Reflection: Backwards Planning Reaction Rate Experimental Design Critique - Section 2: Do Now


We do a lot of backwards planning at our school. This means that we write the assessment for the unit and then we recognize the content and skills that we will need to teach in order to get students to create high quality work.  Backwards planning is good for students—they get assessed based on the content and skills that the teacher taught.

I came back from the NSTA conference to find that my students were not prepared for the lesson I had intended—I had planned for them to start out critiquing each other’s experimental designs. However, because I had backwards planned and knew that I would assess them on their ability to design an experiment, I had no trouble switching gears so that I could meet students right where they were—which in this case meant they needed much more support around writing the procedure than I had previously anticipated. I knew from backwards planning that I wanted them to have this skill, and so it was easy to modify my lesson at the drop of a hat.

Why? Because I knew where my students were, and where I needed to get them in order for them to be successful with this unit.

  Backwards Planning Saved the Day
  Backwards Planning: Backwards Planning Saved the Day
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Reaction Rate Experimental Design Critique

Unit 6: Reaction Rates
Lesson 2 of 8

Objective: Students will critique a rough draft of an experimental design they wrote in the last class.

Big Idea: Planning and carrying out investigations begins with a clearly articulated procedure for the investigation.

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