During the workshop, participants engaged in activities from several InTeGrate modules, explored the materials through the lenses of the NGSS and sustainability, and assembled coherent progressions through module activities that would allow them to help their students make progress towards multiple performance expectations. Participants made use of a practices web (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 107kB Aug2 18) to show how the module activities emphasized various science and engineering practices. Several themes emerged from those activities.
Accessibility of the InTeGrate materials for the high school classroom
- The sheer amount of material is daunting, and creating ways for teachers to quickly grasp what is available and relevant to them will help make them more accessible.
- Unlike many instructional resources, the InTeGrate resources do not involve a lot of materials to be obtained or purchased. They involve—at most—color photocopying and access to computers.
- The language used by InTeGrate has different meanings in the K–12 setting, and should be clarified. While a unit for InTeGrate is typically a single class period, a unit in high school is up to several weeks. InTeGrate's modules are high school units, and InTeGrate units are high school lessons.
- Many of the modules have extensions that provide good opportunities for students who are more advanced or working more quickly than others.
- Many of the modules are very easy to make place-based, tying to local and regional examples that will motivate students.
Use of the practices web
- The practices web provides a useful means of being explicit about what we are doing in each activity, and for guiding further instruction if some practices are less utilized than others.
- Deconstructing existing lesson plans using the practices web is useful as a professional development activity, allowing teachers to analyze what they are currently doing and build on it rather than completely throwing it out. The discussions facilitated by the web were an extremely valuable way to share ideas and get others' perspectives.
- Looking at the context through the lens of the practices helps add detail to the more general practices.
- Highlighting the practices can open the door to collaborating with teachers in math and English to work together on specific aspects of mathematical and computational thinking, making arguments from evidence, and others.
- Some components of the practices aren't as strong in the materials, such as planning and carrying out investigations. These opportunities can be added within the local context.