Essential Supports

The Foundation Science Biology eTG offers pedagogical and logistical supports in a variety of media throughout the eBook. This index represents the supports for Learning Experiences 2, 3, and 4, as well as some general advice on how to approach this curriculum.

Using the Electronic Teacher Guide: Orientation Videos
These short videos give you an overview of the eTG. The videos walk you through the features by showing the interface and explaining the main functions of the tool, including the digital version of the Teacher Guide, the Lesson Planner, Web Resource, Finder, and Essential Supports for teaching with Foundation Science.

General Supports
  • videolink Content Coherence
    This video highlights the importance of content coherence and making connections among concepts in science teaching. The video illustrates connections between science concepts using a specific "big idea" in genetics: All the genetic information of organisms is contained in DNA.
  • videolink What is effective science curriculum?
    This video describes the characteristics of an effective science curriculum. These characteristics, which include the big ideas of a discipline, opportunities for dialogue and discourse, content coherence, a guided inquiry cycle, and a teaching and learning framework, are presented in detail.
  • videolink Modifying a Core Curriculum
    This video explicates the importance of modifying a curriculum “mindfully”. It describes the reasons a teacher might want to modify a curriculum and elaborates on how these modifications can be made while retaining the intentions of the original curriculum.
  • videolink Content Sequencing [PDF]
    This short text explains the reasoning for the sequencing of the content in Foundation Science: Biology. Specifically, it describes the content sequence for the full year curriculum, for the Genetics Unit, for a Learning Experience, and provides examples.
  • videolink Modifying the Curriculum [PDF]
    This short text provides a description of different ways in which the curriculum can be modified to meet the needs of teachers and students while still retaining the intentions of the developers. Examples of possible modifications are provided.
  • videolink Why Formative Assessment? [PDF]
    In this short text, the power of formative assessment as a teaching tool is detailed, and examples of opportunities for formative assessment within Foundation Science Biology proposed.
  • videolink Brainstorming
    Every Learning Experience in Foundation Science Begins with a brainstorming activity. This six minute video explains how brainstorming can be used to determine prior knowledge of your students, introduce new content, and establish a safe classroom culture for sharing ideas.
Supports for Learning Experience 3

  • videolinkFormative Assessment Exemplar: A teacher looks at students’ drawings and written explanations to see if they can accurately draw the outcomes of each of the 4 experimental conditions in the gene insertion investigation.
  • videolink A table of different verbal and non-verbal tools that help students participate in science discourse. Contains examples of productive talk moves.
  • videolink A brief overview of teacher tools that promote student discourse in the classroom. A summary of why spend your time on talk in the science classroom and its functions.
  • videolink The Talk Science Primer
    An essay detailing the purposes, functions and benefits of academically productive talk including the Talk Goals and Moves chart.
  • videolinkFormative Assessment Exemplar: A teacher looks at students’ Poster Presentations on the GMO debate to see how well they have grasped the process of genetic modification and reason from evidence about whether the school cafeteria should serve GMO french fries.
PROCESS | Discuss

The following sequence of videos shows the progression of a discussion in which students discuss whether the school should serve genetically modified foods. Each video shows a specific intention of the discussion.

  • videolink 4. Digging deeper into the complexity of the question
    Transcript file
    As they grapple with the question of whether to serve genetically modified potatoes in the school cafeteria, the teacher uses strategies that encourage all students to voice their ideas and questions, to distinguish scientific evidence from opinion, and to critique their own and others' ideas.
  • videolink 5. Peer to Peer Discussion
    Transcript file
    As students talk with each other they learn how to actively engage in scientific practices: such as asking questions, planning investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, constructing explanations, and engaging in argument from evidence.
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