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Summer Workshop Plans


Building Bridges Summer Workshop Agenda

submitter: Building Bridges to the Future: The Next Generation of Science-Enabled Elementary School Teachers
published: 08/13/1999
posted to site: 08/13/1999


Length of Workshops

We offer sessions of three weeks (for teachers new to inquiry-centered science instruction); two weeks (for teachers designated as leadership teachers and working on their second or third intensive summer institute with the project); one week (for teachers new to inquiry-centered science instruction); and three days (for teachers wanting work on one specific module).

Number of teachers involved

400 teachers are participating.

Major goals of workshops

Goals for all participants:

  • to learn content which is specific to the exemplary kits adopted as the official science instructional materials at their grade level.

  • to experience an inquiryccentered approach to elementary science teaching and to learn how to teach their specific kits using an investigative approach.

Additional goals for participants designated as leadership teachers in each school:

  • to design a specific personal plan for science education leadership in their school and district during the 1999-2000 academic year, which is based on the current status of the local science teaching system and informed by this summer's study of the National Science Education Standards.

  • to develop a deeper understanding of performance-based assessment, which is demonstrated by the design of a total assessment plan for an exemplary science kit which they have previously taught and which they will teach again.

Relation of professional development to curricula

We are offering professional development on specific curricula which have been adopted by our school districts. Most of our professional development is related to STC modules, as they represent the majority of kits adopted by our schools. Some FOSS and INSIGHTS units are also included.

During the summer of 1999, Building Bridges to the Future has professional development in three different formats:

  1. For leadership teachers. Members of our Cadre B, who are in their second or third summer of intensive professional development, meet for two weeks of institute. (Cadre B teachers, along with their predecessor Cadre A teachers, are designated leaders in their schools, who provide workshops and serve as mentors to non-Cadre teachers.) The institute consists of four strands, each of which meets daily. Strand 1 is a science content and pedagogy strand based on kits which have been adopted by our schools. Teachers of grades 4 and 5 are working with Motion and Design. Teachers of grade 3 are dealing with Plant Growth and Development. Grade 2 teachers are experiencing the content of the Changes kit, and Grade 1 teachers are studying weather in conjunction with the STC Weather module. Strand 2 consists of study and discussion of the National Science Education Standards. Strand 3 is a leadership/coaching/mentorship strand in which teachers meet by school district and each develops a personal plan for leadership action during the 1999-00 school year. Strand 4 is an assessment strand in which teachers are grouped by modules that they have taught and therefore know well. Each module group is developing a full assessment plan, including pre, post, and embedded assessments for their module. In addition to employing their module performance assessment plans in their classes during the academic year, these teachers will present their plans during hands-on sessions at the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers annual meeting next February.

  2. For non-Cadre teachers. One group of non-Cadre teachers who are new to inquiry-centered science teaching and the use of kits are meeting for a one-week institute. They are focusing heavily on content and pedadogy. All participants are working in depth with the Soils module, including interactions with a scientist-in-residence and doing individual investigations based on their own authentic questions. Each teacher is also working on a newly adopted kit at her/his grade level under the formal daily instruction of a Cadre A or B teacher.

  3. For non-Cadre teachers. We have divided our 14 districts into four geographic regions. Administrators and Cadre A and B teachers have taken responsibility for organizing 12-hour workshops, generally over a three-day period, on each of the newly adopted kit modules. Seventy-eight such workshops are being taught this summer. Teachers in any of the four districts may take a module class in any of the other districts, thus allowing for flexibility of scheduling.