Caroline McCrary was one of two NCCS teachers selected for the Governor’s Teacher Network during the 2014-15 school year. We are proud of the work that Caroline has done that will support Biology teachers across our state.
Caroline’s work is available through SchoolNet. Check out her work below.
Name of Instructional Sequence: “An exploration of how organisms inherit their DNA & change over time!” (minimum of 4.5 weeks of 90 minute block instruction; each lesson incorporates an extension activity)
Units: Four (4) Instructional Units to teach various topics from NCES Biology Essential Standard 3
Rationale: This 21st century instructional sequence will provide instruction for a domain of knowledge within the North Carolina Essential Standards for Secondary Biology. The NCES that students will explore within these units consist of Bio. 3.2, Bio. 3.3, and Bio. 3.4. While investigating these learning targets, students will encounter an introduction to genetics, predict patterns within the science of human heredity, gain experience with various forms of 21st century DNA technology, and develop an understanding of the theory of evolution via the mechanism of natural selection. These engaging lesson plans will add value to the educational community by providing curriculum-aligned explorations while allowing access to learning for all students via employing the Universal Design of Learning model during the planning process.
In addition, topics from NCES Biology Essential Standard 3 comprise almost half of the questions on the NC Biology End-of-Course assessment (based on the 2013 Essential Standard Summary Report). Teachers definitely need as many supportive instructional strategies and assessments as possible to ensure quality understanding of these difficult topics in the biological sciences. Each thematic unit will include both formative and summative assessment techniques for teachers to collect data and reflect on their students’ performance and mastery of theses topics. These assessment strategies will encourage students to meet lesson-specific learning targets in order to answer an overarching essential question for the entire unit. The lessons described within this instructional sequence will also allow students to be exposed to various types of technology while also creating digital products through research and digital communication. There will also be honors-extensions as well as EC/ELL modifications discussed throughout this instructional sequence. Overall, these lesson plans will provide biology teachers with guidance as how to align science explorations to the North Carolina Essential Standards for Secondary Biology.