In this self-paced course you will be introduced to inquiry-based and connected learning approaches as a foundation and will learn to support young children’s understanding of Animal Adaptations, an essential learning standard in the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) curriculum for children in early childhood and early elementary grades. Step into Alicia Poulin’s first-grade classroom to see first hand what inquiry as an approach to learning about science and in connected learning techniques for teaching looks like. Then consider how you might implement Alicia’s techniques within your own classroom or learning context. Throughout, you will be provided a list of related resources for teaching and learning including recommended children’s books and PBS KIDS digital resources. Take this course to deepen children’s conceptual understandings of scientific concepts and connect students to each other, to family and community members, and to the world-at-large. Need additional hours or looking to apply this course towards graduate credit? We also offer a 45-hour, paid facilitated course that provides a collaborative environment for deepening your knowledge of inquiry as an approach to learning about science. For more information see our course page for SCIE207: A Curiosity-Driven Approach to Teaching K-2 Science.
This course is grounded in inquiry as an approach to learning about science and in “connected learning” as a way to bring together the various resources that are available to classroom teachers as they deepen children’s conceptual understandings and connect their students to each other, to family and community members, and to the world-at-large.
Learners will identify the key features of inquiry-based and connected learning, and develop grade-level appropriate methods of introducing these techniques into their curricula.
In our approach to learning we emphasize:
- Providing opportunities for young children to observe, gather, examine, question, analyze, and apply information in a variety of contexts.
- Using digital devices (e.g., tablets, computers, interactive whiteboards) and digital resources that connect learners to each other (e.g., blogs, podcasts) and connect learners to a knowledge base (e.g., google), and digital coding apps (e.g., PBS KIDS ScratchJr).
- Learning across the disciplines (i.e., science, literacy, math) that are taught in early childhood and elementary school classrooms.
- Connecting information through evidence-based teaching practices.
- Using multimodal text “sets” that serve as learning resources. These include: informational texts, digital games and videos, digital and traditional images, educational and common realia (e.g., cardboard ramps, toy cars), and student writing, traditional and digital (e.g., PBS KIDS ScratchJr, blogs, podcasts, drawings).
- read an overview of the course and its objectives.
- read a brief description of animal adaptation and implications for our daily lives.
- examine related NGSS science standards.
- consider why learning about animal adaptation is an important topic in early childhood education.
- read about the benefits of including high-quality educational media as a curriculum resource.
- play a digital game and consider how the game supports children’s understanding of energy and motion.
- via video, visit a first-grade classroom to observe a teacher engaging children in digital game play to support understanding of energy and motion.
- reflect on their observations through guided questions.
- read and reflect on descriptions of inquiry-based and connected learning in science.
- via video, observe two lessons to see these approaches in action.
- Reflect on their observations through guided questions.
- reviewing a lesson from the Teaching Tips as a lesson plan exemple
- considering the choices made in the development of the plan relative to multimodal resources, inquiry-based and connected learning activities, and teacher talk and teaching actions that are just and equitable.
- creating a plan to try the lesson out in their own classroom.
- completing a brief, multiple-choice quiz to evaluate their learning.
You will receive a printable certificate upon completion of all coursework, which can be used for verification with your school administration or state/district PD office for recertification units or Continuing Education Units (CEUs). All learners must score 100% on quizzes (with multiple attempts permitted) in order to receive the completion certificate.
Learners who successfully complete PBS TeacherLine courses may be eligible for CEU credits from their state or school district. Learners should check with their district or state professional development office to determine eligibility before enrolling in a PBS TeacherLine course.
PBS TeacherLine provides Learners with:
- The opportunity to print a course certificate of completion which includes course hours of the course.
- A PDF copy of the course syllabus.
PBS TeacherLine does not offer CEUs directly and is not authorized to grant CEU credits. This is typically done by state and district professional development offices.
The Self-Paced Courses are designed to be completed in 1.5 to 4 hours. Learners have a full year of access to their Self-Paced Course content that begins immediately upon enrollment.
The design and structure of the PBS TeacherLine course is based on best practices and research that highlight the importance of content-focused curriculum methods and active learning assignments that provide teachers with opportunities to design, practice and refine teaching strategies in their own classrooms. Learners can explore the course content, watch videos, complete interactive activities, reflect on learning with peers, and take self-assessments. Working at their own pace and according to their individual schedules, learners will have access to the course for 1 year after the purchase date to complete this 3 hour professional learning opportunity.
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Self-Paced Courses are not refundable. Learners cannot withdraw from or drop Self-Paced Courses.
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Our self-paced courses typically require 1.5 to 4 hours of study. Learners will receive a printable certificate upon completion of all coursework, activities, and multiple-choice quizzes. All learners must score 100% on quizzes (with multiple attempts permitted) in order to receive the completion certificate.