Communication Center  Conference  Projects Share  Reports from the Field Resources  Library  LSC Project Websites  NSF Program Notes
 How to Use this site    Contact us  LSC-Net: Local Systemic Change Network
Newsclippings and Press Releases

LSC Reference Materials

LSC Case Study Reports

Annual Report Overviews

Summer Workshop Plans

Summer Workshop Plans


Summer Workshop Agenda

submitter: Bay Area Schools for Excellence in Education
published: 08/27/1998
posted to site: 08/27/1998

Bay Area Schools for Excellence in Education (BASEE)
Summer Institutes

BASEE is a collaborative of eight school districts and Hewlett Packard Company located in the San Francisco Bay Area. The participating districts include: Cupertino, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, Santa Clara and Whisman. Serving 1,900 teachers, our project focuses on elementary science with meaningful connections to math, literacy, and technology. To that end, we have three strands of professional development offerings for teachers.

Strand I. This program for new teachers or those new to their science kits, features kit trainings throughout the year.
Strand II. Experienced teachers gain science content background through models of good teaching strategies.
Strand III. Lead teachers (one from each school site) strengthen leadership skills through coaching training, science content learning and an inquiry institute.

This past summer our project offered two different institutes. In June, Celebrating Physical Sciences, was a one-week program for Strand II teachers. Participants selected the one physical science topic they teach from six choices:

  • Matter for primary grades
  • Matter/chemistry for upper grades
  • Sound for middle grades
  • Balance and motion for primary grades
  • Forces with simple machines for upper grades
  • Magnetism and electricity
Instructional teams of three were responsible for the planning and delivery of these thirty hour sessions. One was a university professor who was the content expert. The second was a science resource teacher who knew both what's appropriate for children at that grade level and the curriculum. The third was a volunteer scientist from HP or Stanford Linear Accelerator. The scientist's role was to bring real world connections to the topic and arrange for a content related field trip that would enhance the learning.

On the last day of the institute, each content area teacher group shared a snapshot of what they'd learned through a short presentation. Many were charming skits, playful song rewrites (especially the Sound session) and artful storytelling.

As follow up to these sessions, teachers will have the opportunity to select from two experiences. The first, Cases, is an in-depth discussion group around classroom teaching dilemmas that surface the content background. We are working with WestEd to pilot these as ways to help teachers enhance their content background in the context of genuine teaching problems. The second, questioning strategies with Larry Lowery, is an opportunity to work with a small group of colleagues to refine questioning skills by video taping oneself during practice sessions, and processing the learning with the group.

Invitations to Inquiry is an institute we designed for our strand III teachers. Our program, based on the model from the Exploratorium, provided 30 hours of training in elements of inquiry. We deliberately included the BASEE learning model in each of our lessons as well as the design for the weeklong learning. In doing so, we featured content learning throughout the week. To complement our yearly focus on physical sciences we used topics not taught during the June Celebrating Physical Sciences week since a number of our teachers attended both programs. The inquiry week focused instead on light and color.

The agenda for the week follows:

August, 10-14
Please note: each day begins at 8:30 and ends at 3:30

Day 1 Monday, August 10 Engage

Storyline: Is all hands-on inquiry? How do we ask stretching, productive questions?
Morning Welcome and Introductions
Three Kinds of Hands-On Science: Tops
Lunch 12:00 - 12:45
Afternoon Taking the Plunge
Reflections and Assessment

Day 2 Tuesday, August 11 Explore

Storyline: How do we distinguish investigable questions? What tools do we use in science?
Morning Raising Questions: Ice Balloons
Lunch 12:00 - 12:45
Afternoon The Tools of Inquiry: Process Skills Circus
Reflections and Assessment

Day 3 Wednesday, August 12 Explore

Storyline: How do we use these skills and tools as starting points for inquiry?
Morning Introduction to Starting Points
Colored Light and Pigments
Lunch 12:00 - 12:45
Afternoon Color Investigations

Day 4 Thursday, August 13 Explore and Explain

Storyline: How do we move hands-on activities toward inquiry?
Morning Presentation: Reflection, Absorption and Transmission of Light Color Investigations
Lunch 12:00 - 12:45
Pulling the Concepts Together
Focus Groups
Conclusions on Inquiry

Day 5 Friday, August 14 Apply

Storyline: How do we apply what we learned? Putting it all together!
Morning Lesson Criterion: Parachutes
Redesign a lesson
Lunch 12:00 - 12:45
Share Redesigned Lessons
Ice Cream Social
Giveaway Surprises