Development Institute at NSTA
Offered by First Hand Learning, Inc. and Education Development Center
Science Inquiry and Literacy:
How Are They Connected?
Wednesday, April 5, 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
(More details to be confirmed by First Hand Learning and Education Development Center)
Level: Grades K–8
Registration Fee: $225 (lunch included); by preregistration only here (https://ecommerce.nsta.org/2006ANA/)
To be most effective, science inquiry involves direct experiences; thinking about those experiences; and talking, writing, and reading about those experiences. For students to develop their abilities to think and reason scientifically, develop conceptual understanding, and communicate their understandings, they must investigate natural phenomena and use literacy skills in many forms. Education Development Center and First Hand Learning, Inc., will collaborate in a full-day institute to examine how student discussion, writing, and reading are integral parts of firsthand experiences with authentic objects and with explorations in the outdoors.
We will begin by inviting participants to work in groups and engage in close observations of natural objects selected for their ability to spark discussion and generate questions. The role of discussion and how it enhances observation and questioning as well as effective collaboration will be a focus. Participants will learn of specific teaching strategies that encourage discussion and of ways to support the development of student communication skills.
As participants pursue their observations of these natural objects and begin to formulate questions, they will record and document their ideas in writing and drawing using a science notebook or journal. The Institute will bring into focus the ways in which writing, drawing, and close observation all serve to deepen the quality and depth of the observation. Presenters will share teaching strategies to strengthen skills in documenting observations as well as formulating and recording questions.
These close observations of natural objects will lead to an outdoor investigation focused on local habitats. Thinking about natural objects in context presents an additional level of complexity. Participants will need to go beyond observation of individual objects to collect additional data about the context in which they are
found. They will need to analyze their data, look for relationships, and sort out connections. As they talk with their groups and use their science notebooks or journals, participants will reflect on the role of discussion, argument, and debate as well as the place of writing and drawing in data collection, analysis, and the development of understanding. Once again, we will highlight teaching strategies to support student use of these literacy skills as part of science inquiry.
As a final step in their inquiry, participants will be asked to take their findings, and in their groups synthesize their ideas, come to some conclusions, and present their conclusions in understandable and communicable formats. They will reflect on how students can do the same in classroom inquiry. Participants will work with national leaders in the field of inquiry-based learning. The Institute will be conducted by Karen Worth, Jeffrey Winokur, Marian Pasquale, and Bernie Zubrowski of Education Development Center, and Patricia McGlashan, Peter Dow, David Hartney, and William Rogers of First Hand Learning, Inc.
For more information, contact: Karen Worth or Jeffrey Winokur at EDC, email@example.com Phone: 617- 618-2428 and Peter Dow and David Hartney at FHL, firstname.lastname@example.org.