Science and Global Issues: Biology
SGI Biology provides a research-based, inquiry-driven approach to high school biology suitable for basic, honors, and college prep courses. The following content is provided in all workshops:
NGSS/Common Core Support
This workshop content explores support in SEPUP for the NGSS and Common Core ELA/Mathematics initiatives, including unpacking/understanding the Common Core and NGSS, and alignment of SEPUP to the Performance Expectations, including support for the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts. Teachers will receive basic support for understanding the NGSS, and will map the DCI, SEP, and CCC elements to a unit of their choice.
SEPUP uses environmental and societal issues to provide a context for learning science by connecting science concepts to students’ everyday lives, and issues are used to develop content and process skills in the initial unit on global sustainability, and each of the four main instructional units that follow: Ecology, Cell Biology, Genetics, and Evolution. This is matched to an inquiry-based approach, since we believe science is an active process. Teachers will learn to use the four important elements of a SEPUP program: student book, teacher’s guide, materials kit, and website support.
Learning Cycle and Differentiated Instruction
SEPUP's course design is based on a learning cycle model that supports the 5E approach, uses issues in science to connect and motivate all students, and supports inquiry teaching and learning. Detailed support for working with diverse learners, including GAT, ELL, and students with special needs, is provided in introductory and follow up workshops.
Included are day-to-day topics such as getting started with SEPUP, using the equipment kit, management of student laboratory activities, lab safety, monitoring group work, using technology, and using post-activity discussions to make connects to science content.
Using the SEPUP formative assessment system, students complete tasks, producing student work that can be scored using rubrics developed for nine major areas, including Content Understanding, Designing Investigations, Using Evidence, Analyzing Data, Communicating, Scientific Information, Group Interaction, and more. The assessment opportunities are distributed over time, allowing teachers to monitor student progress, and, an item bank is used as a summative check for student understanding. Teachers will examine support for assessment and will discuss and moderate samples of actual student work.
SEPUP supports SGI Biology with external web content, simulations, PowerPoints, and more. Initial-use and follow up workshops can include content to support effective student use of tablet devices with SEPUP programs.
What is needed? One session (PD-SGI-NU1) is usually sufficient to provide an overview of the SEPUP fundamentals and course design, plus in-depth study on one unit of interest. Districts generally choose between 3-5 days of training, with a summer start and mid-year follow up where possible.
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