Building a 3D learning experience is a blast but it's a tough mental challenge.
- Thoroughly read the Framework to make sure you understand the concept and the progression of the idea throughout the grade bands. Supplement your reading with a viewing of Bozeman's video on the same topic.
- Search through NSTA's magazine archives(The Learning Center) to see if someone way smarter than me has written an article about how to build a unit or lesson. It's way easier to start with a seed of an idea and customize it to my circumstances.
- Look to see if publisher of textbook has any good ideas. Normally, for me, they don't unless the lesson I'm planning is a tried and true thing we've done for decades. Let's be honest, the publishers are no further along in writing NGSS aligned lessons than we are (we being the teachers out in the wild teaching in a science classroom everyday).
- Figure out what concepts (Science & Engineering Practices, CrossCutting Concepts and DCIs) I want to cover and see throughout my instruction.
- Build an engaging initial event so I can gauge student interest, their misconceptions and what they already know. The AAAS Assessment resource comes in super handy for this unless you have all misconceptions memorized. It has shortcomings too because not all topics are available in the database. I also digital thumb through the Page Keeley probes and see what's there that is relevant and useful. Probably look at Concord Consortium and PheT to see what applies, if anything.
- Find a terrific hook back into student world, so it connects to something they've just seen, heard about, maybe wondered about or listened to.
Now I'm ready to start writing the unit's essential question and the summative evaluation based on the standard. Phew.