Science Teaching Series

Internet Resources

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science

Task 2. PACT Planning Instruction and Assessment

Source: PACT Handbook - Science Teaching Event Candidate Handbook 2008-2009; Performance Assessment for Calfiornia Teachers

Planning Commentary

Write a commentary of 5-8 single-spaced pages (including prompts) that addresses the following prompts.  You can address each prompt separately, through a holistic essay, or a combination of both, as long as all prompts are addressed.  Note: We highly recommend using the titles and structure provided (numbers and bold text).
  1. Central Focus of the Learning Segment - What is the central focus of the learning segment?  Apart from being present in the school curriculum, student academic content standards, or ELD standards, why is the content of the learning segment important for your particular students to learn? (TPE 1)
  1. Theoretical Framework - Briefly describe the theoretical framework and/or research that inform your instructional design for developing your students’ knowledge and abilities in both science and academic language during the learning segment.
  1. Supporting Student Learning - How do key learning tasks in your plans build on each other to support student learning of science concepts, inquiry skills, and the development of related academic language?  How will students use the science concepts and inquiry skills to make sense of one or more real world phenomena?  Describe specific strategies that you will use to build student learning across the learning segment.  Reference the instructional materials you have included, as needed. (TPEs 1, 4, 9)
  1. Addressing student backgrounds, interests and needs - How do your choices of instructional strategies, materials, and the sequence of learning tasks reflect your students’ backgrounds, interests, and needs?  Be specific about how your knowledge of your students informed the lesson plans, such as the choice of text or materials used in lessons, how groups were formed or structured, using student learning or experiences (in or out of school) as a resource, or structuring new or deeper learning to take advantage of specific student strengths. (TPEs 4,6,7,8,9)
  1. Student Misconceptions - For this learning segment, identify students’ possible common sense understandings or misconceptions that contrast with accepted scientific understandings.  How will you detect and attempt to change these common sense understandings or misconceptions?
  1. Language Demands - What language demands of the learning and assessment tasks are likely to be challenging for your students at different levels of language development?  Explain how specific features of the learning and assessment tasks in your plan support students in meeting these language demands, building on what your students are currently able to do with language.  Be sure to set these support plans in the context of your long term goals for your students’ development of academic language. (TPE 7)
  1. Assessments - Explain how the collection of assessments from your plan allows you to evaluate your students’ learning of specific student standards/objectives.  (TPEs 2, 3)
  1. Teaching Strategies for specific needs - Describe any teaching strategies you have planned for your students who have identified educational needs (e.g., English learners, GATE students, students with IEPs).  Explain how these features of your learning and assessment tasks will provide students access to the curriculum and allow them to demonstrate their learning.  (TPEs 9. 12)