In my last post I
described my reasoning for teaching Math and Science together in secondary
school. If I were to take a scientific approach…
Purpose:
The purpose of
creating the “Grade 9 Applied STEM” course is to close the gap and improve
achievement, especially in the 60% of students not meeting provincial standard
on the Grade 9 Applied EQAO Math test.
Question:
Does integrating Math
and Science improve achievement in Grade 9 Applied Math?
Hypothesis:
If the math and
science curriculum expectations are integrated and taught together then the
overall achievement of the students will improve because students will be have
more opportunities to explore mathematical relationships through science and
handson activities.
Experimental Design:
A sample of Grade 9
Applied students will be enrolled in SNC1P and MFM1P courses that are taught by
the same teacher, in the same room in consecutive periods (12, or 23).
The course codes will remain SNC1P and MFM1P but the delivery will allow
for flexibility in timing activities (e.g. conducting an experiment over two
periods to determine whether or not a relationship is linear, and allowing for
additional, uninterrupted time for students with IEPs to complete tests).
The delivery will be based on the components of focused instruction,
projectbased learning and the 5E model.
To assess the
effectiveness of the 1P STEM course, a diagnostic assessment will be
administered to all 1P Math students at the beginning of the term and results
will be recorded. At the end of the term a common exam will be
administered, as well as the EQAO Math test.
The scores from the beginning and end of term assessments will be analysed
to determine the resulting difference in achievement. In addition, a
endofterm survey will be administered to the 1P STEM students to gather
feedback on the delivery of the course.
Student Assessment:
Assessments will be
provided throughout the semester from both the SNC1P and the MFM1P courses.
The types of assessments will include those that are strictly math,
strictly science and a combination of both.
Types of Assessment

Math

Science

Combined

Assessment FOR and
AS Learning

Surveys, quizzes,
entrance/exit cards,
worksheets,
conversations, observations, puzzles, games, etc.

Surveys, quizzes,
entrance/exit cards,
worksheets,
conversations, observations, puzzles, games, etc.

Experiments,
explorations, Breakout boxes

Assessment OF
Learning

Tests, assignments

Tests, assignments
(e.g. news report, inquiry projects)

Projects,
experiments

The course mark for
the math course will be calculated using the math assessments, and the portions
of the combined projects and experiments that relate to the math curriculum
expectations. Likewise, the course mark for the science course will be based
on the science assessments and the science curriculum expectations in the
combined projects and experiments. The
mark breakdown for each course will follow the same guidelines as those set out
by the Math and Science departments. The final exams will be separate
(one exam for math and one for science) and common amongst the other 1P Math
and Science courses.
Teaching Strategies:
Many students in the
applied program benefit from concrete examples and handson opportunities.
They may also have a difficult time sitting for long periods of
time. The intent of this course is to
provide them an optimal learning experience.
Opportunities to talk
 through academic conversations and cooperative learning
Opportunities to move
 through the use of experiments and rotational centers
Opportunities to
manipulate  through experiments and physical puzzles
Opportunities for
feedback  frequent checks will be embedded into the structure of each lesson.
What do you think of this plan? Do you think it could work at your school? Would the time investment be worth the potential benefit to the students?
My next post shows a model for examining connections between Math and Science curriculum expectations.
My next post shows a model for examining connections between Math and Science curriculum expectations.
[Brain clip art from PhotoClipz]
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