On a beautiful, sunny Saturday in March, a dozen elementary teachers arrived at the NCESD office to kick off a multisession cohort learning about, planning, and implementing integrated Life Science and English Language Arts lessons. The cohort includes teachers from all grades K through 5th.
In this first session, teachers began the day sharing their hopes and dreams for the work they are setting out to do. Themes across the Chalk Talk activity included reinvigoration and confidence in teaching science, learning from each other and networking, and bringing professional learning back to their buildings.
Kimberley Astle, Associate Director of Elementary Science and Content Integration, and Cari Haug, NCESD Regional Science Coordinator facilitate the session with professional learning about the different models of integration and the connections between the NGSS and ELA standards. Teachers experienced an immersion activity exploring poetry and mushroom science investigations. They wrapped up the day by working together in teams to identify opportunities for integration in a life science unit from their curriculum. Teachers walked out the door that day with a small collection of children’s literature and science materials to get started in their efforts to develop their own integrated lesson plans.
This cohort will meet together through Zoom four more times throughout the spring and complete small independent assignments between sessions.