We have modified the professional development we provided for the summer Science Fellows and Classroom Teachers during each of the two summers we have done this work thus far, and are planning to modify it once again for Summer 2016. The lessons we have learned are that professional development to prepare Fellows and Teachers to do the curriculum development work is best delivered in small chunks, focused on specific tasks at hand, with collaborative work time in between to practice the skills they have just learned. The most useful topics, PD instructor outlines, and handouts we have developed are below.
In our first year we ran an orientation session for all Science Fellows and Classroom Teachers to introduce the T2L program, its goals and expectations, and review program logistics and the units that would be taught. As the program has developed, we have left the “general program overview and logistics” portions of this meeting for project staff to do individually or in small groups with new Fellows and Classroom Teachers. Most Classroom Teachers and about half of Fellows return for subsequent semesters.
At the beginning of each semester we provide a one and one-half to two hours guided planning session for Science Fellows and Classroom Teachers to review together the curriculum units with program staff, and begin detailed planning for their first few lessons. See documents under “Collaborative Time” in Section IV Logistics above.
Over the two years of the project thus far, we have offered a number of two-hour joint professional development workshops for Science Fellows and Classroom Teachers with the goal of building capacity to teach science using best-practice techniques, and purposefully building elementary students capacity to engage in the eight NGSS scientific practices. Topics and relevant materials are listed below.
Using Science Journals Files:
Scientific Modeling Files:
Science Talk Files: