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Fifteen elementary science teachers are working hard to bring Ambitious Science Teaching (AST) practices to their classrooms. In August they participated in a three-day workshop with AST teacher leaders and the team from Washington Green Schools learning about why our air quality is changing through the use of AST practices. They are now participating in online professional learning communities (PLCs) using a tool called Zoom.

During the first, 90-minute PLC, on September 24, teachers worked on supporting student talk about big science ideas. They watched a video and moved into online breakout groups to discuss what they had seen and apply it to their own practice. For the second half of the session, teachers again moved into breakout groups based on the AST practice they are working on. Feedback from teachers indicates an appreciation for the opportunity to share their work with others!

Online PLC Teacher Feedback

“I really enjoyed the feedback and opportunity to discuss the science work we are doing. Outside eyes help give a better perspective.”

“It was really fun sharing ideas with colleagues who have a common interest.”

“Learning strategies to improve science talks came at the right time! I am getting ready to explicitly teach this to my students, so the concrete ideas we learned tonight will be great to take back to my classroom.”

Summary table tracking student thinking on Springer’s needs to survive

The photo above is from a teacher who is working on the AST practice of supporting student thinking with Summary Tables. This is her first year with AST science teaching and she is excited. During a recent visit to her classroom, one student was heard trying to decide if he wanted to continue the investigation (on whale health) or go to recess!