Brainstorm Cluster Mapping: A tool for supporting phenomenon-based, three-dimensional story-lines

1. State the focus of the workshop and its relevance to the ASTE membership.
This workshop will focus on a process to develop 3 dimensional storylines (NGSS) for the K-12 classroom. The process uses phenomenon to plan an instructional sequence that links disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices and cross-cutting concepts into integrated storylines. Concepts are nested with big idea concepts breaking down to sub-concepts and then lesson concepts providing a left to right order of instruction that build to big ideas about phenomenon in the real world.
2. Include an outline of the workshop that shows the sequence and duration of workshop activities.
The workshop will be conducted with participants in groups of 3-6.
15 min: Introduce the concept of a storyline and brief overview of NGSS to provide context for the process. We will also provide an overview of phenomenon and how it can be used as a context for 3D learning.
15 min: Brainstorm “Wonderings”: things one wonders about that may have a scientific explanation. Wonderings are brainstormed individually first, then charted by each group. Examples include “why are there fewer apples being grown in our local groves this year?” or why can dandelions grow in cracks in the cement?”. Participants will then select a “wondering” to work with and convert it to a phenomena statement: Dandelions can grow in places other plants cannot, apple yields have been diminishing.
15 min: Considering the science needed to explain the phenomenon. Participants write their phenomenon in the center of a piece of chart paper. Individually, participants use yellow stickie notes to record science concepts that learners would need to know to explain the phenomenon. After everyone has had a chance to write out their ideas, sticky notes are shared and placed on the chart. Concepts that could be taught together are physically clumped on the chart.
20 min: Disciplinary Core Idea Check: Does this phenomenon work at this grade-level? Participants use small orange sticky notes to align relevant DCI’s to concepts on the poster using the NRC Framework for K12 Science Education and the NGSS Standards. The DCI code (i.e. PS1a) is written on the orange sticky and placed on the appropriate clump. From here, groups need to decide if any new concepts should be added, eliminated due to grade-level inappropriateness or otherwise modified.
15 min: Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts: Which ones would best help students develop DCI understanding? Participants consider what practice and crosscutting concept will support student learning of the DCI’s for each clump. This can be done either by looking up the SEPs and CCCs associated with the DCIs in the foundation boxes of the standards (colored boxes below performance expectations) OR by using their own judgement. As these are identified, an abbreviated notation of the SEP or CCC are written on a blue or green small sticky note and attached to the appropriate clump.

10 min: At this point, groups should have a written description of a phenomenon in the center of their chart (Shark sightings are on the rise off of southern CA coasts) and clumps of science concepts that have been flagged for DCIs, SEPs and CCCs. The next step is to identify and create a storyline with these clumps. Participants use small pink stickies to identify which chunk in the brainstorm cluster students need to learn first in order to engage in the phenomenon and write “#1” on the sticky, and place it on the cluster. This will become the first sub-concept in the story-line. They then repeat for what would come second, third…. Participants arrange each clump into the identified numerical sequence to create a linear storyline. The phenomenon is rewritten on top as the “big idea” for the unit.

15 min: We will then walk through how to take a “chunk” and expand on the ideas in more detail. Each clump (sub-concept) will be expanded and detailed. The core ideas in the NRC Framework, including the DCI grade-band progressions) will be used to generate additional details about the DCI’s. The NGSS Appendix F and Appendix G will be used to expand on the SEPS and CCCs. It is unlikely that participants will be able to complete this part of the map but we will attempt to work through one “clump” so that participants understand the process.

15 min: We will close the workshop by debriefing the process and sharing teacher generated samples from the field. Time for participants to ask questions and comment on the process will be provided at the end.

3. List the learning objectives of the workshop, briefly describe the instructional strategies you will be using, and how you will judge the effectiveness of your workshop.
Participants will actively participate in the development of an NGSS aligned storyline. While we will provide a brief introduction, the majority of the workshop time will involve teams of participants working on a storyline of their own choosing. We plan to have three facilitators who helped to develop this process facilitating the teams. The process starts with participants prior knowledge (initial brainstorms of wondering and science concepts) before we dig into NGSS materials. This allows each participant to engage in the experience using their own background knowledge and creativity. Participants will then use NGSS materials to expand and adjust the initial brain storm in collaborative groups. The facilitators all have extensive experience in professional development and facilitation of adult group work.

4. Will you make yourself available to the participants after they return to their places of employment should they have questions or need assistance? How will you do this?
Yes, we will share our contact information with participants so they can contact us should they have additional questions. We will also create a google folder that provides access to all handouts, references and the powerpoint for participants to use.
5. Explain who within the ASTE membership would be most interested in your presentation (e.g., methods instructors, educational researchers, curriculum developers, etc.) and why.
Members who work in preservice and in-service areas will have the most interest in the workshop. The workshop will provide a process that can be used with K-12 preservice science teachers to guide their understanding of each dimension of NGSS but how these dimensions work together to create meaningful learning sequences. The process has been very successful with practicing teachers as it provides a creative approach to creating science units yet produces a linear storyline.
6. Describe the expertise/experience of the workshop presenters to present in the topic area.
Susan Gomez Zwiep is a Professor of Science Education at California State University, Long Beach. She is also a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance in the Southern California area. She has developed professional development programs for both K-12 teachers and university faculty around teaching and assessment. Gomez Zwiep served on the CA NGSS curriculum framework committee and is currently working on two CA MSP funded projects that focus on integrated Project Based Learning instruction and NGSS implementation as well as the CA NGSS Early Implementation Initiative.
Jo Topps is a WestEd K-12 Alliance Regional Director serving the greater Los Angeles area. Her work is focused on how all of us, from the teacher to the state department of education, can help teachers reflect on their practice and its impact on student learning. In her position, Topps directs the development, coordination, and implementation of professional development programs in STEM fields, kindergarten through postsecondary, on a regional, statewide, and national basis. Topps has served as professional development and technical assistance provider for the California adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the ABC STEM Initiative, the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) program, Math Pathways and Pitfalls, Improving Teacher Quality/California Postsecondary Education Commission (ITQ/CPEC) and as a design team member for the following: the Carnegie Foundation American Museum of Natural History NGSS tools project, FOSS Leadership Academy, the National Science Foundation State Systemic Initiative (SSI), the Center for Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning (CAESL), and the St. Louis Math Science Partnership (MSP).
Jill Grace is a Regional Director for the K-12 Alliance at WestEd for San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties. Currently, Jill works with the San Diego Unified School District as part of the CA NGSS K-8 Early Implementation Initiative.
The work presented in the workshop was a process developed within the CA Early Implementation Initiative. The initiative is a partnership among K-12 Alliance@WestEd, the California Department of Education, Achieve, and eight school districts, and two charter management organizations who are engaged in digging deep into California Next Generation Science Standards as an effort to share and support high-quality science teaching and learning across California and other NGSS-adopted states.
7. Provide a budget for the workshop indicating the amount (if any) each participant will be charged. What is the number of people the workshop is intended to serve? If there is a cost for attendance, please specify how this money will be used. Indicate the material and technological needs for this workshop. What are the texts, handouts, videos, etc., required in order to implement this session?
Materials needed include chart paper and sticky notes of various colors and a few handouts. Presenters will cover the cost of the materials for the session – no cost to attend.