Understanding MO's New K-12 Science Learning Standards: Shifts toward 3-Dimensional Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
At the start of the 2016 summer the science department participated in a PD opportunity put on by a former director of science curriculum for the state of Missouri. The goal of the PD opportunity was to develop draft plans for transitioning to the new MO Science Learning Standards to take back to their district. This was perfect timing as our science department was getting ready to re-write curriculum using these standards for our classes.
The biggest takeaway I gained from this conference was aligning the new curriculum to more of my PBL units that I implemented this year. After this conference and before rewriting the curriculum I sat down with my wife, who is a nurse practitioner, and we came up with a couple scenarios that I could use for my biology and anatomy classes. The one that I am most proud of was a change in my Osmosis lab that we did this year. The new curriculum really changes the focus away from memorizing cell parts to understanding cell processes and how cells maintain homeostasis. While trying to move away from this we came up with a lab that is centered around a hospital IV bag scenario and the mistakes nurses could make. The students designed and set up a lab to test this scenario and apply the lab to the cellular processes within the body.
We have tried to center our new curriculum in this way as it very focused more on understanding processes rather than memorize facts. It aligns nicely with the district's initiative towards more PBL type lessons and really helped center all of these lessons around the standards.
Here is a link to an explanation of a PBL lesson:
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