Before entering the program, I severely underestimated the amount of planning that is required for a great lesson and the amount of thought that many professionals invest in creating curriculum guides and other instructional strategy guides. I have since come to realize that planning is an incredibly important activity, and that time spent in planning very much affects the overall structure and feel of the lesson. When I have spent a higher amount of time on lessons, they connect much better both intra- and inter-lesson. By intra-lesson, I mean that a single lesson has a solid opening activity, moves to more of a time of explanation, and ties together well at the end of the class period. By inter-lesson, I mean that each lesson fits with others in the unit, and that the unit builds towards the goals set by the national, state, and local standards. One way to ensure alignment of lessons with standards is through a table of specifications, which I employed when planning a unit on heat and temperature. A table of specifications is a two-dimensional representation of standards, with the six levels of Bloom’s taxonomy on the x-axis and content on the y-axis. The verbs used in the standards determine where the two intersect, and this gives the level at which the standards expects the students to acquire the information or skills. The following table is a table of specifications for the heat and temperature unit:
Content
Knowledge
Comprehension
Application
Analysis
Synthesis
Evaluation
The effect of the addition or subtraction of heat energy on the motion of molecules

M
explain

M
illustrate




Heat and temperature



M
distinguish



Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin temperature scales and absolute zero

M
describe

M
convert

M
compare/contrast



Time/temperature graph of phase change experiment



M
analyze



Temperature at which phase changes occur

M
determine





Heat gained or lost



M
calculate



Conduction, convection, and radiation with common examples

M
explain


M
compare/contrast

M
provide


Principle of heat transfer to heat engines, thermostats, and refrigerators and heat pumps

M
explain






With the standards in mind, I planned the unit according to the number of days available and time needed for students to acquire the information/skills. The following table shows the sequence of lessons, and gives the daily question, learning outcomes, and activities. These should reflect the standards in the table of specifications, and the activities represent what I taught to the students.
Sample Lesson Plan: Heat and Temperature Lesson 1.pdf

Lesson
Topic
Daily Question
Learning Outcomes
Activities
1
Motion of particles and temperature
How is the motion of particles related to temperature?
Student will (SW) compare motion of slow particles with motion of fast particles to determine their relative energies.
SW relate motion of particles to temperature and define temperature with respect to the motion of particles.

Trading books
Average heights
Molecular motion machine
KE analogy through presentation
Molecular motion machine, again
3-2-1 as exit slip


HW: none
2
Heat, temperature, and temperature scales
How do we measure temperature and what is heat?
SW compare and contrast the Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin temperature scales.
SW calculate temperatures in all three temperature scales.

Molecules worksheet
Simulation
Presentation
Think-pair-square-share


HW: Temperature conversions worksheet
3
Phase changes
What happens when the ice melts?
SW measure and record time it takes for ice to melt cups with different temperatures of water.
SW explain and draw what is happening when ice melts.

Ice lab

HW: none
4
Phase change graphs and heat transfer
What happens when something changes phases and why does heat transfer between objects?
SW describe and label different parts of a time/temperature graph.
SW utilize a time/temperature graph to predict the state of matter the substance will be in for a given time.
SW analyze a time/temperature graph to describe how to change states of matter.
SW calculate the heat change of a given system using Q = mc(Tf - Ti).

Review homework
Presentation
Complete graphical organizer


HW: Vocabulary review and reinforcement
Heat transfer practice problems

5
Conduction, convection, and radiation
How does heat transfer between objects?
SW compare and contrast convection, conduction, and radiation.
SW identify examples of convection, conduction, and radiation.
SW explain convection, conduction, and radiation in their own words

Passing books, again
Presentation
Currents, anyone?
The Sun and a flashlight
Complete Venn diagram


HW: Transferring thermal energy worksheet
6
Heat transfer
How can the most heat be transferred from the hot water cup to the cold water cup?
SW investigate heat transfer through a metal bar from a cup of hot water to a cup of cold water.
SW record and graph data taken from the lab.

Review homework
Review Venn diagram
Heat transfer lab


HW: none
7
Quiz
N/A
SW apply learned knowledge to a quiz.
Open-notes quiz

HW: none
8
Applications of heat transfer
Why does the ice melt on one block but not the other?
SW investigate differences in materials by melting ice.
Melting blocks
Bill Nye video on heat


HW: none
9
Applications of heat transfer
How do we make a difference in heat work for us?
SW explain how heat transfers applies to steam engines, heat pumps, and refrigerators.
Review vocabulary worksheet
Discuss open-notes quiz
Drawing of conductor/insulator
Video on steam engines


HW: study guide
10
Putting it all together
What do the students need to study for the test?
SW understand what they need to study for the unit test.
Test review with Qwizdom system

HW: study guide

I tried to include a variety of instructional strategies, so that I may reach students who have different dominant learning tendencies. These include hands-on activities and labs, demonstrations, presentations, drawings, videos, and graphical organizers, and homework was included to be appropriate but not overbearing for students. I really strove to give homework that reinforced the main concept(s) for the day or allowed the students to practice a newly acquired skill.
Technology is ever-present in this unit, through many different forms. The main way of integration is through presentations or videos, but for one of the labs I also took data with a set of digital thermometers and recorded the data on the computer. I also used simulations from the University of Colorado-Boulder to engage students and provide another interaction with the content. Finally, the students used a personal response system called Qwizdom to participate in a test review.