Award Purpose: Funds awarded were used to utilize teacher expertise to share content knowledge with other grade levels preparing to teach geology under the new Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework.
The workshop in the summer of 2018, led by veteran teacher and Geology major Joanne Marks, was a huge catalyst in transitioning Belmont to the revised 2016 Science Standards, which required certain topics to move to new grades. By having dedicated time to engaged deeply in the content, teachers new to these topics were able to gain both content knowledge and participate as students while Joanne modeled best practices for student-centered learning of the earth and space sciences standards. These workshops have impacted every 6th and 7th grade student in the years following the workshop by allowing teachers to immediately implement rich, student-centered learning activities for the benefit of their students.
Some teacher reflections after the workshop included:
“I learned a lot of content while also learning major activities that can be done with students that highlight SEL practices.”
“Extremely useful to discuss and agree on what Grade 6 will do, and what Grade 7 will do. Also, Joanne is an amazing teacher (but I already knew that).”
Furthermore, teachers were able to articulate multiple concrete ways they deepened their content knowledge after the workshop. Thanks to the FBE, teachers were able to participate in meaningful professional development led by their very skilled colleague to smooth the transition to the new standards.