Editor's Note: We're excited to feature a series of video blog posts filmed at HHMI. Below is the first installment of this series.
In an effort to make the fundamental shift to three-dimensional learning, Jason Crean began a working group that would create coherent storyline units around engaging, real world phenomena. Starting with teachers from five Chicago-area school districts, the group quickly grew, involving teachers from more than 100 schools who came together monthly to collaborate. The goal was to create coherent, phenomenon-driven units that would incorporate multiple performance expectations across the four Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Life Science Standards.
Integrating HHMI BioInteractive resources was paramount in these storylines as their activities make effective use of real world phenomena that both engage students and provide strong, impactful contexts. Three-dimensional learning integrates the disciplinary core ideas, the science practices, and the crosscutting concepts as prescribed by the NGSS. In order to better bring these different concepts together, storylines that build coherence by allowing students to make meaningful connections between traditionally isolated ideas have been created so that students can make sense of how the natural world works. For example, storylines have been written to include the phenomenon of elephant tusklessness, allowing students to not only see how this trait occurs genetically but also how elephants serve as a keystone species — and how humans have acted as the selective pressure on elephant populations through poaching.
Find our storylines at https://ilscience.org/Storyline.
Jason Crean teaches biology at Lyons Township High School in Western Springs, IL, and undergraduate biology and education courses at St. Xavier University in Chicago. Kathy Van Hoeck recently retired from York High School in Elmhurst, IL, and taught biology for 25 years, including AP Biology, Genetics, Medical Careers, and freshman Honors Biology. She has also taught Anatomy and Physiology at the college level. Michele Koehler teaches AP Biology and Honors Biology at Riverside-Brookfield High School in Brookfield, IL.
In this article, Mitchell Community College professor Parks Collins uses an argumentation framework that combines BioInteractive resources and a structured approach to addressing a controversial question: if viruses are alive.
If you’re looking to incorporate statistics into your biology classes, but want a guide to which test to incorporate and when, check out this blog post from Colorado educator Paul Strode on how he uses stats in his regular and advanced biology classes.