Monday, July 21, 2014

A Summer of Science

I have had a very busy summer so far.  I signed up for VISTA with my 4th and 5th grade teammates.   What is VISTA?  In June and July, I met up with 38 other Virginia teachers at Virginia Commonwealth University to participate in a four-week professional development institute designed to shift science instruction from the traditional teacher-led, lecture-driven classroom to a hands-on, problem-based learning environment.  You can find out more about VISTA at

The program has been wonderful.   It has also been overwhelming and stressful and enlightening and completely worth it.  I have learned so much over the last 4 weeks.  I never felt science was my strongest subject.  To say that I was out of my comfort zone would be an understatement.  
One piece of this program was teaching part of a science camp for students with high need. I loved working with the students and teaching science in a fun, hands-on, and engaging way.  For the last three days of training we are working as teams to create a 2-week problem based unit to implement this upcoming school year.

We learned about discourse and teaching students to talk like scientists and really get into deeper conversations.  Here is a poster I made for my classroom.  I plan to reference it when we are starting discourse circles.  You can download it by clicking the link under the picture.

Another resource I made was a set of posters about NOS.  What is NOS?  Nature of Science...totally didn't even know that before this summer.  I have nine posters and you can download them for free from TeachersPayTeachers.  While you are there, feel free to follow my store!

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