This book is my current favorite instructional book (and I’ve read many). I attended a 10 day professional development (spread out across the year) focused on how to implement the strategies provided in this book and it has completely changed the way I want to teach science! Initially it seemed overwhelming but I began implementing pieces of what I was learning and I really love how it affected student learning. A deeper reflection on this PD and my interview with Brett Moulding (one of the authors of this book) can be found in this blog post located here.
This book shows teachers how to structure their teaching into 3 categories: Gathering, Reasoning, and Communicating. This allows for easier implementation of the new 3-dimensions of learning of science (Core Ideas, Cross-cutting Concepts, and Science and Engineering Practices). Confused by the lingo yet? No worries! The appendixes in this book provide easy to understand tables with examples of what each dimension means.
One of my absolute favorite pieces of information obtained from this book is how to introduce concepts using phenomena! It’s the hook that will get your students interested and curious about what is coming next. The book doesn’t provide examples of phenomena (Moulding is in the process of writing that one and I personally can not wait!) but it does provide example lesson plans from teachers who have used this framework.
Using the suggested framework does take some adjustment as I had never done anything like that before. I’m definitely not an expert (yet!) but am going to try to structure my teaching this way. This is the first book that has required me to really push myself as a teacher by requiring me to deeply think about my teaching and how intentional I have/have not been with the information I hope my students are learning.
I definitely recommend this book if you are looking to ensure your implementation of the new science standards encompasses all 3 learning dimensions. You can find the book on Amazon for $65 and I also found it on the Partnership for Effective Science Teaching and Learning (PESTL) website for $35. I’m not sure how updated that particular website it but PESTL is the organization in which “A Vision and Plan for Science Teaching and Learning” was developed.
If you read it or have questions let me know!