The Secondary Science Education Program

Important concepts to keep in mind while planning, instructing, and assessing students.


Task 1: Planning for Instruction (no more than 9 single-spaced pages, including the prompts)


1.      What is the Central Focus of the Lesson?

a.       Describe the central focus and purpose for the content you will teach in the learning segment.

b.      Given the central focus, describe how the standards and learning objectives within your learning segment address the use of science concepts and the ability to apply scientific practices through inquiry to develop evidenced-based explanations for a real-world phenomenon.

c.       Explain how your plans build on each other to help students understand relationships between scientific concepts, scientific practices, and the phenomenon in the learning segment.

2.      How Will Your Knowledge of Students to Inform Your Teaching?

a.       Prior learning, prerequisite skills, and understanding of the nature of science related to the central focus—What do students know, what can they do, and what are they learning to do?

b.      Personal/cultural/community assets related to the central focus—What do you know about hour students’ everyday experiences, cultural backgrounds and practices, and interests?

3.      How will you Support Students’ Science Learning?

a.       Explain how your understanding of your students’ prior learning and personal/cultural/community assets (from prompts 2a-b above) guided your choice or adaptation of learning tasks and materials.

b.      Describe and justify why your instructional strategies and planned supports are appropriate for the whole class, individuals, and groups of students with specific learning needs.

c.       Describe common preconceptions (based on prior learning and experiences) within your central focus and how you will identify and address them.

4.      How will you Support Science Development through the use of Language?

a.       Language Function. From the list below, choose one language function essential for student learning within your central focus:




Justify with evidence

b.      Identify a key learning task from your plans that provides students with opportunities to practice using the language function.  Identify the lesson in which the learning task occurs.  (Give the lesson/day and number.)

c.       Additional Language Demands. Given the language function and learning task identified above, describe the following associated language demands (written or oral) students need to understand and/or use:

·         Vocabulary and/or symbols

·         Plus at least one of the following

o   Syntax

o   Discourse

d.      Language Supports. Refer to your lesson plans and instructional materials as needed in your response to the prompts.

·   Describe the instructional supports (during and/or prior to the learning task) that help students understand and successfully use the language function and additional language demands identified in prompts 4a-c.

5.      What Methods Will You Employ to Monitor Student Learning?

a.       Describe how your planned formal and informal assessments will provide direct evidence of students’ understanding of science concepts and the phenomenon, the nature of science, and the application of scientific practices through inquiry throughout the learning segment.

b.      Explain how the design or adaptation of your planned assessments allows students with specific needs to demonstrate their learning.


Task 2: Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning (no more than 6 single-spaced           pages, including the prompts)


1.      Which lesson or lessons are shown in the video clips?  Identify the lesson(s) by lesson plan number.

2.      How Will You Foster a Positive Learning Environment?

a.       How did you demonstrate mutual respect for, rapport with, and responsiveness to students with varied needs and backgrounds, and challenge students to engage in learning?

b.      If relevant, describe what you did to ensure safety during the inquiry seen in the video clips.

3.      What Methods did You Employ to Engage Students in Learning?

a.       Explain how your instruction engaged students during scientific inquiry in using data and science concepts to construct an evidence-based explanation of a real world phenomenon during a scientific inquiry explaining how data and relevant science concepts support their claims.

b.      Describe how your instruction linked students’ prior learning and personal, cultural, and community assets with new learning.

4.      What Methods did You Use to Deepen Student Learning during Instruction?

a.       Explain how you elicited and built on student responses to promote thinking and develop understandings of science concepts, scientific practices and inquiry, and the phenomenon being investigated.

b.      Explain how you facilitated your students’ organization and analysis of data (i.e., differences in findings) during a scientific inquiry.

5.      How and Why Will You Analyze Your Teaching?

a.       What changes would you make to your instruction—for the whole class and/or for students who need greater support or challenge—to better support student learning of the central focus (e.g., missed opportunities)?

b.      Why do you think these changes would improve student learning?  Support your explanation with evidence of student learning and principles from theory and/or research.



Task 3: Assessing Student Learning (no more than 10 single-spaced pages, including the prompts)


1.      How Will You Analyze Student Learning?

a.       Identify the specific standards/objectives measured by the assessment you chose for analysis

b.      Provide the evaluation criteria you used to analyze student learning.

c.       Provide a graphic (table or chart) or narrative that summarizes student learning for your whole class.  Be sure to summarize student learning for all evaluation criteria described above.

d.      Use evidence found in the 3 student work samples and the whole class summary to analyze the patterns of learning for the whole class and differences for groups or individual learners relative to

·   Conceptual understanding

·   Use of scientific practices during inquiry

·   Evidence-based argument about a scientific phenomenon

2.      What Feedback Will You Provide to Guide Further Learning?

a.       In what form did you submit your evidence of feedback for the 3 focus students?

·   Written directly on work samples or in a separate document

·   In audio files; or

·   In a video clip from the instruction task (provide a time-stamp reference) or in a separate video clip

b.      Explain how feedback provided to the 3 focus students addressed their individual strengths and needs relative to the standards/objectives measured.

c.       How will you support students to apply the feedback to guide improvement, either within the learning segment or at a later time?

3.      What Evidence From the Lesson Can You Supply to Demonstrate the Students’ Understanding and of Use Academic Language?

·         Explain and provide evidence for the extent to which your students were able to use or struggled to use language (selected function, vocabulary and/or symbols, and additional identified language demands from Task 1) to develop content understandings

4.      How Will You Use Assessment to Inform Instruction?

a.       Based on your analysis of student learning presented in prompts 1c-d, describe next steps for instruction

·   For the whole class

·   For the 3 focus students and other individuals/groups with specific needs

b.      Explain how these next steps follow from your analysis of student learning.  Support your explanation with principles form research and/or theory.