Using Backwards Design to Integrate a Labster Simulation into a Unit or Lesson

Addressing a standard with the end goal in mind supports teachers to meaningfully integrate a Labster simulation into a unit or lesson
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About This Strategy

When science teachers effectively use backwards planning, they plan a unit or lesson with the end in mind and ensure that they have explicitly identified the skills and content that students should master by the end of the unit or lesson. Engaging in this backwards planning process with a Labster simulation helps guide the creation of lesson plans that are aligned with the Labster simulation as an assessment tool, thus making the Labster simulation an integrated part of the content being taught. The authentic performance-based Labster simulation assessment requires students to apply learning skills developed in the unit.

Implementation Steps

  1. Review the Planning from Assessments Using Backwards Design BetterLesson strategy included below to gain an understanding or refresh your understanding of backwards design. 

  2. Review the Labster Curriculum Alignment resource below to find the Labster Simulation that aligns to the Next Generation Science Standard or unit that you are planning to teach. Utilize the embedded Labster assessment and quiz questions for support.

  3. Decide on the Labster Simulation and form of assessment that you will use. 

  4. Use the Labster Backwards Planning template to plan the unit considering learning objectives, hooks, and key skills needed to be successful on this simulation. 

  5. Use the Labster Lesson Plan Template to plan a lesson that integrates the Labster simulation.

  6. Decide on how students will demonstrate their understanding of the lab. For example, students could complete a Verbal Lab Assessment (see the Verbal Lab Assessment with Labster strategy for support).

Teacher Tips

When I complete the backwards planning tool and lesson planning tool, I make sure to focus on the skills that my students will need to be successful on the simulation. Using these tools have been incredibly helpful to me as I work to integrate Labster simulations more and more into my units.

When my students were engaged in distance learning, I found these tools to be especially helpful in making sure my lessons and units integrated Labster meaningfully. Additionally, I developed a distance learning considerations document for myself and my colleagues to use in order make sure that my students were set up for success with the Labster simulation while they were learning virtually.