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: Saturday, January 14th, 2017
The Council of Math/Science Educators of San Mateo County will be hosting the 41st annual STEM Conference this February 4, 2017 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. This STEM Conference is the place to get lots of new lessons and ideas to use in your classroom. There will be over twenty-five workshops and a variety of exhibitors that provide participants with a wide range of practical and realistic ideas and resources to use in their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs from Pre-K to grade 12. With California’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, we are dedicated to ensuring that we prepare our teachers to take on these educational policies.
Teachers, administrators and parents are invited to explore the many exciting aspects of STEM education and learn about and discuss the latest news, information and issues. This is also an opportunity to network with colleagues who can assist you in building your programs and meet new friends that share your interests and love of teaching.
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
What follows are several opportunities for science teachers to work with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) on various projects that have direct or indirect implications for the implementation of NGSS in California. Please consider applying to one or more of the following opportunities.
CSET Field Testing Opportunities
Field testing opportunities for future CSET Multiple Subjects and Science tests are available beginning Dec. 5, 2016. Participants will have the choice between a $50 Barnes and Noble eGift Card or a $75 test fee voucher that may be applied to future test registration fees. For more information, including how to register to participate, please visit: http://www.pearsonvue.com/espilot/cset.asp. Learn More…
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
Achieve has launched and is facilitating an EQuIP Peer Review Panel for Science–a group of expert reviewers who will evaluate the quality and alignment of lessons and units to the standards–in an effort to identify and shine a spotlight on emerging high-quality lesson and unit plans designed for the NGSS.
If you or your state, district, school, or organization has designed NGSS-aligned instructional materials, please consider submitting these in order to help provide educators across the country with various models and templates of high-quality lesson and unit plans. Learn More…
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
An upcoming Perry Outreach Program on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles, CA. The Perry Outreach Program is a free, one-day, hands-on experience for high school and college-aged women who are interested in pursuing careers in medicine and engineering. Students will hear from women leaders in these fields and try it for themselves by performing mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanics experiments. Learn More…
Posted: Friday, January 13th, 2017
by Jessica Sawko
January 2017 has proven to be a very busy month for science education policy and CA NGSS implementation activities. CSTA has been and will be there every step of the way, seeking and enacting all options to support high-quality science education and the successful implementation of CA NGSS.
California Department of Education/U.S. Department of Education Science Double-Testing Waiver Hearing
The year started with California Department of Education’s (CDE) hearing with the U.S. Department of Education conducted via WebEx on January 6, 2017. This hearing was the final step in California’s efforts to secure a waiver from the federal government in order to discontinue administration of the old CST and suspension of the reporting of student test scores on a science assessment for two years. As reported by EdSource, the U.S. Department of Education representative, Ann Whalen, a senior adviser to U.S. Secretary John King Jr., committed to making her final ruling “very shortly.” Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley presented on behalf of CDE during the hearing and did an excellent job describing the broad-based support for this waiver in California, the rationale for the waiver, and California’s commitment to the successful implementation of a new high-quality science assessment. As previously reported, California is moving forward with its plans to administer a census pilot assessments this spring. The testing window is set to open on March 20, 2017. For more information visit New CA Science Test: What You Should Know.