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Pre-AP Science: Developing Inquiry Mindsets in the Science Classroom

Developing inquiry mindsets is a focus of the Pre-AP science classroom. In this workshop, participants examine an effective, collaborative science classroom through the Pre-AP Biology Framework, areas of focus, and shared instructional principles. Teachers actively engage in modeling that a safe classroom environment that lets students develop inquiry skills while accessing critical content. Students will do this through close observation and analysis, higher-order questioning, evidence-based writing, and academic conversation. Participants create a plan to incorporate observation and analysis, collaborative group structures, and academic conversations in their daily instruction. 

Objectives

Teachers will:

  • Examine the connections between a safe, collaborative, inquiry-focused science classroom and the Pre-AP areas of focus and shared instructional principles.
  • Develop an instructional plan and implement Pre-AP shared instructional principles to encourage a student inquiry mindset.

Using Analytical Reading and Writing to Promote Conceptual Understanding in Pre-AP Science

In this workshop, participants explore how the Pre-AP science classroom emphasizes analytical reading and writing, so students can build deep conceptual understandings of scientific phenomena. Through the modeling of tiered questioning connected to complex scientific texts, teachers examine questions that spark student curiosity, motivate thought, promote productive lingering, and let students build evidence-based claims and justifications. Participants then create a plan to engage students in analytical reading and writing tasks to gain, retain, and apply scientific knowledge. This plan integrates higher-order questioning and evidence-based writing opportunities into an upcoming lesson.

Objectives

Teachers will:

  • Explore how the Pre-AP science areas of focus and instruction support productive lingering, motivate student thought, and build conceptual understanding.
  • Write higher-order questions to support analytical reading, writing, and conceptual understanding of critical content within an upcoming lesson.