About the Program
|1: Sessions 1 & 2 Review|
|2: Guidelines for Outdoor Learning Experiences|
|3: Video Story Project|
|4: Story Project Example|
|5: Student Example: Planting a Garden PowerPoint|
|1: Internet Resources on Weed Control (Document version)|
|2: Education Website Evaluation Questions|
|3: Education Website Evaluation Form |
|4: Internet Resources Evaluation Task |
|5: Internet Resources to Be Evaluated|
|1: Creating a Blog|
|2: Garden Experiment Blog |
|3: Collaboration Tools|
|4: Classroom Implementation|
|5: Instructional Unit Plan |
|1: Utilizing Community Resources |
|2: Discovering Community Resources |
|3: Group Resource List (Document version)|
|4: Planning for Community Engagement|
The Connecting Kids to Mathematics and Science professional development course is designed to provide teachers in grades 4–8 with hands-on experience in integrating mathematics, science, and technology in the classroom. The course guides teachers through developing and implementing problem-based lessons that connect math and science and employ technology to promote student learning. The Connecting Kids course materials include session guides, slide presentations, and handouts. The materials are designed for use by an experienced trainer or facilitator. The nine-session course is designed for classes of up to 25 teachers.
How Old Is Old?
Through a review of geologic history and plate tectonics, participants will determine whether forecasted events are plausible. Participants will view geologic time from a mathematics perspective to develop a sense of scale and a proportional perspective of the time period in which modern humans, or Homo sapiens, have existed. Participants will also increase their understanding of how to use technology in a way that facilitates learning without making technology the focus of the lesson.
What Cat Is That?
Participants will deepen their understanding of prerequisite knowledge for proportional reasoning and related concepts. Participants will identify methods students may use to determine whether organisms could have lived in specific regions and why they became extinct. Participants will also be able to reproduce forced perspective images and understand how they may be used to exaggerate information.
Telling the Story
Participants will increase their understanding of the characteristics of learning opportunities that are based on an approach that integrates mathematics, science, and technology. Participants will increase their knowledge and skills to lead an outdoor learning experience. Participants will also develop the knowledge and skills to produce a video story about a project that will be used in the classroom.
Evaluating Web-Based Resources
Participants will increase their understanding of the importance of critically reviewing and using online resources to enhance student learning. Through a review of online resources, participants will also determine which Web resources may enhance students’ understanding of identified concepts.
Integrating Technology in the Classroom
Participants will identify, describe, and evaluate the components of a classroom environment that supports integrated math, science, and technology problem-based activities. Participants will understand ways to structure a classroom to support technology integration in problem-based activities. Participants will also develop a process for evaluating student work in integrated math, science, and technology problem-based activities.
Participants will understand how different collaborative tools can be used in the classroom to enhance the learning experience. Participants will sample a variety of types of collaborative tools. Participants will also find appropriate collaborative tools to use in the classroom.
Collaborative Tools In Action
Participants will understand how different collaborative tools can be used in the classroom to enhance the learning experience. Participants will also use collaborative tools in a problem-based learning environment.
Community Resources and Engagement
Participants will discover and share how community resources can be used to enhance and integrate mathematics, science, and technology in classroom instruction. Participants will build a common database and presentation of community resources that can be shared and used to enhance instruction. Participants will also explore classroom applications that can utilize community resources.
Putting It All Together
Participants will review key topics, components, and challenges regarding instruction that integrates mathematics, science, and technology. Participants will also integrate and apply what they have learned in previous sessions by developing an instructional unit that integrates mathematics, science, and technology.
Using the Course
The Connecting Kids course materials include session guides, slide presentations, and handouts. The materials are designed for use by an experienced trainer or facilitator. Prerequisites for trainers include an intermediate to advanced knowledge of current technology, including computers, data projectors, online collaboration tools and software, and digital cameras. Trainers should also have content expertise in math and science at the elementary and middle school levels and knowledge of current instructional design and pedagogy.
The nine-session course is designed for classes of up to 25 teachers. Because the course content builds on itself over the nine sessions, participants need to commit to attending every session if possible.
Organization of the Course
The Connecting Kids sessions are organized in three phases. Sessions 1–3 serve as models of problem-based lessons that integrate math, science, and technology. These sessions are designed to introduce teachers to the type of lesson they will be developing. Sessions 4–6 provide participants with a number of tools and resources to help them design this type of lesson. Sessions 7–9 then give teachers, working in groups, experience in creating and implementing an integrated problem-based unit/lesson for their own classroom. In addition to receiving sheltered time to develop integrated units, teachers continue to learn new concepts as well as to receive professional development on using collaborative tools and community resources.
Between sessions and after the course, facilitators should follow up with the participants by phone and through school visits as a way to help teachers put the learning into practice.