primary scientists professional learning series

Posted on: April 20th, 2014 by jnovakowski

Last Tuesday after school, a group of primary teachers gathered in Pauline’s Stephenson’s grades 1/2 classroom at Brighouse for our final Primary Scientists professional learning series session of the year. The series has focused on the assessment of performance-based and process oriented science experiences and this session’s focus was on incorporating indigenous knowledge as we connect students to the outdoors through place-based learning experiences. Several resources were shared, many from Strong Nations publishing.

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The local salmonberry bushes are in bloom. Salmonberries are one of only a few berries that are native to Richmond and are the first berries to come into season, usually in June. We are beginning to create an ethnobotany resource for K-12 Richmond science teachers to provide information about local plants and their traditional uses by the Coast Salish peoples.

Since this was our last session in this series, teachers also brought something to share to celebrate their personal areas of professional focus in science this year. Karen Sato from Blair shared an animoto she created documenting a spring walk with her class, highlighting Blair’s focus on place-based learning and getting outdoors. Tanyia Kusch, also from Blair, shared some rock investigations her students did, inspired by the picture book this ¬†group received at our last session in February, If You Find a Rock.

Pauline Stephenson from Brighouse shared the documental panels she created, highlighting several areas of focus from our series – getting outside, process-based science experiences and observational drawing.





The primary team from Ferris has been working outside in their school garden with their K students and have been documenting their experiences using the app PicCollage on the school’s iPads.

Terra McKenzie from Errington shared some of the looking closely photos she has taken with her class using the zoomy digital microscope. Here is a photo of the surface of a leaf on one of their Spuds in Tubs potato plants. Looking closely for sure!

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Louesa Byrne from Thompson shared a series of the documentation panels she has created and shared with her students and parents to help make the students’ science learning visible.

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This has been an inspiring series, with lots of collaboration and sharing amongst colleagues. Here’s hoping that it can continue next year as we look ahead to our redesigned curriculum and assessment frameworks in BC!


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