To effectively teach math and science content to middle ...

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To effectively teach math and science content to middle school students the RM-MSMSP Professional Development Courses should embrace these values and ideas----

• Hands-On activities that can be used in the middle school classroom

• Students need to have opportunities to talk to other students about their learning, as they learn

• Activities need to be accessible to all students at their levels of understanding

• Teachers base instruction on what students say about their learning

• Conceptual (big ideas) of science

• Based on constructivist learning theory using the 5 E’s (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate) learning cycle or similar cycle

• Courses differentiated for the learner

• Value student thinking

• For teacher classes, model valuing student thinking

• You have to have fun to learn and you have to learn to have fun

• There needs to be an emphasis on the combination of content and instructional strategies.

• Teachers appreciate leaving a class or Professional Development session with lesson they can use immediately!

• IHE Stem faculty understanding of where Middle School teachers “are” with respect to content knowledge

• Science literacy strategies

• Differentiated instruction in professional development courses

• I believe these courses should be strongly based in content knowledge with opportunities to develop meaningful lessons at the middle school level incorporating literacy, differentiation, inquiry, and technology

• These courses need:

1. Theory and practice

2. Strong use of manipulatives

3. Problem solving

4. Alignment to NCTM and Colorado model content standards

5. Use of technology

6. Conceptual focus applied to real world situations

7. Reflection

8. Lots of math activities that will relate to what teachers are already teaching

9. Focus on getting students to think and explain their thinking

10. Have ideas on how to differentiate within the classroom during particular instruction

11. Have some focus on number sense (I would really like to see a course developed that focuses on number sense)

• Courses should:

1. Be based upon the teacher’s curriculum

2. Proceed from moderately structured to loosely structured

3. Model good practices – respect for learner’s view, emphasize interaction among learners, and ask good questions and responses

4. Have appropriate content

• Strong combination of content, based on activities and structured class work and pedagogical information about how middle school students learn. Follow-up in the teachers, in both areas.

• Learning how each student learns so that the teacher can be more effective

• Content knowledge

• Critical thinking activities

• Problem solving activities

• Data analysis activities

• Teacher active participation in inquiry

• Courses (teaching and material) must be infused with enthusiasm

• Courses must be relevant, applicable, motivated by innovative examples, exercises and projects

• I believe that every student deserves to be given the best possible education available

• I feel that this series of courses should give the middle school teachers a solid foundation and several activities and models so that middle school students can transition into high school and be prepared and can be successful in their high school courses

• Immediate value to teachers

• An understanding of the content beyond what is taught at the middle school level

• Activities that teachers can use in the classroom to enrich their curriculum

• Use of technology in the classroom to enhance instruction (graphing calculators)

• Hard copy (template) for science activities

• Cheap materials list (Safeway, hardware store materials)

• Teacher guide to go with activities

• References available

• I believe that teachers must be equipped with knowledge that provides them with the tools to ensure that all children learn successfully. This includes content knowledge, as well as pedagogy and instructional techniques. Teachers also need support!

• Relevant activities or tasks that are applicable to their classrooms

• Time to discuss and make sense of multiple solution strategies to various content tasks

• A safe environment where they can participate in a professional community of learners


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