1. UNIT CONTEXT
Subject Area: Biochemistry
Grade Level: 9th
Length of Unit: The unit will last for 1 week, which includes 5 class days, or a total of 315 minutes. Each week is composed of three, 45-minute sessions, and two, 90-minute block days.
2. FACTS ABOUT THE LEARNERS
Whole Class Information
· Number of students in class: 35
· Demographic Information: 50% of the students in the class are from Mexico. 27 are male, and 7 are female. 6 are ELL students. 4 students have IEPs or 504s.
· Developmental Needs:
Readiness: My classes are composed with freshmen. Most of them don’t like biology, as evidenced by an informal poll on the first day of class. They dislike reading, and, as a result, rarely read outside of homework assignments. Therefore, they have difficulty with reading comprehension and writing using academic English. They must learn to communicate orally, and in writing new concepts and vocabulary related to biological concepts, which may seem foreign and complex. The entire class benefits from support and scaffolding strategies to help learn new concepts, vocabulary, and academic language. The class loves opportunities to socialize and work in groups whenever possible; however, they need guidance when working on projects to stay focused and on task. The students have a lot of energy and love opportunities that get them moving or using their hands.
Learning Profile: They are very kinesthetic learners. The class loves to socialize and prefers to work in groups, doing labs, creating posters, or other hands-on activities. Many of them also love to engage in class or group discussion. In addition, based on a survey at the beginning of the year, most of my students say they learn best through visual aids, like illustrations, figures, models, or pictures. Some say they like color-coordinated notes, supplemental handouts, or graphic organizers. Many say they learn best through direct instruction, where I present content in conjunction with a visual PowerPoint presentation.
Interests:The students are very social and are also interested in members of the opposite sex. Many of them are involved in school clubs, academic success programs (to help students get into college), school sports (water polo, football, tennis, and volleyball), and other school programs (band). Most students enjoy video games, music, and movies. They love listening to music as they work, although they are not allowed to in our class.
Affective-Management Strategies: Because the students learn most by hands-on activities and group interactions, I design the lessons to be engaging and kinesthetic to keep the students interested. New content is always paired with either a group lab, poster, creating a 3D model, or some other hands-on activity. Classes are designed so that 65% of the time, students are engaged with the learning, and less than 35% of classtime is spent directly teaching new content via PowerPoint presentations. When presenting new content, I always spend time making connections between the real-world and student backgrounds to make the content interesting and help students understand the relevance to the material being taught. I use class discussion a lot to monopolize on using the fact that students enjoy socializing as a way to teach them how to engage with each other in a more, formal setting, using academic language.
Classroom Learning Environment: Students are arranged in groups of 4, according to their assigned lab group. Groups are changed every grading period (6 weeks) so students have many opportunities to work with lots of different students. Groups are arranged heterogeneously based on student grades and temperaments to maximize peer-tutoring. Students are often given activities where they must collaborate in their groups so the seating arrangement makes it easier for students to engage with each other. Students have an area to work on classwork, have class discussions, listen to the teacher and take notes. Students also have lab benches at the perimeter of the room where they can work on labs, posters, and bigger projects in their groups. There are several posters around the room to illustrate different biological concepts, such as: the organelles within a cell, photosynthesis, and cell respiration. In addition, the vocabulary for each unit is posted on a word wall for the entire class to see. Posters and the word wall are uncovered during tests and students are allowed to glance at them for support.
Individual Student Information and Differentiation Strategies
· 2 English Language Learners:
o Josh is literate in Spanish and receives mostly Bs and Cs in school. His CELDT scores indicate he is at the “Early Advanced” level, and he is an ELL student.
1.) Readiness Level: Josh’s current grade is a B- (80%). He has been diligently doing classwork and attending class but scoring poorly on tests and quizzes. He is outgoing and participates well orally and in class discussions. However, Josh does not read much outside of school and needs to improve his academic writing skills, as evidenced by his classwork.
2.) Learning Profile: Josh tends to get distracted easily and prefers socializing to focusing on academics. Josh is very proficient in speaking skills and participates well in groups and in class discussions. He learns best through group projects, labs, posters, and hands-on activities.
3.) Interests: Josh loves socializing, video games, entertainment, and social media.
Differentiation Strategies for Josh:
1.) Content (curriculum materials):Josh is provided with graphic organizers and handouts to supplement the PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoints are available on-line for Josh to access again later.
2.) Process (student activities): Students are provided with a handout to supplement the oral instructions given by the teacher at the beginning of the activity. Students work in small groups (peer tutoring). Teacher also circulates as Josh works with his group for individual assistance.
3.) Product (assessment): Josh and the class will be provided with a rubric to guide creation of poster or other hands-on activities. Assessments will be mainly projects, labs, and group projects to engage Josh and allow him to demonstrate the depth of his understanding. Josh will also be given small, frequent writing assignments to help improve his writing skills.
4.) Affect: Teacher will provide written and oral feedback to help Josh improve his academic writing skills. The classes have been designed to capture Josh’s attention by relating new content to student’s background and real-life situations to make content interesting. In addition, the amount of time presenting new content is broken up (chunking) so that Josh isn’t required to sit still and pay attention for long periods of time, something Josh has a very hard time doing. Instead, Josh spends much of classtime working in groups or engaged with hands-on labs or projects.
5.) Learning Environment: Josh is seated in a group of focused, attentive students who will provide peer-tutoring and be good models for Josh. They are not likely to distract him from paying attention to teacher presentations, which Josh can find challenging. Also, Josh is seated near the front of the room, where the teacher can give him extra attention, if needed.
6.) Progress Monitoring Assessment: Josh needs to develop his written academic language while simultaneously mastering the biology standards. I would use small, frequent writing assessments to help Josh progress towards both academic language and specific content learning goals. Such writing assessments would include: quick-writes and summaries, journal responses, essays, research reports, and lab reports. Josh would be provided with models to guide his responses at the beginning of the year, graduating to less and less support at Josh progressed. He would also be provided with a rubric to communicate teacher expectations and a template to scaffold the writing response. This is the best way to integrate learning new content with improving writing skills.
7.) Next Steps to Facilitate Learning: After Josh began to improve his writing skills, I would take away the model writing samples, and eventually the template graphic organizer, requiring that Josh become increasingly independent and creative in the writing process. I would guide him in learning the writing process through direct instruction of techniques, such as, brainstorming, note-taking, researching, referencing sources, and outlining. Finally, to pique Josh’s interest in both reading and biology, I would expose him to many different types of science-related reading pieces. They would be short pieces on cutting-edge biology topics in the news, as well as a longer, biology-related novel. He would be required to write a book report and present it to the class. I would also have the students and Josh keep a biology blog with regular, required postings. My goal would be to motivate Josh to read and write more on his own outside of class.
o David is literate in Spanish and receives mostly Ds and Fs in school. His CELDT scores indicate he is at the “Intermediate”level, and he is an ELL student. David is very polite but shy in class, and his father has said David is having a hard time adjusting to high school. His father thinks David spends too much time socializing with friends and not enough time studying. David and his father have signed a “Mandatory Lunchtime Tutoring” contract with me, requiring David to receive extra assistance from me for 30 minutes at lunch, three time a week.
1.) Readiness Level: David’s current grade is a D- (60%). David is very polite and works hard in class but is very quiet and does not seem to grasp new concepts. David is very reluctant to ask for assistance when he doesn’t understand and does not speak up in class when he has a question. He needs to build confidence in oral speaking in class discussions. David is involved in AVID, an academic success group to help prepare students for college and receives tutoring through this class.
2.) Learning Profile: David learns best in pairs or small groups. He is much less afraid of asking for help from a neighbor. He learns best through direct instruction from the teacher, particularly when in conjunction with a visual aid, such as a diagram, picture, or model.
3.) Interests: David loves to play sports, although he is not involved in any organized school sports. He loves to socialize and hang out with his friends. His favorite food is Mexican. He does not read outside of class.
Differentiation Strategies for David:
1.) Content: David is arranged into a group of 4, with carefully selected peers who can offer David peer-tutoring. These students are proficient in the English language, receiving a “B” or higher in the class and are supportive to their peers and work well in groups. Therefore, David can receive help from his neighbors with note-taking, in case the content is being presented too quickly. David is taught to take Cornell notes, using a graphic organizer format, with three-questions in the margins, notes on the right, and a summary at the bottom of the page. I also pause to ask for questions, look around the room, and make sure everyone has stopped writing to ensure everyone is ready before advancing a slide. Finally, I also embed questions into the lecture, every 2-3 slides, randomly calling on 3 students to respond every question. This engages students, and “keeps them on their toes”, in order to motivate them to stay focused on the new content.
New words are put up on a“Word Wall” alongside each unit to help David, other ELL students, as well as the rest of the class, learn new vocabulary. David is also provided with graphic organizers and handouts to supplement the PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoints are available on-line for David to access again later.
2.) Process: David is arranged into a group of 4, with carefully selected peers who can offer David peer-tutoring. Each lesson is integrated with a hands-on activity so that David can interact with the content in different ways: auditory (lecture), visual (handouts), and kinesthetic (hands-on manipulatives). I circulate as David works on assignments, activities, and group labs and projects to give David individual assistance, answer questions, and check for understanding. I also provide David and the rest of the class handouts and graphic organizers that accompany each assignment, project, or lab.
3.) Product (assessment): David and the class will be provided with a rubric to guide creation of posters, oral presentations, or other hands-on activities. Assessments will be mainly projects, labs, and group projects to engage David and allow him to demonstrate the depth of his understanding. David will also be given small, frequent oral assignments (informal and formal) to help improve his oral speaking skills and build confidence speaking to his peers. I also circulate and check David’s notebook periodically to ensure his notes are accurate and complete. This is when I give him feedback on definitions of new vocabulary words, something David struggles with. I also give David oral and written feedback (on a rubric, provided—see Process) following his oral presentations.
4.) Affect: Teacher will provide written and oral feedback to help David improve his academic English and oral presentation skills. The classes have been designed to teach David new content in several different ways. For instance, new content is related to student backgrounds and real-life situations to make content interesting and easier for David to understand. In addition, new content is presented in small pieces (chunking) so David has more time to process and integrate the new learning before moving ahead. Instead, David spends much of classtime solidifying his understanding of new concepts by working in groups or engaged with hands-on labs or projects.
5. ) Learning Environment: David is seated in a group of high-achieving, English-speaking and more advanced ELL students, who can provide peer-tutoring for David. They are happy to explain things to David and let him copy their notes, if needed.
6. ) Progress Monitoring Assessment: David needs to develop his confidence in oral use of academic language while simultaneously mastering the biology standards. I would use small, frequent oral assessments to help David progress towards both academic language and specific content learning goals. Such oral assessments would be both informal and formal, including: call-and-response, participation in class discussions (formal and informal—both communicated to students with a rubric), group presentations of posters/projects, and individual presentations.
7.) Next Steps to Facilitate Learning: I would support David in building confidence in his oral speaking skills. First, I would create a low-risk environment with lots of incentives for David to participate in class discussions. For instance, students would receive raffle tickets for voluntarily participating, which could be chosen in a weekly drawing for a prize, like extra credit or a bathroom pass. I would also communicate my expectations for David by going over the rubric for oral presentations with the class and individually, if needed. David would also be supported by a group of friendly, supportive peers who can act as peer tutors while simultaneously providing David with models of how to successfully present ideas aloud to the class.
· 2 Students with Special Education Needs (both have IEPs):
o Ashley has an IEP that indicates she has a specific learning disability that interferes with reading comprehension and memory retention. Ashley is social and outgoing and participates well in class.
1.) Readiness Level: Ashley’s current grade is a C- (72%). Her grade has dropped 1 letter grade since the last grading period. Her classwork grade is high (87%) but her test grades are low (61%). Ashley is going through a difficult time at home due to her parent’s divorce and tension between her mother and brothers. Ashley is involved with AVID, an academic success class that provides extra tutoring, study, and test-taking skills.
2.) Learning Profile: Ashley learns best with oral explanation in simple, step-by-step terms, accompanied with visual illustrations and figures. She also learns best by hands-on activities and creating posters but has a hard time making connections between the labs and biology concepts. Ashley excels in inter-personal skills and is good at working in groups. Ashley has a very dry, sarcastic sense of humor and likes to entertain classmates with her frequent humorous remarks.
3.) Interests: Ashley loves humor and being funny. She also enjoys singing and dance. She excels in art and is talented at creating figures, illustrations, or drawings.
Differentiation Strategies for Ashley:
1.) Content (curriculum materials):I will provide Ashley with graphic organizers and handouts to help support new material. She also will be taught and expected to take Cornell notes when learning new content, which I provide feedback on periodically.
2.) Process (student activities): Ashley has been arranged in a group of 3 other peers from who she can learn from. They are both peer tutors and models for Ashley since they have supportive attitudes and are earning B’s or higher in the class. During activities, Ashley and the group is supported with a handout in addition to my oral instructions. I circulate as students work to provide individual assistance and give feedback, as needed.
3.) Product (assessment): I will assess Ashley in several different ways so she has many opportunities to demonstrate her knowledge. These assessments will be supported with a rubric (when appropriate) and include: quick-writes, journal entries, lab reports, class participation, oral presentations, and multiple-choice quizzes. In addition, some assessments will be informal and low-risk to provide Ashley with confidence and useful feedback.
4.) Affect: Ashley is grouped heterogenously with peers who can support her. Most of the classwork is arranged in groups so Ashley can feel comfortable, build her confidence and work in the setting she enjoys most.
5.) Learning Environment: Ashley is arranged in a group she can learn from. Most of the class activities are done in groups. Ashley enjoys socializing and will likely gravitate towards the activities in class if they are done using the group activity format.
6.) Progress monitoring assessment: Ashley would be assessed in several different ways in order to give her many opportunities to demonstrate her understanding of new content. Some assessments would be low-risk to give Ashley feedback, give her confidence, and build her memory retention skills. For instance, I would orally but informally quiz her on knowledge of new vocabulary definitions. Other assessments would include posters, written lab reports, quick-writes, and oral presentations. I would also include graphic illustrations, such as figures, models, and diagrams, as assessments, particularly since this is one of Ashley’s strengths, allowing me to best evaluate if Ashley truly understands the new concepts.
7.) Next steps to facilitate this student’s learning: I would also assess Ashley through small, frequent writing assignments, especially since Ashley needs support in developing her written use of academic language. She also needs support in memory retention. Therefore, she is presented with new content in small pieces (chunking) in several different ways (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic), all which increases the likelihood that Ashley will achieve a long-lasting, in-depth understanding of new concepts.
o Tony is a hard-working student, struggling to transition to the increased academic demands of 9th grade. He has been diagnosed with autism and is supported by an IEP. He spends 2-3 hours a day in Special Education classes designed to support Tony in his other classes. His mild disability affects his cognitive and social skills. Tony’s previous grades and CST scores indicate he struggles more with math and science than reading, English, and Social Science.
1.) Readiness Level: Tony’s current grade is a C+ (78%). Tony works very hard in class but has a difficult time understanding concepts. He is also socially awkward and tends to get picked on by other students outside of class. He gets frustrated easily and is reluctant to seek out assistance outside of class (even though I have asked Tony to come for extra tutoring during lunch).
2.) Learning Profile: Tony learns best when presented with material both through auditory and visual formats. Tony needs to be supported with handouts like graphic organizers, and he benefits from frequent guidance and feedback from the teacher as he works.
3.) Interests: Tony loves star wars, history, video games, and movies about comic book heroes.
Differentiation Strategies for Tony:
1.) Content: Tony is arranged in a group of 4. His peers have been selected based on their good grades and compassionate nature; they are very supportive of Tony and willing to offer him peer tutoring by letting Tony look at their notes and receive assistance. I pause to ask for questions to ensure Tony and the class is ready before I advance a slide. I call on Tony periodically (who volunteers quite frequently) who often has the correct answer, but needs a little more time to articulate his response. I make sure to give Tony lots of encouragement and verbal praise after bravely sharing with the class.
2.) Process: Tony is arranged in a group of 4 with carefully selected peers. I circulate as Tony works on problems, group projects, and labs to offer individual assistance. Finally, I check for understanding frequently through oral Q&A with Tony. Tony also has frequent opportunities to hear other students’ responses since I call on students often in class. This is also a convenient way for me to quickly, yet informally check for understanding.
3.) Product: Tony sees me for assistance regularly during lunch to make sure he is completing his work correctly, review content, and clarify questions. I also circulate and check student notebooks periodically to make sure the notes are being taken correctly and content written is accurate. During the quiz, Tony may ask me to read a question orally, or ask me for a definition of a non-vocab word that they don’t know (e.g. “abundance”). Tony may have extra time on tests, or work in a quiet room in the back upon request.
4.) Affect: Tony will be arranged in a supportive group that can give him many peer tutoring opportunities. He will be given lots of positive reinforcement and feedback to boost his confidence and guide his learning.
5.) Learning Environment: Tony will be arranged in a group of high-achieving, supportive peers that he can learn from. The class environment will be warm and supportive so Tony will feel comfortable and more likely to participate in class discussions.
6.) Progress Monitoring: I would give Tony frequent, low-risk progress monitoring assessments to give Tony lots of feedback. This would also help increase his confidence as he learns from his mistakes.
7.) Next Steps: My goal is for Tony to realize that he is not “bad” at science but learn to be successful instead by building his confidence and lowering his anxiety. Tony can learn strategies to help him remember new biological concepts through direct instruction of study and learning tips.
· 1 Student of your choice:
o Alyssa is very polite in class and works well in groups but has a low grade due to several missed absences. Her mother told me Alyssa is suffering from anxiety and depression due to the divorce of her parents and relocation from Hawaii to San Diego. Alyssa does not have an IEP, although I am recommending her for an SST.
1.) Readiness Level: Alyssa’s current grade has dropped to a D (63%), which is about 1 letter grade lower than the first grading period. She has failed to make-up any of the work she has missed despite a phone call home, low grade on her progress report, and one-on-one talk.
2.) Learning Profile: Alyssa is very social and learns best in groups with hands-on activities. She is also very artistic and excels in creation of visual posters, diagrams, and models.
3.) Interests: Alyssa enjoys surfing, music, and socializing.
Differentiation Strategy for Alyssa:
1.) Content (curriculum materials): Alyssa is arranged in a group of 4 with peers who can give her support. She is also provided with a handout that includes diagrams.
2.) Process (student activities): Alyssa gets several opportunities for peer-tutoring within her group as she works collaboratively on labs, hands-on activities, posters, and projects.
3.) Product (assessment): Alyssa will be assessed in several ways, including low-risk, informal assessments to give her immediate feedback and boost her confidence, as well as more dificult, higher-risk assessments (lab reports, oral presentations, etc.) to challenge Alyssa to the next level of learning.
4.) Affect: Alyssa will be involved in many group activities, which she will enjoy since she loves socializing. She will have many peer-tutoring opportunities.
5.) Learning Environment: Alyssa will be arranged in a group of high-achieving, academically focused peers that she will be able to learn from. She will enjoy the classwork and lessons since they are student-centered, hands-on, and often require creativity, such as figures and diagrams, which Alyssa excels at.
6.) Progress Monitoring: I would use lots of one-on-one, informal feedback to help guide Alyssa, boost her confidence, and keep her on track.
7.) Next Steps: After boosting her confidence, I would slowly remove the supports and gradually increase the difficulty of assignments until Alyssa was learning independently. I would increase her self-awareness by engaging her in the learning process, teaching her the learning goals, and practicing metacognitive skills, such as reflection and editing.
2. Unit Rationale:
In order for students to understand more advanced concepts of biology, students must understand that all material in the universe is made of atoms, including living things. This unit focuses on teaching students the basic concepts of chemistry, and why chemistry is important in understanding life and how life exists on this planet. Chemistry can be an overwhelming and intimidating subject for many students. By connecting the material to students and helping them understand that all living things, including themselves, are made up of atoms, water, and carbon-based macromolecules, students will have an easier time relating to the main concepts of this unit. In addition, new content is chunked into smaller pieces, allowing each lesson to incorporate student-centered learning, such as labs, group projects, posters, and other hands-on activities. This allows students to engage with the material in several different ways as well as increasing the likelihood of sparking interest within the class.
Enduring Understandings (EU)
This unit begins with a basic overview of chemistry, atoms, and matter. Students understand that protons, neutrons, and electrons are subatomic particles that make up atoms. Students will also know that atoms of different elements make-up larger molecules and compounds. Next, students learn about why water’s unique properties (polarity, adhesion, cohesion, etc.) make life on Earth possible. Then, students learn about how certain substances dissolved in water create acids and bases. Students will understand what acidic, basic, and neutral solutions are. Students will understand how pH is related to hydrogen and hydroxide ion concentrations. Students also learn how the four, carbon-based macromolecules (lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and proteins) make up living things, including the cells in their bodies. By learning about the content of the foods they eat, they can learn to consume healthier foods with complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and unsaturated lipids. Finally, students learn about a certain class of proteins, enzymes, and how they catalyze biological reactions to carry out almost every chemical reaction known to support cellular life.
· What are atoms and how can they make up all things on Earth, including living and non-living things?
· How do the properties of water help support life?
· Why are NASA scientists so excited about the discovery of water on Mars?
· What is the relationship between hydrogen ions and an acidic and basic solution?
· How do antacids work to neutralize the acid in our stomachs?
· How do the different macromolecules support living functions in our cells?
· How do the different macromolecules make up the basic components of our cells?
· What is the relationship to our health, our diets, and macromolecules?
· How is the connection between monomers and polymers like the analogy of bricks building a house?
· How do enzymes work and why are they important for life?
· How do enzymes work specifically on individual substrates?
Reason for the Instructional Strategies & Student Activities:
My class is composed of freshmen, who dislike biology, in general (as evidenced by an informal poll on the first day of class). In addition, they read very little on their own, outside of class. They have difficulty paying attention and focusing in class during lectures and oral presentations. They love socializing and enjoy hands-on activities and kinesthetic projects as their favorite way to learn. Therefore, lessons are designed around mostly student-centered projects. First, small bits of new content are presented in short, interesting and interactive formats, along with visual aids (PowerPoint). For the next 1.5 classes, students are involved with a hands-on, group project, such as a lab, poster, 3D model, or other activity. This engages students, maintains their interest, and presents the content in several different formats, making it more likely that the class will have an in-depth understanding of new concepts.
b.Students know that enzymes are proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions without altering the reaction equilibrium and the activities of enzymes depend on the temperature, ionic conditions, and the pH of the surroundings.
h.Students know most macromolecules (polysaccharides, nucleic acids proteins, lipids) in cells and organisms are synthesized from a small collection of simple precursors. (State Board of Education, 2002).
11. “Investigation and Experimentation: Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the concept in the other four strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations.”
d. Formulate explanations by using logic and evidence.
g. Recognize the usefulness and limitations of models and theories as scientific representations of reality.(State Board of Education, 2002)
· Listening& Speaking: 7(EA): Respond to messages by asking questions, challenging statements, or offering examples that affirm the message.
· Reading Fluency & Systematic Vocab Development: 6 (A): Use a dictionary: Use a standard dictionary to determine the meaning of unknown words.
· Listening& Speaking (Cluster 9; EA): Prepare and deliver brief oral presentations on a problem and solution, or cause and effect.
4. UNIT OBJECTIVES
(according to day):
1. (Cognitive, Biology 1.b.) After being presented with content on atoms, elements, compounds, and molecules, students will be able to identify the three subatomic particles found in atoms. Students will be able to explain what chemical compounds are.
2. (Cognitive/ Psychomotor, Biology 1.b.). After being presented with content on water and doing “Drops on a Penny” lab, students will be able to explain why water molecules are polar, list the properties of water, and differentiate between solutions and suspensions.
3. (Cognitive/Psychomotor, Biology 1.b.). After being presented with content on pH, acids and bases, and doing a pH lab, students will be able to, explain what acidic and basic solutions are, explain what pH measures, and compare acidic and basic solutions in terms of their hydrogen and hydroxide ion concentrations.
4. (Cognitive, Biology 1.h.). After being presented with content on macromolecules and completing a graphic organizer, students will be able to list what each organic compound is made of and describe the function of each organic compound.
5. (Cognitive/Psychomotor, Biology 1.b.). After being presented with content on enzymes and doing an enzyme simulation lab, students will be able to explain the function of enzymes.
5. ASSESSMENT PLAN
(according to the day):
Entry—After watching a short video about atoms, students will be assessed on their understanding by sharing their quick-writes from their journals (informal, assess concepts).
Formative—The teacher will check for understanding periodically by including questions on slides embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. Students will quick-write in response to these questions (informal, assess concepts).
Summative—Students will have to answer 3 questions at the end of class as their “exit ticket”. 3 students will be called on randomly to answer questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes (informal, assess concepts). These are the questions we expect them to be able to answer:
- What are the 3 particles that atoms are made of?
- How many basic elements are there?
- What are 3 uses for atomic energy?
Entry—The teacher will check for understanding by calling on three students to share their summaries of their notes on atoms from Day 1’s lesson (informal, assess concepts).
Formative—The teacher will check for understanding periodically by including questions on slides embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. Students will do a quick-write in response to these questions, followed by 3 randomly-chosen students to share with the class (informal, assess concepts). In addition, the exit ticket will include calling on students at random to answer their questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes (formal, assess concepts):
- Explain the difference between mixtures, solutions and suspensions.
- What is a solvent and a solute?
- Explain the difference between adhesion and cohesion.
- Why is a water molecule considered “polar”?
Summative—In addition to the exit ticket (see above), students will complete a lab on “The Properties of Water”and write their responses to the questions on the lab handout (formal, assess concepts and skills). Answers will be shared with the class.
Entry—Students will be called on randomly to share their summaries from their notes on water from Day 2’s lesson (informal, assess concepts).
Formative—The teacher will check for understanding periodically by including questions on slides embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. Students will “think-quick-write-share” in response to these questions. In addition, the exit ticket will include calling on students at random to answer questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes, such as (informal, assess concepts):
a. What is the difference between acidic and basic solutions?
b. What does pH measure?
c. Describe the hydrogen ion concentration of an acidic and a basic solution.
d. Do the same for hydroxide ion concentration.
Summative—Students will complete a scaffolded lab report on “Acids and Bases” where they will test the pH of several, common household items. They will also write a one-paragraph explanation of an experiment they would design to test the quality of drinking water from an unknown source (formal, assess concepts and skills).
Entry—Students will be called on randomly to share their summaries from their notes on acids and bases from Day 3’s lesson (informal, assess concepts).
Formative—The teacher will check for understanding by including questions on slides embedded at the end of the PowerPoint presentation. Students will do a quick write in their notes. Three will be randomly asked to share their answers. In addition, the exit ticket will include calling on students at random to answer questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes (informal, assess concepts).
- What is the relationship between monomers and polymers?
- What is the monomer for carbohydrates?
- What is the monomer for proteins?
Summative—Students will complete graphic organizer on the four different macromolecules, which will be graded individually to check for understanding. Students will also complete a one-paragraph summary explaining how monomers and polymers are like bricks and a house (formal, assess concepts).
Entry—Students will be called on randomly to share their summaries on enzymes from Day 4’s lesson (informal, assess concepts).
Formative—The teacher will check for understanding periodically by including questions on slides embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. Students will “think-pair-share” in response to these questions (informal, assess concepts).
The exit ticket will include calling on students at random to answer questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes (formal, assess concepts).
- What does catalyze mean?
- What is the difference between enzymes?
- What does substrate mean?
- What is activation energy?
- How doe enzymes speed up reactions?
- What does denature mean? Why is it bad?
1. What are the monomers for lipids?
2. What are the monomers and polymers for proteins?
3. What are some functions of proteins?
1. What is a substrate?
2. Draw the toothpickase reaction.
3. What do enzymes do?
Summative—Students will complete a lab (“Toothpickase”), which will be peer graded as I review the answers in class (formal, assess concepts and skills). Students will also take a Unit 2 test on the Chemistry of Biology at the beginning of next week to assess whether they have learned the key points of this unit (formal, assess concepts, knowledge). Students will self-assess their spiral notebooks on Unit 2 at this time as well, based on a rubric I discussed with the class at the beginning of the year.
6. STEPS OF INSTRUCTION
Day 1: The Atom
Students will be presented with content about the atom, using a cartoon format. In today’s digital age, students enjoy content presented in a video format because it’s what they watch the most in their free time. In addition, students will learn some fascinating facts about atoms that they probably didn’t know before and learn that atoms are the smallest unit of matter, which makes up everything, including rocks, myself and the students.
After being presented with content on atoms, elements, compounds, and molecules, students will be able to identify the three subatomic particles found in atoms. Students will be able to explain what chemical compounds are.
Students will take Cornell notes during a PowerPoint presentation, periodically being asked to respond to “think-pair-shares” in response to questions embedded in the presentation. Students will also watch the video, “A is for Atom”.Following the video, they will answer questions on a worksheet about the video, and participate in a class discussion to check for understanding.
Closure/Beyond: Students will be prepared through direct instruction and visual aids that the next lesson will be on water, a unique molecule composed of 3 atoms. This will help bridge the concept of atoms to the next lesson.
Entry Level—Students have just completed test on Unit 1. Scores on that test are indicative of how well students have been learning content in class. By this point in time, they should be used to taking Cornell-style notes that encourages active listening. They also should be learning what kinds of study habits work (or don’t work).
Formative—The teacher will check for understanding periodically by including questions on slides embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. Students will quick-write in response to these questions.
Summative—Students will have to answer 3 questions at the end of class as their “exit ticket”. 3 students will be called on randomly to answer questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes.
Day 2: Properties of Water
Intro: Water is the most important compound on earth. In fact, the discovery of water on Mars 3 billion years ago has excited scientists to hypothesize that Mars once had a climate hospitable for life. Covering ¾ of the Earth’s surface, water’s unique properties is one of the key reasons life exists on Earth. Our bodies are composed of 95% water and have some unique properties that allow our metabolic, chemical, and other reactions important to support life to exist. For instance, water remains liquid at relatively high temperatures (compared to other compounds) and freezes at relatively low temperatures. Water is polar and also tends to stick to each other (cohesion) as well as certain surfaces (adhesion).
Objective:After being presented with content on water and doing a lab (“Drops on a Penny”), students will be able to understand and explain how the polarity, adhesive, and cohesive properties of water make it a unique molecule that helps support life on Earth.
Students take Cornell notes during PowerPoint presentation on water, periodically participating to questions embedded in the presentation, using a think-pair-share format. In addition, students will do “Drops on a Penny” lab to better understand the properties of water (hands-on, kinesthetic learning).
Closure/Beyond: Students will be prepped for the next lesson on Acids and Bases by being presented (1 slide) with introductory content at the end of the presentation on the properties of water. Water is related to acids and bases since salts dissolve in water to ionize and form acids/bases. This can be used to bridge the concept of water to the next lesson on acids and bases.
Entry Level—Students will be introduced to Unit 2: The Chemistry of Biology, the day before. Students will begin by sharing their written summaries (composed during the Warm-Up) of yesterday’s notes on atoms. Teacher will check for understanding by calling on 3 students randomly, who will each read their answer from their notes.
Formative—The teacher will check for understanding periodically by including questions on slides embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. Students will do a quick-write in response to these questions, followed by 3 randomly-chosen students to share with the class. In addition, the exit ticket will include calling on students at random to answer questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes.
Day 3: Acids & Bases
Intro: Students learned about water the day before. In addition, they learned about ant-acids dissolving in water last week, during the “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz” lab. We will connect that to teaching students about how antacids work to quench a stomach-ache. Students will learn that their stomach has a pH of 1, and, if it weren’t for the mucosal lining of our GI tract, we would have huge holes in our stomach linings. In fact, people who suffer from that have “ulcers”. Connecting acids and bases to our human bodies makes the content interesting to students because it’s relevant to their bodies.
Objective: After being presented on content about acids and bases and doing a lab, students will be able to:
· Explain what acidic and basic solutions are.
· Explain what pH measures.
· Compare acidic and basic solutions in terms of their hydrogen and hydroxide ion concentrations.
Students will take Cornell notes to help learn new content presented by the teacher using a PowerPoint format. Students will be asked to think-pair-share in response to questions embedded in the presentation. Students will do an “Acids and Bases” lab activity and complete a lab report to explain their findings.
Closure/Beyond: Students will be prepared for the next lesson on organic macromolecules by being presented with a“foreshadowing” slide at the end of the presentation on acids and bases. This slide will not only tell students what Day 4’s lesson will be but also remind students that macromolecules and water are both molecules, composed of atoms, which brings students back to the Day 1’s lesson.
Entry Level—Students will start with a warm-up activity by summarizing their notes on water from the day before. The teacher will check for understanding by calling on three students to share their summaries.
Formative—The teacher will check for understanding periodically by including questions on slides embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. Students will “think-quick-write-share” in response to these questions. In addition, the exit ticket will include calling on students at random to answer questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes, such as:
a. What is the difference between acidic and basic solutions?
b. What does pH measure?
c. Describe the hydrogen ion concentration of an acidic and a basic solution.
d. Do the same for hydroxide ion concentration.
Summative—Students will complete a lab on Acids and Bases, which will be peer graded as I review the answers in class.
Day 4: Macromolecules.
They say, “You are What You Eat”. Turns-out, it’s really true. We are carbon-based organisms, made up of lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. Except for nucleic acids, we consume the other macromolecules in our food, both vegetarian and meat-based. When we don’t eat healthy foods or exercise properly, we develop obesity-related diseases, such as type II diabetes and heart disease. Obesity is a growing epidemic in the U.S. and is one of the major contributing factors to early death. By educating students about nutrition, macromolecules, and their function in our bodies, students will both learn about the role of macromolecules in biology and learn about healthy nutrition to promote general overall physical health.
Objective: After being presented with content on macromolecules, students will be able to list what each organic compound is made of and describe the function of each organic compound.
Students will take Cornell notes on new content about the four macromolecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids). Periodically, students will respond to questions embedded in the PowerPoint presentation by a quick-write/share. Students’ exit ticket will be a 1-paragraph explanation of how monomers and polymers are like bricks and houses.
Closure/Beyond:Students will be given a preview of the next day’s lesson on a “What’s to Come” slide at the end of the notes on macromolecules with an introduction to a specific type of macromolecule: enzymes.
Formative—The teacher will check for understanding by including questions on slides embedded at the end of the PowerPoint presentation. Students will do a quick write in their notes. Three will be randomly asked to share their answers. In addition, the exit ticket will include calling on students at random to answer questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes.
- What is the relationship between monomers and polymers?
- What is the monomer for carbohydrates?
- What is the monomer for proteins?
Summative—Students will submit a one-paragraph written summary explaining how the analogy, “bricks build houses”, helps explain how monomers build polymers.
Day 5: Enzymes.
Intro: Enzymes are needed to catalyze every reaction in our body. Without enzymes, our cells would not be able to carry out the chemical reactions needed to support life. Enzymes have the amazing ability to speed up chemical reactions over and over again without being changed or used up.
After being presented with content on enzymes and doing a lab that simulates how enzymes work, students will be able to explain the function of enzymes.
Students will take Cornell notes during a PowerPoint presentation on new content about enzymes. They will periodically respond in a “Think-Pair-Share” format to questions embedded in the PowerPoint. Then, students will be given a handout on the “Toothpickase” lab, which I will explain to the class. Students will work in their lab groups on the “Toothpickase” lab to understand how enzymes work.
Closure/Beyond:Students will review the concepts of the unit and how they relate to each other. Enzymes are a type of macromolecule (protein). Enzymes need to work in water at a neutral pH. Enzymes are composed of atoms. Therefore, enzymes are a perfect example that can be used to help students understand the connections between the lessons of this unit.
Formative—The teacher will check for understanding periodically by including questions on slides embedded in the PowerPoint presentation. Students will “think-pair-share” in response to these questions. Then, there will be a quick-write at the end of the presentation. The exit ticket will include calling on students at random to answer questions written in the margins of their Cornell-style notes.
1. What does catalyze mean?
2. What is the difference between enzymes?
3. What does substrate mean?
4. What is activation energy?
5. How doe enzymes speed up reactions?
6. What does denature mean? Why is it bad?
7. What are the monomers for lipids?
8. What are the monomers and polymers for proteins?
6. What are some functions of proteins?
4. What is a substrate?
5. Draw the toothpickase reaction.
6. What do enzymes do?
Summative—Students will complete a lab (“Toothpickase”), which will be peer graded as I review the answers in class. Students will also take a Unit 2 test on the Chemistry of Biology at the end of the week to assess whether they have learned the key points of this unit. Students will self-assess their writing responses and notes in their journals at this time, using a rubric, which I will grade afterwards to provide them with feedback.
Day 1: Atoms
· “A is for Atom” Video Worksheet
· Unit 2 Spiral Set-up Powerpoint
· “A is for Atom” Video
Day 2: The Properties of Water
· “Properties of Water” ppt
· Drops on a Penny Lab
Day 3: Acids and Bases
1. PowerPoint presentation, “pH”
2. Acids and bases lab
Day 4: Macromolecules
1. PowerPoint presentation, “Organic Chemistry”
2. Macromolecule Graphic Organizer
Day 5: Enzymes
1. PowerPoint presentation, “Enzymes”
3. Unit 3 Test
4. Spiral Notebook Rubric
The students learn the material best when being presented with the content repeatedly, using a variety of formats. They enjoyed the “Toothpickase” lab the most, especially because they got to use their hands to simulate the enzyme. The students loved sticking their hands in ice water for 60 seconds to help understand how cold temperatures inactivate enzyme function. The labs and hands-on activities are the students’ favorite way to learn. However, sometimes, students have trouble making connections between the concepts being taught and the lab projects they are doing. For instance, even though students tested the pH of several household products with litmus paper, they did not seem to draw the connections between pH, hydrogen ion concentration, and acidic and basic solutions. Perhaps a different lab or extra support is needed to modify this activity in the future. In addition, I wasn’t pleased with my research on activities and labs for macromolecules. I would like to develop a board game, poster, or food lab to help teach students about macromolecules in the future. Finally, sometimes the class needs to balance less energetic, individual work with group work because students can become overstimulated by their peers, lose their focus on learning, and become more interested in socializing.
9. RUBRIC WITH SELF-ASSESSMENT
UNIT RUBRIC 20 points
(Including the criteria for Approaching & Meets)
(Including the criteria for Approaching, Meets & Exceeds)
Describes the subject/content area, curse, grade level & …
& describes the length of unit, number of class periods and lengths of periods.
& describe where it fits within the year plan.
Provide information the whole class (demographics, readiness, interests, learning profile) …
& describe 5 individual students (2 ELL, 2 Special Ed and another student of your choice). Include the student’s name, label, grade level, culture, language, SES, family, affect, individual ed goals, readiness (reading, writing and subject area level), interests, & learning profile …
& include information about students’ affects and needs for their learning environment.
Describe the differentiation strategy(ies) for the 5 individual students…
& label the strategy (content, process or product) and the way it addresses the students identity and developmental needs (readiness, interest or learning profile)…
& provide how the strategy will be assessed for effectiveness and altered if needed.
Explain the importance of unit in the student’s big picture of learning & describes the enduring understandings- what student’s will know and be able to do at the end of the unit …
& articulate what essential questions you will use to frame the unit and an explanation of how the instruction and activities are appropriate for students developmental needs (readiness, interests & learning profile)…
& label the questions based on the Six Facets of Understanding from Wiggins & McTighe’s Understanding By Design.
Standards and Objectives
Both CA Content and ELD Standards are identified and each is addressed in an objective that contains a condition, verb, and criteria …
& each objective is labeled by the type (cognitive, affective, psychomotor or language) and number of the standard it addresses…
& identify which of the Six Facets of Understanding it is designed to address.
Provide an assessment for each objective and articulate type, formality, purpose, & implementation …
& provides a rubric ...
& provide description of how you will communicate expectations i.e. a self-assessment process or a sample of student work.
Provide an into, activity for unit …
& describe in detail the steps the teacher will take to implement the into lesson and any need materials (i.e. graphic organizer, ppt, model, rubric)…
& provide script for teacher and times for each activity.
Provide a unit calendar outlining what is addressed each day (objectives, standards, student activity and assessment) …
& each activity is student centered with multiple opportunities for the instructor to check for understanding…
& provide ELD Standard(s) and objective(s) specific to the language development.
Provide a beyond activity for unit …
& describe in detail the steps the teacher will take to implement the beyond activities and any need materials (i.e. graphic organizer, ppt, model, rubric)…
& provide script for teacher and times for each activity.
Lesson plan(s) and materials provided …
& 1 lesson meets all the components for the Single Subject Lesson Design Format including all the instructional materials …
& a full scripted lesson is provided for each day of the week.
Materials & Resources
Describe all the materials needed to implement the lesson/unit…
Provide all the materials and resources needed to teach the unit…
& provide assignment samples to model expectations.
Address all the reflection prompts about differentiation, strengths and limits of the lesson, & effectiveness of lesson …
& describe what you learned about yourself and your students…
& identify what you would keep in mind for the next lesson.
1 point will be deducted if not included
Provide a copy of the rubric with the unit plan…
& highlight the criteria for each component…
& provide hand written evidence for each criteria marked and identify what page for each item.