During the week of Nov. 5-7 local teachers gathered at ESD 123 in Pasco, Washington to deepen their knowledge of the new instructional materials from Smithsonian Science Units. Third Grade teachers learned about How Weather and Climate Affect our Lives, Fourth Grade teachers studied Evidence that We live in a Changing Earth, and Fifth Grade teachers focused on How We Can Use the Sky to Navigate.
Using common instructional materials aligned to the NGSS and climate science, teachers had the opportunity to experience professional learning with peers. It is through these immersion experiences that teachers get to feel what it is like to be a student first, then talk with peers about how to best present the concepts to other local teachers.
Fifth Grade teacher, Elizabeth Gonzalez said, “I’ve just had an ah ha moment”, after she got to be part of the Earth rotation model with her peers.
Pam Hood, a 4th grade teacher said, “Thanks so much for such an informative day. I was really glad we did the engineering challenge. It was important for us to experience that and will be important for our teacher learners to experience that.”
These instructors become the best of the best. As experts they will then spend Saturdays instructing teachers in the units. This model of training the trainers sets up a network of well-trained teachers that will bring quality instruction to the students in the region.