Teachers and districts interested in using the materials and practices developed at CREATE are welcome to contact Dr. Angela Kolonich or Dr. Chris Reimann, co-leaders of CREATE’s system of support.
Here are some questions to consider as you continue your journey toward NGSS-aligned practice:
- Does my district have a vision of science teaching and learning that aligns with 3-dimensional, project-based learning?
- Will my district support the teacher professional learning that will enhance implementation success?
Our mission is to lower barriers to students experiencing high-quality 3-dimensional science instruction by building capacity in classrooms and districts.
We regularly present at state and national conferences, and work with local and intermediate school districts to schedule special sessions to introduce our work and offerings to teachers and administrators. Contact the person in your district or ISD responsible for professional development and ask about arranging a presentation.
Curriculum Support Options
Introduction to PBL
Teachers can access a library of short videos covering key principles of project-based learning and what they can look like in practice. These may be suitable for teachers with sufficient understanding of the Next generation Science Standards and strong backgrounds in science content. Examples are drawn from CREATE curriculum across the grade bands.
Full-Year Support for Teachers
Most teachers will benefit from more intensive, extensive, and interactive support as they begin to implement a new curriculum. This support begins with several sessions that build a strong foundation of knowledge about NGSS and PBL and a thorough overview of the organization of the curriculum, including demonstrations of actual lessons that anchor the storylines of the units. This support includes structured and facilitated professional learning community (PLC) sessions to address problems of practice during initial implementation. Teachers receive up to 60 hours of support over the course of the year. These sessions run in cohorts of 25 teachers, allowing teachers to establish learning networks across schools and districts.
The NextGenPBL team can also customize a system of support to meet the specific needs of larger districts or consortia. Use the Contact link in the navigation bar above for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!
It is clear that 3-dimensional project-based teaching and learning represents a significant departure in how students experience science and how classrooms function. So too Open Educational Resources give districts opportunities to examine how to reallocate funds typically reserved for expensive textbooks into professional learning support for teachers and administrators.
Teaching and Learning During a Pandemic
Nothing we have seen or heard over the past 12 months has shaken our belief that teachers are dedicated, talented professionals who have faced unprecedented and unpredictable challenges to providing quality learning experiences for their students. As a team dedicated to supporting teachers in improving their practice through project-based learning, we also had to pivot our work to the online environment. We had to shift our face-to-face, highly interactive activities, as well as help teachers translate classroom activities for use in online, hybrid, and in-person contexts. In short, we get it, and we can help teachers do what they do best -- meet the needs of their students -- however they are asked to do it.