Crosscutting Concepts and Scientific & Engineering Practices: One Teacher’s Method of Incorporating these in her Instruction

Today we would like to share bulletin boards from Mrs. Angela Gordon's classroom in Addison, IL, where she is in her 1st year of teaching IQWST to 6th graders at Indian Trail Junior High School. Angela came up with this idea to highlight Crosscutting Concepts and Science & Engineering Practices in a way that she says "has helped me make the shift to three-dimensional teaching." Here is what she does:

In the morning when I’m setting up a particular lesson for my sixth grade science students, I move the arrows to point to the concept and practice I am working on that day. When actually teaching the lesson, I point to the arrow sometime before, during, or after the lesson and verbally share with my students the concept and practice we are exploring that day. 

Angela board.png

She says that she has "noticed an improvement in [her] implementation" by using this strategy.  She provides this example of the boards in use:

When we conducted an experiment to answer the question, “Does Air have Mass?” we found the mass of a deflated basketball and compared that to the mass of the basketball once air was pumped in and the ball was inflated. During that lesson the arrows were pointing to the Cross Cutting Concept Matter and Energy and the arrows on the Scientific Practices section pointed to Asking Questions and Defining Problems along with Planning and Carrying out Investigations. The next day when we worked to make sense of the data we had collected, the scientific practice arrows moved to Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking and Analyzing and Interpreting Data. The third day, we answered the question “How could you convince someone who was absent today that air has mass?” and the Scientific Practice arrow moved to Engaging in Arguments from Evidence.

Angela says that as she continues using IQWST in “this exciting year in science,” she hopes that she will begin to teach in a 3-Dimensional manner "instinctively,” and that through this visual representation of two of the components, her students can "experience how scientists actually work to understand phenomena."