Science in our elementary schools is not taught with a traditional textbook. All elementary teachers use district adopted science kits to instruct students in science fundamentals.
Enhanced Curriculum Unit Training
Our kit training classes have undergone changes over the past few years. We have moved toward longer training classes which allow participants to experience and reflect upon the lessons in the unit to a greater depth. The use of a visual storyline has been added to help teachers see the big picture of their science unit. By constructing the storyline as they progress through the training, teachers are able to see how skills and concepts are interwoven to enhance student learning. Additionally, participants create a personal science notebook that serves not only to communicate their own learning, but can also help them to plan how they might incorporate the notebooking processes with their own students.
Science Notebook Training
Training in the hows and whys of student science notebooks has been offered at various times during the year. Science notebooks provide evidence that students understand important science concepts that align with the Arizona science standards. In the notebook training classes, teachers are introduced to issues and research that support the use of notebooks, discuss their own ideas of what a science notebook should look like, examine links between notebooking and Gilbert's language arts objectives, learn how notebooking relates to current research in cognitive science, plan how they would like to incorporate notebooks into their own classroom, and consider techniques for assessing student work.
Self-reflection journals, collegial collaboration, and study groups in the area of science are three types of professional development that some teachers have been piloting this Spring. We are constantly looking at different models of professional development that will fit the needs of our elementary classroom teachers. Based on input from teachers who have tried out one of these methods of self-reflection, we are anticipating implementing training in each of these methods as our professional development opportunities expand.
Our summer class offering includes content classes for various core science units. Through the use of hands-on, inquiry based activities, teachers look at some of the major concepts in their science units at a greater depth to enhance their own understanding. Local scientists work with our science resource center staff to create rich and varied learning opportunities for our participants.
Register for Classes
Gilbert Teachers can register for Professional Development classes online: mylearningplan.com
140 South Gilbert Road | Gilbert AZ 85296 | Phone: 480 497-3300