STEM Professional Development

Teacher
Professional
Development

 

Real Strategies for Connecting
Science Learning to Life

 

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FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS

 

FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS

A teacher leading students who has participated in Environmental Education Professional Development courses with IslandWood

Supporting Equitable and Engaging Science Learning

Made possible through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) ClimeTime initiative, IslandWood’s free professional development courses allow teachers to fulfill their STEM Clock Hour requirements while gaining culturally responsive, ready-to-use strategies to deepen students’ climate literacy, inspire environmental stewardship, and connect science learning to students’ lives and identities. We hope to join K – 8th grade teachers in addressing the vast racial, economic, and environmental disparities in our communities and classrooms to create a world where every student is able to thrive.

of teachers who participated in IslandWood professional development said they were likely or very likely to incorporate their schoolyard or local community into their classes next year.

of teachers felt more prepared to incorporate climate science into their teaching, up from just 41%.

of teachers reported increased confidence in their ability to support equitable and just science education, up from just 46%.

of teachers reported feeling knowledgeable about Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), from 74%.

I was feeling really insecure about switching to NGSS, but after this planning session I’m really looking forward to engaging my students with engineering practices and watching them problem-solve real issues in our environment.”

– Teacher

FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS

Explore courses and workshops designed for elementary school teachers below. Please sign up here to get notified when registration opens up!

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

A group of teachers collaborate on creating a stormwater model during an Environmental Education Professional Development session with IslandWood

SCHOOLYARD LEARNING COURSE (K-2ND GRADE TEACHERS)

Incorporating the schoolyard into your classroom is an essential strategy for justice-centered and engaging science learning. Using real-world, local scientific phenomena helps connect Next Generation Science Standards to students’ existing knowledge, reflects students’ interests and identities, and affirms all students as scientists. Taking learning outdoors is also a great strategy for reducing COVID-19 risk!

 

In this virtual course, IslandWood educators will share tools and a ready-to-use curriculum to support community-centered science learning in your schoolyard. Following an introductory asynchronous session, participants will join IslandWood educators and fellow teachers for a synchronous session to try out a few lessons and brainstorm ways to implement an NGSS-aligned storyline that builds student understanding of the changing seasons. The storyline will integrate science standards, ELA read-alouds, and culturally sustaining activities that engage families and communities. During two online follow-up sessions, participants will engage with a small group of other teachers as a professional learning community, reflecting on their process and generating new ideas. Both course cohorts will then come together for a final session to discuss how to carry forward course lessons into future instruction.

What Makes a Weed a Weed Course (3rd-5th Grade Teachers)

There are three cohorts available for this course – two hybrid and one virtual. Please choose the one that best aligns with your schedule and needs!

 

Sign up here to get notified when registration for this course opens up!

 

Incorporating the schoolyard into your classroom is an essential strategy for justice-centered and engaging science learning. Using real-world, local scientific phenomena helps connect Next Generation Science Standards to students’ existing knowledge, reflects students’ interests and identities, and affirms all students as scientists. Taking learning outdoors is also a great strategy for reducing COVID-19 risk!

 

In this hybrid online/in-person course, IslandWood educators will share tools and a ready-to-use, NGSS-aligned curriculum for antiracist, outdoor science learning. We will use a cluster of dandelions to anchor a phenomenon-based storyline that will get students outside and engaged with science. Our transdisciplinary approach will also support integration of Social Studies and English/Language Arts (ELA) into your science instruction.

 

Following an introductory asynchronous session, participants will join IslandWood educators and fellow teachers to try out a few lessons and discuss how to implement schoolyard learning with their own students. During two follow-up sessions, participants will engage in a professional learning community with a small group of fellow teachers to reflect on their process and generate new ideas. During our final session, participants from cohorts across the region will connect online to discuss their experiences and share learnings that can be carried forward into future science instruction.

Environmental Education Professional Development for teachers with IslandWood

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHERS

Explore courses and workshops designed for middle school teachers below. Please sign up here to get notified when registration opens up!

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

A teacher leads a science investigation in a classroom while students watch. Environmental Education Professional Development

Community-Centered Climate Change (6th-8th Grade Teachers)

There are three cohorts available for this course – two hybrid and one virtual. Please choose the one that best aligns with your schedule and needs.

 

Registration is now open!

 

During this course, participants will explore how to center investigations of local scientific phenomena in a Next Generation Science Standards storyline. IslandWood educators will offer instructional strategies and climate and community data to help teachers connect to the interests and identities of students and support understanding of the impacts of climate change. In collaboration with fellow teachers, participants will imagine possibilities for this learning in their own classroom through brainstorming phenomenon-based storylines.

 

Following an introductory asynchronous session, participants will join IslandWood educators and fellow teachers to try out a few lessons and plan for implementing community-based science strategies with their own students. During two follow-up sessions, participants will engage in a small-group professional learning community with other teachers to reflect on their process and generate new ideas. Participants from cohorts across the region will then meet for a final session to discuss their experiences and share learnings that can be carried forward into future science instruction.

This course is intended for teachers of 6th-8th grade students with some flexibility in what they teach. Informal science educators are also welcome!

 

After completing the course, teachers will need to claim and pay for clock hours at www.PDEnroller.org.

 

Washington State public school teachers will receive a $300 implementation stipend upon submission of teacher and student work and completion of assessments.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS & COURSES

TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP: URBAN WATER SYSTEMS

December 1 @ 3:30 pm

December 1 @ 5:30 pm

Location: Online

 

Learn More →

TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: COMMUNITY-BASED CLIMATE CHANGE FOR 6th-8th EDUCATORS – ONLINE ONLY

January 13, 2022 @ 4:00 pm

January 13, 2022 @ 5:30 pm

Location: Online

 

Learn More →

“I enjoyed the lessons and concepts around anti-racist teaching and how to incorporate the identities of our students and actively work towards systemic changes in our approach, our curriculum, and our practices.”

– Kristen C., Teacher and IslandWood Professional Development Participant

Environmental Education Professional Development for teachers outside with IslandWood

OUR IMPACT

INCREASING CLIMATE LITERACY.

 

91% of teachers reported feeling more prepared to incorporate climate science into their teaching after participating in our professional development, up from just 41% prior to participation.

SUPPORTING JUST AND EQUITABLE EDUCATION FOR ALL STUDENTS.

 

96% of teachers reported increased confidence in their ability to support equitable and just science education, up from 46%.

WHEN STUDENTS SEE THEMSELVES REFLECTED IN THEIR EDUCATION, THEY THRIVE.

 

After participating in our professional development workshops, 96% percent of teachers reported an increased ability to connect to their students’ interests and identities, up from just 56% before. Learning that connects to students’ lives fosters deeper engagement, honors multiple ways of knowing, and helps students synthesize information better.

30+ SCHOOL DISTRICTS. 100+ SCHOOLS. 300+ TEACHERS. 8,000+ STUDENTS.

 

Each year, our teacher professional development courses create an exponential ripple of positive change and care for the environment.

“It got me thinking about how I can use students’ home environments to help them discover natural phenomena and develop their own scientific questions to explore and research based on what they are curious about.”

– Chantal Fleck, 2nd and 3rd Grade Teacher, Emerald Heights Elementary School

Our teacher professional development opportunities are made possible thanks to generous support from King County and a grant from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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