Vol. 3, No. 2





The National Science Teachers Association’s annual national conference offers a dizzying array of choice to attendees. The sheer number and variety of workshops, demonstrations, lectures, and other sessions can become overwhelming. So how do you choose what to attend?

Below are our suggestions: a list of “pathway sessions” that complement and expand upon FHL’s professional development institute. The presenters are experienced and engaging and come at the topic of “science and literacy” from different angles. If you are interested in exploring natural history-based science inquiry and how it connects to literacy consider attending any or all on this list.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Location: America’s Center, Room 225 (unless specified)

08:00-11:00 PDI FHL Pathway Session: Finding Literacy Opportunities in Science Kits
[Workshop, Gen, Elementary-Middle Level]

Presenter: Patricia McGlashan (First Hand Learning, Inc., Stony Creek, CT)

Explore science materials to discover opportunities for exercising oral and written language skills through discussion, reading, writing, drawing, measuring, raising authentic questions, and searching for evidence.

12:30-13:30 PDI FHL Pathway Session: Outdoor Inquiries
[Workshop, Gen, Elementary-Middle Level]

Presenters: Peter B. Dow (First Hand Learning, Inc., Buffalo, NY); David Hartney (First Hand Learning, Inc., Buffalo, NY); William Rogers (First Hand Learning, Inc., Buffalo, NY); Patricia McGlashan (First Hand Learning, Inc., Stony Creek, CT); Kristen Gasser (First Hand Learning, Inc., Buffalo, NY)

Participants will make use of practical strategies for helping students investigate a variety of outdoor phenomena. A nearby urban landscape will serve as a study site at which to apply the techniques discussed during the seminar.

12:30-13:30 PDI EDC Pathway Session: Connecting Science and Literacy Through Nature Journals
[Workshop, Bio, Informal Education]

Presenter: Mark K. Baldwin (Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Jamestown, NY)

NOTE LOCATION: America's Center, Room 221

Nature journals provide an excellent means to propel science inquiry and to engage students in speaking and writing about their investigations.

14:00-15:00 PDI FHL Pathway Session: Strategies for Using Writing to Engage High School Students in Science
[Workshop, Gen, Middle Level-High School/Informal Education]

Presenter: Diane Miller (St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis, MO)

Explore multiple writing strategies that build interest and understanding in science content among high school students. Participants will review student blogs, journals, science journals, Web page designs, newspaper articles, and posters, and discuss the impact that these have on student science learning.

15:30-16:30 PDI FHL Pathway Session: Science Notebooks—Developing Literacy Skills in an Authentic Context
[Workshop, Gen, Elementary]

Presenters: Jeff Winokur (Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA); Karen Worth (Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA); Sally Crissman (Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA); Martha Winokur (Education Development Center, Inc., Newton, MA)

Using classroom video and student notebooks, participants will identify ways in which inquiry-based science provides students with the opportunity to practice and hone many key literacy skills while deepening their understanding of science concepts.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Location: America’s Center, Room 225 (unless specified)

08:00-09:00 PDI FHL Pathway Session: Teacher Naturalists—Reading the World
[Workshop, Gen, Elementary-Middle Level/Informal Education]

Presenters: Barbara Addelson (Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO); Nikki Davenport (Jackson Park Elementary School, University City, MO)

Participants will learn about the role of teacher naturalists in engaging students in investigations of the environment. The use of journals and field guides to support student writing and reading about science will be included in the session.

08:00-10:00 PDI EDC Pathway Session: Enhancing Students' Science Observation and Recording Skills
[Workshop, Bio, Informal Education]

Presenter: Mark K. Baldwin (Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Jamestown, NY)

NOTE LOCATION: America's Center, Room 221

Creating field guides requires making keen observations and accurate sketches and written notes. Participants will practice techniques for teaching and learning these critical science skills.

09:30-10:30 PDI FHL Pathway Session: Reading in Science with Children's Magazines
[Workshop, Env, Elementary]

Presenter: Kate Hofmann (National Wildlife Federation, Reston, VA)

In this workshop we will explore how children's magazines such as Ranger Rick can bring science concepts to life while fostering valuable nonfiction reading skills.

11:00-12:00 PDI FHL Pathway Session: Reading Resources for Science Investigations
[Workshop, Gen, Elementary]

Presenter: Marsha W. Jones, Consultant/Developer

This three-part session will focus on the use of science books in the primary classroom and will demonstrate how trade books are essential to children's scientific thinking, understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of science.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Location: America’s Center, Room 262

15:30-16:30 PDI FHL Pathway Session: Consider the Evidence—Putting Student Journals in the Driver's Seat
[Presentation, Gen, Elementary-Middle Level]

Presenter: Therese Arsenault (Lansing Middle School, Lansing, NY)

Daily journal assessment in middle school classes provides direction for student discussions and for the next class investigation. Participate in reviewing student journal entries from the classroom of an experienced teacher. Contribute to an analysis of student thinking and compare strategies for using journals to drive instruction.


Register now to join us at the Missouri Botanical Garden for our third NSTA professional development institute, to be held on Wednesday, March 28th. This day-long workshop will get you out into the Garden, exploring, journaling, identifying plant specimens, and designing your own field guide. Learn more about integrating literacy skills with inquiry-based science from your peers as well as the knowledgeable facilitators.


To learn more, read a full description of First Hand Learning’s PDI offering at:

Visit the National Science Teachers Association website to learn more about the St. Louis conference and its offerings:

See you there!


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