Professional Development

The NURTURES program includes an intensive 2-week summer institute, academic year professional learning communities and coaching opportunities.

Summer Institutes
The goals of the summer institutes are to increase PreK-3 teachers' science content knowledge, understanding of science standards and high leverage pedagogical practices. These goals are addressed through three main sessions: an inquiry immersion experience session, a metacognitive session, and an instructional planning session.

Inquiry Sessions:

  • Earth/Space, Physical and Biological science content aligned with the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Experience practical inquiry-based science lessons incorporating high leverage pedogogical practices
  • Gain content knowledge and experience 3D science and engineering lessons

Metacognitive Sessions:

  • Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards aligned content
  • Exposure to content knowledge and skills to design and implement science and engineering inquiry lessons with confidence, while employing scientific and engineering practices, discourse strategies, and literacy competencies best suited to the teaching of core science and engineering ideas and concepts specifically for grades PreK-3

Instructional Planning:

  • Collaborate with peers to design 3D inquiry-based units and lessons for your classroom
  • Expert guidance for developing Framework-aligned classroom lessons that incorporate strategies and metacognitive concepts

Academic Year Support
NURTURES teachers participate in monthly Professional Learning Communities (PLC) composed of grade level peers and work individually with peers and program staff to improve and implement quality science and engineering lessons in the classroom.

Professional Learning Communities:

  • Collaborate with grade-level peers on inquiry-based science topics
  • Share lessons learned, strategies and resources with peers

One to One Coaching:

  • Work directly with NURTURES staff to:
    • Identify areas of focus for applying high-leverage pedagogical practices
    • Implement inquiry-based science lessons developed during the Institute
    • Update existing lessons with content and stragtegies learned from your NURTURES experience

Family Engagement

Family Packs:

  • Extensions of the classroom curriculum provided to participating teachers to use in their classroom
  • Each Family Pack is self-guided and includes a newsletter with the directions, necessary materials, and a Journal Sheet for children to record data or visually represent understanding.
  • Key features of the Family Packs aim to:
      (a) Guide families to have meaningful science discussions
      (b) Encourage families to communicate findings through written documentation such as graphic organizers, illustrations, models, and journal entries
      (c) Guide families to develop children’s scientific vocabulary
      (d) Encourage families to seek additional resources and check out books from library, and
      (e) Introduce and reinforce mathematics and literacy through fun at-home science activities.

Family Packs
Family Engagement Kits

Family Engagement Events:

  • Participant led events in the community connected with classroom curriculum
  • Materials and instructions are provided to teacher participants to hold these events in their own schools or communities to enhance family engagement in science
  • Each activity is scaffolded by an “event guide” for parents/caregivers to facilitate their child’s experience
  • Materials for events are delivered two times a year to schools as complete kits including Event Guides for families, informative signage, and set-up directions needed for teachers.
  • The Community Events help teach families how to use community resources to foster scientific inquiry /engineering design, facilitate their children’s science experiences, develop children’s scientific vocabulary, and encourage children to communicate ideas and make conclusions.

Family Packs
Family Engagement Kits