Professional Learning Session Overview
Equitable Discussions

Leveraging the rich discussions in OpenSciEd’s materials for equitable science learning

Session Overview

This two-and-a-half-day professional development session focuses on the overarching question – How do we support equitable sensemaking? The PD explicitly focuses on equity, classroom culture, and classroom sensemaking discussions.

It assumes the prerequisite completion of the OpenSciEd Curriculum Launch professional learning and previous experience teaching an OpenSciEd unit. Included in this session are opportunities for teachers to:

  • Reflect on successes and challenges around OpenSciEd implementation to support more equitable science classrooms. 
  • Examine student video and learning scenarios to recognize the range of resources students use to make sense of science, consider the features of classroom culture, and identify strategies to support the three main discussion types used in OpenSciEd.
  • Identify pedagogical implications and strategies that can be used to support the development of classroom culture and leverage student resources.
  • Reflect on the key aspects of productive discussions and use a Discussion Planning Tool to plan for discussions that support idea development and student engagement.
  • Engage in the actual lessons of the unit as a student

All of the instructional materials associated with this professional learning session are available for download from the Access the Instructional Materials page.

Sample Session Resources

Session Agenda
Day 1: How do we increase equity by noticing and leveraging resources students use to make sense of phenomena?

Guiding Question:
How do we increase equity by noticing and leveraging resources students use to make sense of phenomena?

Participants will:

  • Reflect on successes and challenges around OpenSciEd implementation to support more equitable science classrooms.
  • Examine student video and learning scenarios to recognize the range of resources students use to make sense of science.
  • Identify pedagogical implications and strategies that can be used to leverage student resources.

Length:

  • 1 hour – Introduction: Reflection and Introduction to Student Resources
  • 2 hours – Unit Specific: Experience the Anchoring Phenomena routine
Day 2: How do we develop and sustain a classroom culture that supports equitable sensemaking?

Guiding Question:
How do we develop and sustain a classroom culture that supports equitable sensemaking?

Participants will:

  • Reflect on student “exit ticket” data in relation to classroom culture.
  • Examine classroom culture resources to consider who and what are valued in the science classroom
  • Analyze OpenSciEd classroom video considering features of classroom culture.
  • Understand the storyline for the unit and experience key student investigations and discussions from the unit.

Length:

  • 1 hour – Introduction: Classroom Culture Reflections
  • 5 hours – Unit Specific: Construct the storyline and experience key lessons
  • 1 hour – Closing: Identify and share strategies for developing and maintaining classroom cultural norms
Day 3: How do we support equitable discussions that move students’ science ideas forward?

Guiding Question:
How do we support equitable discussions that move students’ science ideas forward?

Participants will:

  • Reflect on the key aspects of productive discussions.
  • Analyze OpenSciEd classroom video and resources to understand the three main discussion types used in OpenSciEd.
  • Reflect on the use of the Discussion Planning Tool to plan for discussions that support idea development and student engagement.
  • Experience key student investigations and discussions from the unit.
  • Practice planning and leading a sensemaking discussion.

Length:

  • 1 hour – Introduction: Classroom culture videos and reflections
  • 5 hours – Unit Specific: Planning discussions, experience key lessons and explore the storyline
  • 1 hour – Closing: Final reflections on student resources and classroom culture