To help you make the most of the professional development opportunities available at the Boston conference, the Conference Committee has planned the conference around four strands that explore topics of current significance, enabling you to focus on a specific area of interest or need.
Science and Literacy: A Symbiotic Relationship
Attention to literacy is often seen as taking time away from science. In fact, built right into the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, literacy can and should be used to enhance the effective teaching of science. Well-designed and integrated science and literacy instruction creates a symbiosis that supports classroom practice and student achievement. The investigation of science concepts within the elementary classroom enhances the development of reading, writing, and communication skills. At the upper grades, strengthened literacy skills continue to empower all students to access the science content and communicate their understanding. This strand will address how literacy and science are in service to each other across the learning continuum.
Teaching Elementary Science with Confidence!
With limited time, resources, and opportunities to learn science, it is no wonder elementary teachers find teaching science within the school day to be challenging. There is a constant struggle to find the time for engaging students in active science experiences. We also know that simply doing a science activity does not produce a deep understanding of concepts. This strand provides opportunities for elementary teachers to enhance their content knowledge, locate resources, incorporate science and engineering practices from the highly anticipated Next Generation Science Standards, and explore classroom management strategies when teaching science.
Leading from the Classroom
Throughout their careers, teachers grow professionally and often see opportunities to improve science education. But does that mean leaving the classroom? Why can't a teacher be both a classroom teacher and leader? Effective science teachers often think that the only way to increase their impact on science education is to leave the classroom. In fact, there are a myriad of leadership roles that can be fulfilled as a teacher leader. This strand addresses the skills and opportunities for developing leadership capacity while continuing to serve as effective classroom teachers.
Engineering and Science: Technological Partners
Are you integrating science and engineering practices into your instruction? Are you looking for the latest cool tools to enrich your classroom? With the NRC Framework and the highly anticipated Next Generation Science Standards defining science and engineering as intertwined, teachers are expected to integrate both within the science curriculum. This strand explores the thoughtful, effective, and meaningful integration of technologies to increase STEM learning and understanding.