Improving 6 th grade earth science instruction: Curriculum design, implementation, and assessment
Mock, Suzanne Colburn
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A six-investigation instructional unit, "Our Dynamic Earth: Have Those Mountains Always Been There?, " compiled, planned and modified by the author, was implemented during the spring of 2011 in a 6 th grade science class Northern California Middle School. The overall purpose of the unit was to help students develop an understanding of fundamental earth science concepts, to promote conceptual change while teaching concepts that are quite abstract, and to use formative assessment techniques in order to provide useful information for teacher guidance and student understanding. Results indicate that the implementation of the Have those mountains always been there? unit has provided a firm base of support for future learning of earth science concepts, that this experience helped promote conceptual change as evidenced by the final thoughts writing assignment, and that taking time and focusing more closely on what students were thinking, and then using this information to modify their learning experience to better address their learning needs, promoted teacher professional growth and effectiveness.