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Welcome! Towson Science Placement Mentor Teacher Workshop. August 18, 2005. Schedule. New teachers Overview of Elementary Education Program and Science Education Goals for this Course/Role of Mentor Teacher Returning teachers join in

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Welcome! Towson Science Placement Mentor Teacher Workshop

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New teachers

  • Overview of Elementary Education Program and Science Education
  • Goals for this Course/Role of Mentor Teacher

Returning teachers join in

  • Giving Feedback to Interns Discussion
  • Inquiry Discussion: Looking at Video, Curriculum
  • More discussion time: Communicating about lesson plans; Assessment; Community; Recruitment
  • School Group Meetings with Towson Instructor
  • Wrap-up and Paperwork
elementary education at towson
Elementary Education at Towson

Courses where the students get some general theory and methods.

ISTC 201 Using Information Effectively in Education (3)

ELED 201 School and American Society (3)

PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology (3)

EDUC 203 Teaching and Learning in a Diverse Society (3)

PSYC 201 Educational Psychology (3)

SPED 301 Introduction to Special Education (3)

ECED 201 Intervention and the Young Child (3)

general theories and methods addressed in the elementary education program
General Theories and Methods Addressed in the Elementary Education Program
  • Piaget's theory of learning and development
  • Vygotsky's theory of learning and development
  • Writing educational objectives
  • Learning cycle
  • Active learning/constructivism
  • Teacher as facilitator
  • Cooperative learning
  • Diversity and learning styles
  • Motivation
  • Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences
  • Methods of assessment
  • Life-long learning
  • Special education issues
elementary education internships
Elementary Education Internships

Increasing time in school and level of responsibility

Level 1 Language and literacy placement

Level 2 Math and science placements

Level 3 Social studies placement

and Introduction to student teaching

(Professional Development School Internship I)

Level 4 Student teaching

(Professional Development School Internship II)

math science semester
Math-Science Semester

Level 2 internship: 5 or 6 courses

MATH 323 Teaching Math in the Elementary School

MATH 324 Math placement

BIOL 303 Life Sciences

PHSC 303 Earth-Space Science

SCIE 376 Science placement

ITSC 301 Utilization of Instructional Media

science progression example physical science
Science progression example - Physical Science

Physical Science Methods Science Placement




“Earth-Space Science in Childhood Education”

“Teaching Science in Elementary Education”

“Physical Science 1”

scie 376 learning theory and teaching methods varies from section to section
SCIE 376 Learning theory and teaching methods (varies from section to section)
  • Active learning/constructivism
  • Students should engage in scientific process to learn science (inquiry method)
  • 5E activity format (Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend, Evaluate)
  • Teacher as listener, facilitator, questioner, idea clarifier
  • Local, state, and/or national standards on science content and process
  • INTASC standards for assessing new teachers
  • Gardner's multiple intelligence theory
  • Learning styles
  • Methods of assessment
  • Wait time
goals for the placement course
Goals for the Placement Course
  • Understanding and application of science-specific learning theory
    • Children's thinking, ideas, and scientific discussion
    • Science as a process of inquiry
  • Good science teaching: Inquiry-based instruction
    • Having students reflect on experimental data and their everyday experiences in order to draw scientific conclusions
    • Learning cycle/5E lesson structure
    • Role of the teacher: listener, facilitator, clarifier, ...
  • Exposure to science standards: Local, state, and/or national
goals for the placement course10
Goals for the Placement Course
  • Practice listening, eliciting, and responding to children's scientific reasoning, experience, and ideas
    • As related to specific content units and in general
  • Self-reflection and improvement
    • Trying different things in teaching
    • Obtaining feedback from mentor teacher and 376 instructor
    • Reflecting on feedback
    • Modification of teaching during subsequent teaching sessions
goals for the placement course11
Goals for the Placement Course
  • Science teaching (9+ times for each student)
    •  Infrequently: Implementing activities exactly as written (only if activities are already good inquiry-based activities)
    •  Typically: Evaluation and modification of science activities
    •  Occasionally: Creating science activities from scratch
    •  Student assessment
    •  Beginning to implement classroom management strategies
things that are not goals
Things that are not goals

This course shouldn’t give the interns full student-teaching-like experiences, including school observation protocols, whole class classroom management, etc.

We also don’t expect students to develop all activities from scratch for the whole semester.

sample timeline
Sample timeline

1-2 weeks 2-3 weeks 6-8 weeks

Introductory Interns do activities Interns are modifying activities they are given, with activities and towards the

some freedom to end may be given topics

modify, but no man- only, with time in advance

date to completely to make lesson plans


More help Less help (but still help.)



Class Management

one way a towson instructor might structure a course to meet the goals
One way a Towson instructor might structure a course to meet the goals
  • 12:30-1 Methods discussion.
  • 1-1:30 Lesson prep time
  • 1:30-2:30 Classroom time - 5-6 interns per class.
    • 1:30-2 Start with two students beginning the lesson with the full class.
    • 2-2:30 Break class into small groups and each intern continues the lesson with their group.
  • 2:30-3:15 Reflection time (how lesson went, what children’s ideas were, etc.)
  • 3:15-3:40 Planning for future lessons.
  • 3:40-4:10 After-school classroom teacher coaching time.
role of the mentor teacher
Role of the Mentor Teacher

Communicate with Towson instructor and, when appropriate, with Beth and Laura. (Share ideas or ask questions.)

Keep interns up to date on which lessons they will be teaching in your class.

Provide feedback to interns regarding their lessons. (Email, verbal, and/or written)

Assist the interns with classroom management.

giving feedback to interns
Giving Feedback to Interns
  • After class feedback.
  • Purpose - feedback does not contribute to the intern’s grade. (Essex, check with Sarah.) For them to use to improve teaching.
  • Type of feedback - substantive, with both strengths and areas in need of improvement, with suggestions whenever possible.
  • How is it going with the form and/or other types of feedback?
giving feedback to interns17
Giving Feedback to Interns
  • During class feedback/guidance.
  • Interns need space to try different things and make mistakes.
  • Please step in if you see interns doing something physically dangerous or mean/emotionally damaging to the children. (And please help with management, especially at the beginning.)
  • If you see pedagogical issues, either wait and give interns feedback later, or pull individuals aside later. Please do not step in and take over.

Goals of the course include teaching science as inquiry.

National Science Education Standards (NSES), which strongly influence most school districts’ science programs, lay out necessary changes of emphasis.


Video discussion.

  • Curriculum Discussion
  • First look through the lessons and think to yourself what you think of the lessons generally and in terms of whether you would call them science inquiry.
  • Next, go through the lessons with your group, and see where you would put each lesson in the less vs. more emphasis categories from the standards.
reporting to our funders
Reporting to our funders.

Grant that pays for Beth, this workshop and stipends, etc.

Require us to collect and report data.

Short letter to parents explains this - we may need your help sending them out. How best? School procedure?

discussion questions
Discussion questions

Assessment - Formative and Summative

What do you need from Towson interns?

If a unit assessment is required, does it have to be County assessment or could it be something else that is aligned with VSC?

What are timelines we need to adhere to?

Community Building - Healthy, fruitful, stable relationships.

Besides this workshop, the money, and better coordination, how might we better build a community of placement schools?

discussion questions23
Discussion questions

Communicating about lesson plans

One workable model is to have the instructor be responsible for all lesson feedback, and to send drafts of the plan to the teachers before class so they have some idea of lesson ahead of time. Comments? Seems okay?

Recruiting mentor teachers

We’d like to make a letter to prospective teachers. What concerns should be addressed and how?

thanks so much
Thanks so much!

Have a great semester!