Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Workshop 4 –
Supporting Good Data Collection

The work of these teachers will be featured during Workshop 4:

Name: Sarah Novogrodsky
Experience: 5 years
Grade & Subjects: Grade 5; all subjects
Demographics: Outer city elementary school in university community
Classroom: 23 students; 35% special needs, 55% ESL
Science Teaching: 1-hour sessions twice per week
Curriculum: Life, physical, and earth sciences; "kits" adopted by district
Other: Lead teacher for professional development, in the use of kits which are prepackaged curriculum including teachers guides and materials and supplies for an entire class.

Name: Joanne Hurley
Experience: 18 years
Grade & Subjects: Grade 2; all subjects
Demographics: Suburban elementary school
Classroom: 23 students
Science Teaching: 45 minute block for science and social studies every day
Curriculum: Teacher developed, theme based using GEMS, AIMS
Other: Science teacher leader for district

Name: Doug Kirkpatrick
Experience: 35 years
Grade & Subjects: Grade 8, physical science
Demographics: Middle school in suburban community
Classroom: 30-32 students; 2-3 special needs students
Science Teaching: 54 minute periods; meet 6 out of every 7 days (rotating schedule)
Curriculum: Designed by teacher working with group at University of California, Berkeley
Other: Received Feminist of the Year award from National Feminist Majority Foundation in 1991 for getting girls involved with science.

Questions to ponder before and after Workshop 4:

  1. What purpose is served by having students explore a phenomenon and collect data without a specific hypothesis or prediction to test? What is the advantage of having students commit to predictions? When would you use general exploration, and when would you use prediction?
  2. Should you provide students with pre-designed data collection forms, or have them make their own? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy?
  3. Is it best when each student can collect her or his own data, or should data be collected by groups of students? What are the reasons for having students report their data to the whole class?


Imagine your students are collecting data on water clarity and oxygen content along the course of a river. What are three ways to have them summarize and display their data? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each method?


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