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Summer Workshop Plans


Summer Workshop Agenda

submitter: Language Acquisition in Science Education for Rural Schools (LASERS)
published: 10/01/1998
posted to site: 09/29/1998
LASERS offered three separate, but related summer trainings this year. One was a five week summer academy -- a summer school for K-5 students living in one of our seven service districts with science and language as the primary focus. Teachers in the Academy formed grade level teams (four teachers per grade level, four Mini-corps assistants, and two peer coaches) and taught an agreed upon unit taken from Life Lab Science Program and the Hampton Brown Into English! program. Lessons were video-taped for use in grade level meetings in the afternoon, where team members reflected on practice. Additionally, coaches maintained a regular schedule of pre-conference, post-conference interviews with each of their teachers based upon observations of the lessons being taught.

We offered a one week institute for lead teachers who had been in the project one or more years (Phase 1 and Phase 2 Schools) that took place in the third week of the Academy. The focus was on peer coaching and leadership skills, and the lead teachers were easily integrated into the Academy activities as observers and participants. The third professional development activity we offered was a one week institute for lead teachers new to the project (Phase 3 Schools) during the first week of the Academy. This institute was run essentially independently of the Academy, though on the day that administrators came (and almost all were represented) when part of the training involved observing the teaching/reflection model in practice. The primary focus for Phase 3 Lead Teachers during the course of the year is on improving their own classroom practice, so the focus of the Phase 3 Institute was on classroom practice. This year, we chose to draw attention to issues related to science content through inquiry and the integration of content-based ELD strategies. There were, of course, other issues that had to be addressed in the course of the institute. What follows is the script used for the Language, Content & Inquiry Strands of the Phase 3 Institute.

LASERS Phase 3 Summer Institute
Content & Inquiry Strand

During this one-week institute we hope to provide enough time for Phase 3 Resource Teachers to:

  1. build awareness of LASERS
  2. understand their roles and responsibilities
  3. begin to understand how science & language can work together
  4. experience examples of effective science & ELD instruction
  5. develop science content understanding
  6. plan instruction of a science unit for their classroom
  7. meet with their administrators, who also have been oriented to LASERS

This Content and Inquiry Strand will be woven through the one week Institute in order to help meet, to varying degrees, goals 3-6. Additional break-out sessions and activities are planned to more specifically address a few of those goals. Other activities are planned to meet goals 1-2 and 7. This strand will focus on inquiry in the garden, enabling Resource Teachers to explore interactions between biotic and abiotic elements of the garden habitat.

Issues related to differences between "content" and "inquiry" are difficult to resolve. On the one hand, "inquiry" is a process for learning. Experience with "doing" inquiry is therefore designed to help teachers understand what inquiry is all about and provide them with resources to begin using inquiry with their students. But inquiry is also a method for delivering (or receiving) content understanding. We propose, in this strand, to try to accomplish both purposes.

Approximately 3 hours of each day will be spent in inquiry activities. Each day the Resource Teachers will focus on a different aspect of the inquiry process, helping to facilitate their understanding of that process and -- by narrowing their focus -- highlighting specific elements of effective science and language instruction. We will follow the same basic outline each day, which includes:

  • Introduction & overview
  • Garden work -- collecting information and conducting inquiry
  • Discussion of major findings & discoveries
  • Debrief of elements making that particular experience effective
  • Summary of connections between day's activity and the big idea of science
  • Examination of applications of language instruction to the science activity
  • Application of day's experience to classroom planning

In terms of the language acquistion portion of the institute (goals 3 and 4), we hope to weave and embed it thoroughly in the daily activities. Each science investigation or activity will have clear language activities connected to it. During the daily debrief, teachers will focus on analyzing the different language strategies they experienced, as well as developing methods for determining which of those strategies are most appropriate for students of different levels of language acquisition. The Language Acquisition strand is presented separately, and cross-referenced here (since the two are intricately entwined) and on the calendar. Additionally, this Content & Inquiry Strand is cross-referenced in the Language Acquisition strand.

It is our hope that by the end of the one-week Institute, Resource Teachers will better understand some of interactions of living and non-living things in the garden environment, will understand how "inquiry" helped to develop those concepts, have a better understanding of how to conduct a scientific inquiry, will have a way to assess the effectiveness of science instruction and language strategies, and have planned at least one unit of science instruction for the upcoming school year.

This page contains the agenda and materials in the institutes; Page 2 contains a description of the activities, goals, and objectives of the Content and Inquiry strand; Page 3 contains a description of the activities, goals, and objectives of the Language Acquisition strand.

Location: Ohlone School

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
8:00 Breakfast
Welcome & Check-in
8:30 Institute Overview
Garden: Generating Questions (45) Scott

Tea Party: Sharing Questions (30)
Developing Investigable Questions (60)

Garden: Testing & Data Collection (90)
Developing Criteria for Classroom Observations
Welcome Administrators LASERS Overview

(Ylda, Robbie, Trish, Lorie, video)
Materials & Garden

10:00 Science-based Language Development: Mudshakes

Science Lab Erika

Preparing a Science Report (45)
Classroom Observations
10:45 Break Break Break Break 10:30 Break
11:00 Making Science Comprehensible For All


Debriefing Questioning (25)
Content Connections (25)
Language Applications (25)
Debriefing Testing (25)
Content Connections (25)
Language Applications (25)
Debrief Classroom Observations: Discuss strategies & effectiveness. Introduce HRI Criteria
Classroom Observations (45)
Debrief Observations (30)
12:15 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch & Celebration/Reception
12:45 Garden Observations

Library/Garden Scott

Selecting & Designing a Test (75)


Classroom Lesson Planning: Applying & Modifying Lessons for Langauge Acquisition & Development
Supporting Conclusions with Evidence -- Sharing Reports (75)


Site-Based Planning (120)
2:00 Break Break Break Break Break
2:15 Debrief Observations (30) Lesson Planning (105)
Continue Classroom Lesson Planning
Debrief Conclusions (45) Site-Based Planning (cont)
3:00 Debriefing Observing
Scott Content Connections
Language Applications
Content Connections (20)
Language Applications (20)
Debrief Inquiry (20)
District-Wide Planning
4:00 Closure Closure Closure Closure
4:15 Adjourn Adjourn Adjourn Adjourn Closure (3:45)

  • Poster or chart (overhead?) with goals of Content & Inquiry Strand
  • Observing Garden Interactions (directions) -- Figure 1
  • Test Design (transparency & handout) -- Figure 2
  • Conducting an Investigation, Discussion Guide (handout) -- Figure 3
  • Evidence for Effective Science (handout) -- Figure 4
  • Composition Books (one per participant) -- please, the type with gridded pages!
  • 10-15 Hand lenses
  • 10-15 Garden trowels
  • 26 Bug boxes
  • 10-15 Rulers and/or measuring tape(s)
  • 8-13 Measuring cups
  • 5-10 Magnetic compasses
  • Piles of 3x5 index cards (each person is writing as many questions as possible, one question per card)
  • 100 Sentence strips
  • Magic tape (3-4 rolls)
  • Masking tape (3-4 rolls)
  • 2-3 packs of adhesive labels (or twist ties with labels -- to attach to plants) and the stuff written above
  • 10 Magic markers (packages)
  • 4 Pads chart paper
  • Blank transparencies
  • Overhead markers (1 set of 4)
  • 2 Chart stands

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