The Seven AP Science Practices: Practice Seven
Posted: Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
by Bethany Dixon
The College Board has released seven science practices that will be shared through the disciplines. (Note: these are not to be confused with the NGSS “Science and Engineering Practices” from the Framework for K-12 Science Education.) The new Advanced Placement Curriculum Framework for AP Biology began this year, with plans for revamping AP Chemistry (2013-2014) and AP Physics (2014-2015) on the horizon. The new frameworks give students a chance to hone their skills at the lab bench, which is crucial for their success with the new AP Science Examinations and the upcoming transition to NGSS. Here is the third installment of the seven practices overview, with use-them-now tips for your classroom. The first six science practices can be found in our February issue of eCCS, March issue of eCCS, and April issue of eCCS.
7. CONNECT AND RELATE knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations.
Connecting across scales and representations is frequently done in science classrooms by building concept maps and flow charts. As we reach the countdown to the AP Biology Exam (May 13th), review activities that include science practices work to build comprehension and help enhance student understanding of practices. The following are two strategies for implementing science practice seven in your classroom.
Practice seven asks students to make connections of scale, across disciplines, and within timeframes. One potential way to accomplish this is by dividing students into groups of four and giving each student a copy of the Big Idea Framework that contains the Essential Knowledge for each Big Idea. Have students cut out the Essential Knowledge and “play” a piece of knowledge by giving an illustrative example that pertains to their knowledge. The next student must link their card to the previous card, lay their piece of the framework on top of the one played, and explain how it connects and provide their own illustrative example. For instance, student one has Big Idea 1 and plays: 1.A.4: Biological evolution is supported by scientific evidence from many disciplines, including mathematics; they link it to the example of graphing allele frequencies in a population. The next student links graphing allele frequencies to Big Idea 4: The level of variation in a population affects population dynamics and gives the example of Wheat Rust, opening the game to the next player. The player who gets rid of their cards the fastest first, wins.
One of my biology teacher heroes, Paul Andersen, (Montana Teacher of the Year, YouTube Guru, and flip-teaching wizard, plays a game with his students based on “The Wiki Game,” to build connections within text. This can be another great strategy to achieve Science Parctice 7. Students read and race through Wikipedia articles with specific curriculum goals in mind, searching for connections and clicking on key words to link concepts together. As they read they keep track of their linking strategies and number of clicks to get from the beginning to the end of a teacher-created sequence. For example, students attempting to follow the path from Peppered Moth→Feedback→Cellulose→Himalayan Rabbit . Paul Andersen did it in 36 clicks, my trip took 34, but I admit that I used the “search” button and worked backwards at one time: see the “Dixon’s trip” included at the bottom of this article. Using this method, students travel from the first term to the second, for example linking a “Peppered Moth” article to an “Evolution” article by finding specific links within Wikipedia to carry them from one to the next, then to another, until they reach the final content item.
The goal is to reach Science Practice 7: Connect and relate knowledge across various scales, concepts, and representations. This practice is broken down into two parts: connecting phenomena and models across spatial and temporal scales, and connecting concepts in and across domain(s) to generalize or extrapolate in (and/or across) enduring understandings/big ideas. Wikipedia provides opportunities for both of these parts, but it’s important for students to keep track of their reasoning. As they click through the sequence, require your students to keep a separate page describing what they clicked and WHY it links to the next concept. Students are challenged to watch for citations at the bottom of each page. Wikipedia has come a long way in the last few years, and there are educational uses for it that include helping students to link content and to expand on their information. In my search I found myself reading up on alfalfa, (I didn’t know most varieties are tetraploid!), and polychlorinated dibenzodioxins – things I wouldn’t have linked with feedback loops initially. This illustrates the risk that students might become enthralled with the wealth of information and go off-task. Setting a time limit insures that students are on-task and not overwhelmed. Breaking each link into pairs or groups and challenging students to get from one to the other with the fewest clicks can also make the game move faster.
AP Connections via Wikipedia Practice #7: Dixon’s Trip:
Peppered Moth→Feedback→Cellulose→Himalayan Rabbit
Peppered Moth to Evolution to Carrying Capacity to Evolution to Metabolic Pathways to Circadian Rhythm to Hypothalamus to Oxytocin to Feedback Loop to Insulin Oscillations to Downregulation and Upregulation to Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins to Cytochrome P450 to Vitamin D to Alfalfa to Legumes to Cattle to Cellulose to Termites to Insects to Fly to Drosophilidae to Drosophila melanogaster to Phenotype to Thomas Hunt Morgan to Zoology to Classification to Evolutionary Taxonomy to Animal Kingdom to Mammals to Lagomorpha to Leporidae to European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) to Angora Rabbits to Himalayan Rabbit
AP Biology Wiki Game for Science Practice 7:
Except where otherwise noted, any player breaking these rules automatically forfeits the game.
DO NOT use the Wiki search box.
DO NOT use any of the links outside of the page’s contents. The contents of a page are demarcated by gray lines that intersect to make the page box. DO NOT click (for example) “Help,” “Donations,” “Related Changes,” “Category…” etc.
DO NOT visit external websites, you must stay within the bounds of Wikipedia.
DO NOT use the backspace or back arrow to return to a previous page. History is bunk in the Wiki Game (unless a referee or an opponent demands a recount).
DO NOT click on dates e.g. 2001, as these pages are too broad to pose a challenge.
DO NOT employ automated search tools to find a path for you.
DO NOT edit the start page to insert a link to the home page.
DO NOT use the ctrl +F function to search for words.
DO NOT use countries e.g. UK, Canada, United States.
DO make connections using the links of Wikipedia (as few as possible) to get from one concept to another.
DO write connection paths and challenge others to find them.
DO link Big Ideas, Enduring Understandings, and Essential Knowledge together within your puzzle.
DO have your AP Biology Big Ideas and Enduring Understandings Handy
DO record an answer sheet.
Example Task: Link from Peppered Moth→Feedback→Cellulose→Himalayan Rabbit
How many links did it take? __________
Task 1: Link from Conserved Core Processes of Evolution →Josiah Willard Gibbs→Stomata→Global Warming
Task 2:Link from Henrietta Lacks→Enzymes→Sickle-Cell Disease→Evolution
Task 3:Create two pathways of your own linking enduring understandings within two of the four Big Ideas.
Task 4:Create two pathways of your own linking enduring understandings between two Big Ideas.
Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.
For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.
The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Marian Murphy-Shaw
If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see www.explorit.org. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Joseph Calmer
Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”
I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. Learn More…