Thom Smith, an elementary school teacher in Bradford, NH is currently on McAuliffe Sabbatical, collaborating with Center staff to develop a Rocky Shore Curriculum, which will be a free and readily available resource for elementary level educators upon its completion.
Thom Smith | McAuliffe Sabbatical | Elementary School Teacher, Bradford, NH
Originally posted February 8, 2017 on Thom’s blog, Engage Your Students.
The rocky shore curriculum I am developing is nearing its final stages, so I recently met with the Seacoast Science Center (SSC) to see how their institution might be able to assist me at this time. I met with Kate Leavitt, Director of Mission Initiatives, to discuss fine-tuning the curriculum as well as promoting it.
The following ways we are going to collaborate include:
- Analyzing the entire curriculum to ensure it is user-friendly and standards-based.
- Kate, Sarah Toupin (School and Group Program Manager) and I will take a day to review each lesson of the curriculum to check for any errors to areas in need of improvement. We will also us the EQuIP Rubric to provide evidence on the quality and alignment of the rocky shore science unit with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). You can check this rubric out here.
- Promoting the curriculum via SSC website.
- We will explore various ways the rocky shore curriculum might be able to be accessible via the SSC website so the curriculum can have as much exposure (and get as much use) as possible.
- Part of the objective of creating the curriculum is to provide elementary school teachers with a free science resource, and advertising its existence as much as possible is very important.
- Possibly offering webinars to educators and/or science workshops using SSC’s facilities.
- SSC has the technology to provide quality distance learning opportunities for educators, and they also have a great onsite room that can be used for teacher or student education – the Gregg Interactive Learning Studio (GILS). Doing one or both may be in my future.
- Working side-by-side with SSC’s dedicated volunteers.
- I had the privilege of doing this once this year already: The Seacoast Science Center: Learning Science by Doing Science.
- Helping educators who benefit from SSC’s services be aware of the curriculum’s existence.
- Whether by handing out flyers or sending out emails, we are considering ways to promote the rocky shore curriculum to educators who visit the SSC for a variety of educational purposes.
- Gathering more image / illustration resources with the much appreciated help of Karen Provazza, SSC’s Director of Marketing.
- Karen has been a wonderful, behind-the-scenes help in the development of this curriculum. Several images and illustrations featured in the curriculum will be from the SSC (and were found and virtually delivered by Karen).
I am so thankful for Kate, Sarah and Karen and the entire SSC staff. The rocky shore curriculum would be lacking a great deal without their help, and it will prove to be of high quality thanks to their collaborative efforts. I am also very grateful to their continuous dedication to encouraging ocean literacy and advocating for ocean conservation!