequently develop and complete their own well-designed investigations; Evaluation: students and teachers reflect on change in conceptual understanding and identify ideas still “ under development ”. See: 5E Model:

16 INQUIRY SKILLS  apply science process skills  read and write science-related texts  search scientific databases  use mathematics to make sense out of data  pose and evaluate arguments based on evidence  apply logical conclusions from such arguments

17 EXPERIMENTS  What makes a good experiment?  What are the parts to a good experiment?  What is “ the ” scientific method?

18 SCIENTIFIC METHOD:  finding out something to investigate (the "problem"),  coming up with a theory or hypothesis based on observations: how one property (chemical, physical, environmental, biological) affects another.  designing a good experiment to test the idea, and making a prediction.  conducting the experiment.  organizing and analyzing the results.  drawing a conclusion and stating the validity.

19 HYPOTHESIS: CAUSEandEFFECT  One propertyaffectsanother property  (factor, stimuli, characteristic, measurement, observation, etc..), both can be observed/measured.

20 HYPOTHESIS: CAUSEandEFFECT  IndependentandDependentVariable  "Control""Responding"  "Manipulated"Measured Result  InputOutput

21 What makes a good experiment? CAUSE AFFECTS EFFECT  All other properties remain the same, they are "controlled".  A "VALID" experiment is one that assures that the result output (dependent variable) is due to the input (independent variable), not to any other factor.  It also has a starting point to compare to, the "control"

22 LIGHTAFFECTSGROWTH  Prediction: more light, more growth  Independent: amount of light  Dependent: amount of growth  Control Group: Room setup with NO light  Experimental Group: Others  Constants: everything else (food, air, etc.. All CONTROLLED)

23 In Algebra terms:  Independent Variable is the cause, the X  Dependent Variable is the effect, the Y.  These can be stated as a qualitative or quantitative value. The relationship could be expressed as a bar graph, scatter plot, or "line" graph.  Y is a FUNCTION of X.

24 CLOSED TO OPEN Test how three different lengths of string affect the period of a pendulum using these materials and this procedure.  Design an experiment to test how the length of a string affects the period of a pendulum using these materials.  Design an experiment to test how either length, mass, or angle of a string affects the period of a pendulum using these materials or others you ask for.  Design an experiment to test how length, mass, and angle of a string affect the period and the slowing down of a pendulum using any materials.  Design an experiment to see what things change how a pendulum swings.

25 OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS  Questions based on someone ELSE’S Lab  Requires student to apply and explain a science concept.  Has more than one aspect to a correct answer, or more than one correct answer.  Requires higher order thinking, and relevant prior knowledge to answer completely.

26 KEY ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS HOW________ AFFECTS__________  -How would we help students be able to construct their hypothesis as cause/effect.  -What are the key parts to this experiment?  -After doing the experiment:  What scaffolding do students need? (Prior experiments, experience)  What skills do they need?  Which inquiry/numeracy/literacy standards for our grade does this address?  What extensions can we make?  -What are the key elements of a good lab report? Rubric for scoring lab?

27 Sample Embedded Task

28 To Start… Try: Catch IT Task MEASURE reaction time catching a ruler! Distance Ruler Dropped (in centimeters) Reaction Time (in seconds) 1.05 2.07 3.08 4.09 50.10 100.14 150.18 200.20 250.23 300.25

29  ELABORATE  Investigation #2: What Affects Reaction Time?  In Investigation #1, you may have noticed that people have different reaction times. Through your research, you have learned how the senses and the brain communicate to cause reactions. What human characteristics or environmental conditions do you think might affect how fast someone can react? In Investigation #2, you will identify a reaction time question to explore.

30 Experiment  Do your experiment following the steps below:  1.DECIDE on a research question. RECORD it in your science notebook.  2.DESIGN a plan to conduct your investigation.  3.CREATE a data table in your science notebook that will help you keep your measurements organized. You will also want to record any unexpected observations and questions.  4.CONDUCT your experiment. Collect and record data for each trial in your notebook.  5.CALCULATE the average time it took for each subject to catch the ruler. RECORD the average reaction times for each subject in your data table.  6.DRAW a bar graph that compares the average reaction times of your subjects for the factor you tested.  7.INTERPRET the data. What conclusions can you draw based on the graph? Did the factor you investigated have an effect on the reaction times of your subjects?

31 PRESENT  Present Your Findings:  Work with your partners to make a poster that summarizes your investigation. Use the poster to make a presentation to your class to share the results of your investigation. They will want to hear what you found out in Investigation #2. Some of them may have done a similar investigation, and you will want to know if their findings were similar to yours.  Your poster should include:  The question you were investigating;  A brief description of how you did your experiment;  A bar graph showing your findings; and  The conclusion that is supported by your data.  Be prepared to tell your class about any data you collected that might not be accurate because of unexpected things that happened during your experiment

32 Investigate!  What do I see (observe)?  What do I think?  What do I wonder?  What can I investigate?  What can I analyze?  What can I communicate?

33 Example Inquiry MC Question Some students did an experiment to find out which type of paper holds the most water. They followed these steps: 1.Fill a container with 25 milliliters of water. 2.Dip pieces of paper towel into the water until all the water is absorbed. 3.Count how many pieces of paper towel were used to absorb all the water. 4.Repeat with tissues and napkins. If another group of students wanted to repeat this experiment, which information would be most important for them to know? a.The size of the water container b.The size of the paper pieces * c.When the experiment was done d.How many students were in the group

34 Example Inquiry Constructed Response  Imagine that you want to do a pulse rate experiment to enter in the school science fair. You ’ ve decided to investigate whether listening to different kinds of music affects people ’ s pulse rate.  Write a step-by-step procedure you could use to collect reliable data related to your question. Include enough detail so that someone else could conduct the same experiment and get similar results.

35 Example CMT Science Rubric  Score Point 2  The response is correct, complete and appropriate. The student has demonstrated a strong understanding of scientific concepts and inquiry skills. The response may contain minor errors that will not necessarily lower the score.  Score Point 1  The response is partially correct and appropriate although minor inaccuracies or misconceptions may occur. The student has demonstrated limited evidence of an understanding of scientific concepts and inquiry skills.  Score Point 0  The response is an unsatisfactory answer to the question. The student has failed to address the question or does so in a very limited way. The student shows no evidence for understanding scientific concepts and inquiry skills. Serious misconceptions may exist.

36 WHY INQUIRY???  Research shows this is how middle and high school students learn science concepts and skills the BEST.

37 What Works?  KEY RESEARCH BASED SCIENCE INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES  -Create a Climate for Learning: well planned lessons, positive teacher attitude, safe, secure, enriching environment.  -Follow a Guided Inquiry Learning Cycle Modelà Open Ended Inquiry: Guided Inquiry into a teacher posed question by students leads to students investigating their own questions.  -Generating and Testing Hypotheses: students given the opportunity to investigate their ideas.  -Setting Objectives/Providing Feedback: Objectives are always clear for all class activities, students always know how they are meeting objectives.  -Use Warm Up Activities, Questions, Cues, Advance Organizers: Starter questions generate interest, cue students as to learning activities, and provide a reference throughout a lesson  -Assess Prior Knowledge/Misconceptions: Students have to construct their internal model of science concepts and reconcile it with previous experience, often leading to hard to overcome misconceptions.  -Self-Explanation/Discussion: Students given the opportunity to explain and discuss ideas are better able to connect prior and new knowledge and experiences.  -Opportunities to Communicate/Cooperative Learning: Science is a group endeavor, as is it’s learning. Students learn best by communicating and learning from each other.  -Vary the Way Students Work: Lab groups, learning centers, projects, and other alternatives to traditional lecture allow for individualized instruction.  -Practice Effective Questioning Techniques: Questions are the tool to move towards a student-centered classroom, and different types of questions help guide instruction and learning.  -Vary the Structure of Lessons, Use Research Based Strategies: Lesson structure depends on the concepts and skills being learned and assessed. Brain based research in learning points to specific effective varying structures.  -Identify Similarities and Differences/Graphic Organizers: Science concepts are often organized into structures by humans attempting to understand nature. Help students understand the classification and organization of knowledge by continually comparing, classifying, as well as describing analogies and relationships.  -Scaffolded Writing Practice: Students can move from oral explanation to written explanation through careful guidance/practice, including both expository and persuasive writing in science.  -Strengthen Comprehension for Content Area Reading Text: provide guided focus question, organizers, response and discussion questions, summarize, evaluative prompts based on reading.  -Non-Linguistic Representations: Models, drawings, and pictures all can help understand science.  -Allow Opportunities for Peer Review: Students are frequently asked to evaluate others’ work on standardized testing and must be given regular opportunities as part of their science experience.  -Create and Embed Science, Technology and Society (STS), issues, and other items relevant to students’ lives. These interdisciplinary learning activities are designed to engage students in the applications of science using their critical thinking skills and content knowledge. They afford students the opportunity to examine ideas and data related to historical, technological, and/or social aspects of science concepts and content.

38 How Students Learn Science  Principle #1: Engaging Prior Understandings (Pre/Misconceptions)  Principle #2: Conceptual Frameworks in Understanding Factual Knowledge and, What does it Mean to Do Science  Principle #3: The Importance of Self- Monitoring (Meta Cognition) 

39 Science Testing (6-8) ✴ CMT Science Grade 8 Mar 08 ✴ Covers 6-8 topics ✴ Half on Skills, Embedded Tasks ✴ Assessments part of curriculum ✴ Quarterly Assessments 7-8 CMT like ✴ Practice for Grade 8 in Feb

40 CMT Science AT-A-GLANCE  First administration March 2008  Not currently part of AYP; on the horizon?  Cumulative knowledge & inquiry skills Elementary science assessed at Gr. 5 Middle school science assessed at Gr. 8 No science CMT in Grades 3,4,6 or 7  Science CMT Format posted at  Handbook in Word form:

41 Middle School Science Knowledge & Skills Tested  Middle School Science CMT administered at Gr. 8 59% Knowledge, 41% Inquiry: C.1 to C.30 Framework Expected Performances (30 items) CINQ 1 to CINQ 10 Framework Inquiry Performances (18 items) 3 short written response items assess INQUIRY in context of curriculum-embedded performance tasks 48 questions; 51 points; single 70-minute session

42 CMT Science Question Types  Multiple choice and short written responses  Types of knowledge assessed: basic factual knowledge conceptual understanding application of knowledge & skills  No hands-on task on the testing day  INQUIRY is partially assessed by questions related to curriculum-embedded task contexts

43 About Multiple Choice Items  Brief stem, 4 not brief answer choices  Answers bubbled in booklet  Scientific literacy terms (see Framework and GLEs) may be used in context  Vocabulary definitions are not tested  Readability – grade appropriate as determined by teacher advisory committees


45 Science Testing (9-12) ✴ CAPT Science grade 10, and retests ✴ Covers 9-10 five strands,30+ standards ✴ Half on Skills, Embedded Tasks ✴ Assessments part of curriculum ✴ Quarterly Assessments 9-12 CAPT like ✴ Practice for Grade 10 in Feb

46 CAPT(for ALL)  Based on 5 major content strands: Plastics (Chemical Structures), Global Interdependence (Cycles), Energy Transformations, Cell Chemistry/Bio Tech, Genetics&Evolution  10 tasks ( 5 lab, 5 sts)  40 MC content, 20 mc skills, 5 writing open ended skills (15 pts each strand, 75 pts total)  CAPT Handbook (one Word document) at   2007 CAPT released items: 

47 What’s an Embedded Task?  2-3 part lab investigation, also involves inquiry, “fair test” and writing  Grade 3: Soggy Paper, Grade 4 Go With the Flow (Circuits), Grade 5 Catch It!  Grade 6 Dig In  Grade 7 Feel the Beat  Grade 8 Shipping and Sliding  Grade 9: Plastics, Acid Rain, Solar Cooker Labs PLUS STS: Plastics, Brownfield Sites, Energy Graphs  Grade 10:Apple Juice Enzyme,Yeast Populations Labs PLUS STS Bioengineered Food, Populations

48 Teaching for Science Success  HOTS in questioning, experimenting  Hands on, especially physical science, measuring, doing (not textbook based)  TIME spent investigating  Vocab word building along with investigations, not as stand alone  WRITING of explanations

49 ✴ Lesson Plans, Clear Objectives ✴ Standards: Inquiry, Concepts ✴ High level Questioning ✴ Lab/Hands On Activities at least Weekly instruction

50 ✴ Learning Cycle (Engage before Explain) ✴ Assess skills ! ✴ Nurture curiosity instruction

51 CONTACT  CONTACT  New Haven: 203-946-7933, 203-946-8664 (fax)  Bridgeport: Aresta Tompson:  Hartford: Sandra Inga  Stamford: Mona Hanna

52 ASSESSMENT AND SOURCES  CMT and CAPT Science Handbooks (CT)   CAPT Released Items:  CMT PRACTICE TESTS:  STUDENT GRADE 8,  TEACHER GRADE 8  CAPT PRACTICE:  DISTRICT ASSESSMENTS: New Haven: UN: Science, PW: Key http://www,,  NAEP QUESTION TOOL:  TIMMS RELEASED ITEMS:  State Tests Online: (MAST, NYS, Texas, Colorado recommended) State Tests Online:  AMSCO and other Test Prep Books (Prentice Hall includes CMT Science Explorer)

53 Guide to Writing Formative Assessment Multiple Choice for Science  misconcept.doc misconcept.doc   

54 Example Questions (open ended) Read about a group’s lab… then:  Is their conclusion valid? Why or why not?  How could they have improved? Design a better experiment  Read and interpret their graph, make a graph  Identify their independent, dependent variables, explain why.

55 Example Questions (open ended) Read some data/results from a graph or web site… then:  Interpret the graph  Judge the validity of the source  Use the results to form an opinion/make a science/society decision

56 SAMPLE QUESTIONS* * Downloaded from NAEP Questions Tool website:

57 Sample Multiple Choice Item (elementary) (Content – concept – Expected Performance B.3) A green tree frog lives in a forest. How does the frog's green color help it to survive? A) By helping the frog find other frogs B) By keeping the frog cool C) By making the frog hard to see when sitting on leaves D) By allowing the frog to make its own food

58 Sample Multiple Choice Item (elementary) (Inquiry – basic factual knowledge – Expected Performance BINQ.4) If you wanted to be able to look at the stars, the planets, and the moon more closely, what should you use? o Telescope o Periscope o Microscope o Magnifying glass

59 Sample Multiple Choice Item (middle school) (Content – application – Expected Performance C.23) To keep a heavy box sliding across a carpeted floor at constant speed, a continuous force must be applied to the box. This force mainly overcomes which of the following forces? A) Air resistance pressing against the box B) The weight of the box C) The frictional force exerted by the floor on the box D) The gravitational force exerted by the Earth on the box

60 Sample Multiple Choice Item (middle school) (Inquiry – Application – Expected Performance CINQ 3) What would be the best way for Pat to find out which plant food, “Quickgrow” or “Supergrow”, helps a certain type of houseplant grow the most? A) Put some Quickgrow on a plant in the living room, put some Supergrow on a plant of the same type in the bedroom, and see which one grows the most. B) Find out how much each kind of plant food costs, because the more expensive kind is probably better for growing plants. C) Put some Quickgrow on a few plants, put the same amount of Supergrow on a few other plants of the same type, put all the plants in the same place, and see which group of plants grows the most. D) Look at the advertisements for Quickgrow, look at the advertisements for Supergrow, and see which one says it helps plants grow the most.

61 About Constructed-Response Items  Responses scored as: 2 = complete 1 = partial 0 = inaccurate or off topic  Scored by testing contractor’s trained readers  Item-specific scoring rubrics  No penalty for incorrect spelling or mechanics  Range of acceptable answers  Responses should directly answer the question

62 Sample Written Response Item (elementary) (Content – concept – Expected Performance B.15) Explain how you could use wires, a battery and a bulb to see if an object conducts electricity. _______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ___________________________________

63 Sample Student Response Put the object in between the two clips so they ’ re touching, and if the bulb lights it is a conductor. Scoring Guide 2 - Complete Student response indicates that each item should be placed in the gap in the circuit/tester and attached to both clips. The bulb lights up if the item does conduct electricity. If the bulb does not light up, the item does not conduct electricity. 1 - Partial Student response indicates that the item should be attached to each clip or says the light bulb lights up if the item conducts electricity. 0 - Unsatisfactory/Incorrect Student response places item on circuit in a place other than between the clips, or description is too general, or student gives unrelated answer.

64 Sample Written Response Item (MS)* (Inquiry) Suppose that for a science project you wanted to find exactly how much the length of a shadow changes during the day. Describe both the materials and the procedures you would use to make these observations. *Adapted from NAEP Released Items

65 Student Responses- Complete* Scorer Comments: Student response provides an equipment list and all parts of an appropriate procedure. The stated time intervals imply both morning and afternoon observations. *Adapted from NAEP Released Items

66 Student Responses- Complete* Scorer Comments: Student response provides an equipment list and all parts of an appropriate procedure. The stated times specified imply that observations are made throughout the course of the day. *Adapted from NAEP Released Items

67 Student Responses- Partial* Scorer Comments: Student response provides only the measurement portion of the procedure correctly. Response is not credited for number of observations because the procedure lists only two observations. *Adapted from NAEP Released Items

68 Student Responses- Partial* Scorer Comments: Student response provides a general procedure without specifying what object casts the shadow or that the shadow needs to be measured. The response recognizes that the observations need to be made throughout the day. *Adapted from NAEP Released Items

69 Student Responses- Incorrect* Scorer Comments: Student response shows lack of understanding that the length of an object's shadow needs to be measured and, instead, attempts to gauge how much the Sun moves. *Adapted from NAEP Released Items

70 Student Responses- Incorrect* Scorer Comments: Student response shows lack of understanding that the length of an object's shadow needs to be measured, and provides an incoherent procedure. *Adapted from NAEP Released Items

71 Sample Written Response Item (middle school) (Inquiry – task related – C.INQ 4) Describe a general plan for a procedure that could be used to find out if there is a relationship between people’s heights and their pulse rates. Be sure to tell which variables should be kept the same. ___________________________________________ __________________________________________ ____________________________

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