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Instructional Leadership Toolkit: Science Strand

Appropriate for Administrators and Teacher Leaders

Workshop Description:
The vision of the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education from which all of the Next Generation Science Standards arise has students working together as scientists to build conceptual understanding using the practices that scientists employ to investigate and describe natural phenomena.
So what does high-quality science instruction aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) look and feel like in the classroom and how can instructional leaders recognize and encourage these best NGSS teaching practices? How can principals, teacher leaders and science coaches provide constructive feedback that helps teachers of science grow in their ability to create a content-rich, equitable science learning culture that deepens students’ understandings through scientific exploration, talk, writing, and mathematics? In particular, how can leaders use instructional rounds to help provide feedback that teachers desperately seek to improve their science instructional practices?

Workshop Goals/Objectives

Day 1 of the workshop participants will deepen their understanding of NGSS through examining its layout and a particular set of performance expectations, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. Participants will experience and reflect on science pedagogical practices which, when used skillfully in combination, move students to meet the selected standards. In particular, we’ll study the use of anchoring events, scientist meetings, science notebook writing, and model-based reasoning tools and consider ways to encourage their use in science classrooms.

During Day 2, participants will observe a elementary school science classroom in action in Barre Supervisory Union and practice using a walk-through NGSS checklist as a tool to provide instructor feedback. After reflecting on the observations of teachers’ use of instructional practices and articulating that feedback to the teachers involved, participants will explore modifications and improvements to the checklist based on their individual school culture’s needs. Through this workshop, participants will become more informed observers and grow in their ability to provide specific and constructive feedback to teachers of science.

About the Instructor
Deanna Bailey – Deanna Bailey provides K-8 Next Generation Science Standards-focused professional development for teachers throughout VT. She is a Project Manager for the Vermont Science Initiative and consults to Barre Supervisory Union where she formerly served as K-8 science curriculum coordinator and coach. Deanna holds a BA in Biology and Education from Dartmouth College and a Master of Science in Science Education from Montana State University.