Authentic Projects‑Authentic Reasons to Learn
Student motivation to learn is enhanced when students can see the relevance between school-based curricula and real-life. Project-based inquiries, especially those that emerge from students’ own curiosities about the world, offer authentic contexts for solving real-life problems while simultaneously developing proficiency with language and thinking skills. This workshop will introduce participants to processes for identifying curricular connections to students’ interests and designing authentic project-based inquiries that connect to life outside of school and also accomplish goals of the curriculum. Participants will leave the workshop prepared to design and implement motivating project-based inquiries in their classroom and with a list of potential projects generated during the workshop.
Pedagogy to Build Children’s Global Competency
The world is facing unprecedented social, economic, and environmental times. At the same time digital interconnectedness puts vast stores of knowledge at our fingertips. How can we begin to prepare our youngest children for this complex and interdependent world? This workshop will introduce participants to routines that foster ways of thinking that build students’ curiosity about the world beyond the classroom, their ability to envision different cultural perspectives, their capacity to communicate across cultural divides and take responsible action. Participants will leave with strategies for incorporating the routines in meaningful hands-on experiences that support children in gaining deeper understanding of themselves and of the world.
Talking, Thinking & Listening Like a Scientist: Fostering Scientific Discourse
Students develop language and an awareness of the social roles of speaking, listening, reading, and writing when participating in real-life situations that allow them to practice and adjust language to suit particular purposes and audiences. This workshop will focus on how to create contexts that provide opportunities for primary students to develop facilities with scientific ways of talking as they make sense of the natural world. Participants will experience components of a model of oral language pedagogy as they participate in hands-on science activities and language routines designed to support students in communicating ideas clearly. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of oral language pedagogy and a suite of routines ready to apply in their own classrooms.
Literacy for a Global Society: Beyond Basic Skills
When given the opportunity, young children can successfully listen to, read and write informational texts, but why should they? One important reason is that focusing on basic skills without a focus on knowledge development can constrain students’ opportunities to learn about the world and participate fully in a global society. In this workshop, participants will identify challenges and benefits associated with using informational text in primary classrooms, analyze several examples of informational text to identify characteristics of texts that might require explicit instruction for their students, and engage in activities that illustrate instructional strategies that increase the use of informational texts in primary grades. Participants will leave with strategies for increasing the use of informational texts in content area subjects.