Today I was at the North Central Regional Association of Science Teacher Educators and met Morgan Yarker and Matt Benus from the University of Iowa. Their research along with their advisory, Brian Hand, is about helping in-service science teachers teach through inquiry methods. I really liked what they were doing since dialog is central to their approach. Seeing the words, "Claim and Evidence" on their poster shown above is what first caught my attention.
Matt helped me think about how to structure a unit so as to maximize student involvement, authentic inquiry and community meaning-making. I've created a very rough flowmap with some questions using CmapTools. Really, this is just the notes of what we talked about. I'll be providing details on this as I progress in developing this unit.
I really REALLY appreciated his distinction between Testable Questions and Researchable Questions. Testable questions (TQ's) provide an in-road to student experimental activity, the latter providing centers of meaning making that we expand to encompass the Big Ideas. I also like the idea of students assessing which TQ's would be most helpful to understand the Big Ideas of the topic. It's obvious to me how FLE4 will help with the RQ's and the on line Vees will help with the TQ's. I'll be developing how these tools/activities along with others will be integrated to provide a whole experience for the students. Here's the rough draft showing the development of the unit: