Students begin a new unit of study by a Web activity that requires no formal knowledge of topic. This learning phase engaged the students interest, and connects the student to the topic on a personal level. This phase of the learning cycle helps the student answer questions such as: Why is this topic important to me as a high school student? Why is it important to our understanding of how the living world works? These Web activities are WebQuests, half hour long directed activities that introduce new concepts to students by engaging their interest and curiosity for more. This Web activity connects to the introduction of the text chapter. A classroom discussion or demonstration will support the engagement activity.
Student reinforces understanding of concepts, applies the concepts, and practices the process of science through learning activities on the Web and laboratory or field activities in class. The teacher can select activities such as a lab/field collection posted on teacher support site and coordinated with Laboratory modules that provide pre- and post- laboratory instruction, simulation and assessment for laboratory procedures and analysis) and Web-based exploratory activities, such as the interactive concept activities In this learning phase, students begin to construct for themselves biological meaning from the exploration activities.
Students read the text chapter, which develops a biological, social, and historical context for key concepts. This solidifies the students personal understanding of key concepts they generated in the Engage and Explore phases. The Explain phase is supported by Web-based tutorials, which utilize graphics, animation, and interactivity to teach key concepts.
Students find opportunities for self-assessment built into the Engage, Explore, and Explain phases. The Engage, Concept, and Laboratory components on the Web include self-assessment with each concept and a unit-end self-quiz. At the end of each block of material encompassed by a book chapter, we will have a customizable test bank, which includes short answer questions and problems as well as objective questions. Finally, we will develop Web-based methods of authentic assessment (such as student-generated Web-based poster presentations) that will be assessed by rubrics.
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