Today we wrapped up our 18-month Water for Elementary Teachers of Science in Nebraska (NE WETS) project with 2 consecutive days of workshops held at Hastings Middle School. The project provided us to opportunity to work with an amazing group of K-6 teachers from in and around Hastings, NE. Thanks go out to wonderful UNL project team members Tina Vo and Tonya Bernadt, Chad Dumas, Ph.D., HPS Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, and the teachers who made the project possible.
Congratulations to Dr. Jaime Sabel for successfully defending her dissertation study, entitled, “USE OF SCAFFOLDS TO SUPPORT UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN LEARNING AND UNDERSTANDING BIOLOGICAL CONCEPTS”. Jaime has worked on the RAES project for the past 4 years, first at the University of Iowa and later at UNL. It has been a pleasure to work with Jaime as both project PI and her advisor. In August, Jaime will begin a new position as an Assistant Professor of Biology Education in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Memphis.
Thanks to a fantastic group of elementary teachers for all their hard work in this first summer of the Water for Elementary Teachers of Science (Nebraska WETS) project. We had a great workshop series in June and August of this summer focused on scientific modeling, formative assessment, and water science. The summer component was also offered as graduate course credit (NRES 898 – Teaching and Learning about Water Systems). We appreciate the support of Hastings Public Schools for being a wonderful district partner and allowing us access to amazing facilities at Hastings Middle School.
Congratulations to Dave Pierson for successfully defending his masters thesis entitled Elementary teachers’ assessment actions and elementary science education: Formative assessment enactment in elementary science. Dave used RAES-Iowa project data to conduct a comparative case study investigating elementary teachers’ reasoning about students’ ideas and classroom formative assessment practices. His committee members were myself, Soonhye Park, Associate Professor of Science Education in the University of Iowa College of Education, and Gabrielle Ludwig, Professor in the UI Department of Occupational and Environmental Health. Dave, great work on this substantial accomplishment!
In the summer of 2012, 36 3rd-6th grade teachers from 4 area districts and 14 buildings joined RAES project team members Cory Forbes, Christopher Soldat, Jeanne Bancroft, Kathy Long, Charlie Stanier, Mandy Biggers, Jaime Sabel, and Laura Zangori for 7 days of collaborative work to begin learning to use Reflective Assessment, a formative assessment strategy developed by the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) for use with FOSS science modules. The summer institute focused on the Earth science content strand, within which teachers engaged with relevant content as learners, experimented with engaging in ‘high-leverage’ formative assessment practices, and planned to begin implementing Reflective Assessment in their enactment of their Earth science modules in the 2012-2013 academic year. We want to again thank all project partners, including the University of Iowa (UI) Colleges of Education and Engineering, Grant Wood Area Education Agency (GWAEA) and Van Allen Science Teaching Center (VAST Center), LHS at the University of California-Berkeley, the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER), Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD), Washington Community Schools (WCSD), Clear Creek Amana Community School District (CCACSD), Highland Community School District (HCSD), and St. James School. A special thanks go out to Mark Brockmeyer and the Iowa City Schools for allowing us to hold the Summer Institute at the ICCSD Educational Services Building and to Kim Lange for joining us in July (while visiting from Germany) and providing helpful feedback.
The Reflective Assessment for Elementary Science in Iowa ( ) project has been funded. More information about the project can be found here. I am thrilled to be working with an amazing group of project partners from the and CGRER, GWAEA and the VAST Center, FOSS at the Lawrence Hall of Science, and from the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD), Washington Community Schools (WCSD), Clear Creek Amana Community School District (CCACSD), Highland Community School District (HCSD), and St. James School on this project. The first workshops for teachers begin June 13 in Iowa City!