NOBLE NETWORK–MUCHIN COLLEGE PREP

Chicago

SCHOOL WEBSITE

PROGRAM(S) PARTICIPATED IN: Sprint 2014, Solution 2014-2015

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TEAM MEMBERS

  • Samun Khalilian, Biology Instructor
  • Angelica Townsend, Chemistry and Physics Special Education Instructor
  • Kris Elbein, Physics Instructor, Science Department Chair

ABOUT THE SCHOOL

  • School Type: Charter
  • Grades served: 9-12
  • Enrollment: 889

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PROBLEM

Students are having trouble accessing science texts, which means they are not able to persist in college level science courses, which requiring substantial amounts of independent reading.

SOLUTION

We have implemented strategies for students to use when reading science textbooks.

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KEY LEARNING

After interviewing some of our students, we found that we do provide opportunities for them to access text, but we do not teach them how to navigate, understand, and pull out important information from text, so we collaborated with our Reading specialist to figure out how to do this.

From our empathy phase, we found that we needed to develop a curriculum that would allow students to practice ways of thinking that help them understand and internalize the material. This included modeling thinking through reading for our students  and providing students with exemplar versions of notes for connections and concepts for comparison.

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BY THE NUMBERS

  • Hours input by team: 50
  • Students impacted: 422
  • Additional educators impacted: 9
  • Community members: Not reported

TEACHER REFLECTION

Toward the end of the year, I shadowed Samun while his class was creating models of DNA strands using paperclips and then using those models to compare the DNA strands of different species.  The directions were written on the worksheet, but the information on DNA had come from the textbook.  Groups of students were creating the strands together and then referring back to the worksheet when they had a question.  Students rarely raised their hands with questions for Samun.  Instead, hands were in the air when students wanted to explore a topic further or propose an explanation for what they had found.  The level of autonomy was evident and had drastically improved from the beginning of the year.

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PLANS TO SCALE

We plan on vertically aligning this curriculum for the entire science department to increase understanding and further their comfort level with scientific text. We still want to determine how to differentiate this process for students who struggle the most with reading a text at a much higher lexile by leveraging other students.