Supporting Excellent Science Teaching for Georgia

Conference Details

Highlights of the 2021 Making Connections Conference

February 1- 6, 2021 online via Attendify

Schedule at a Glance

Monday - Thursday 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm - Sessions & Keynote Speakers - there will be a keynote speaker at 6 pm each evening and 3-5 tracts of 40 minute sessions.

Friday, 5:00 - 6:30 - GSTA Annual Meeting and Social - there will be a District Meet & Greet - Trivia Game - come meet teachers in your district and play a little competitive science trivia game via Zoom! We will also host the annual GSTA business meeting. Hear more about the accomplishments of the organization and meet the candidates for the GSTA 2021-2022 Board.

Friday, 6:30 - 7:45 - Awards Banquet

Saturday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm - Sessions & Short Courses. There will be 3-5 tracts of 40 minute sessions that will run throughout the day. A schedule of the sessions wll be posted soon.

Share-a-thons for Elementary, Middle, and HIgh School will occur on Saturday between 12:00 - 12:40 pm.

Developing Formative Assessment Probes to Elicit Students' Ideas Both Before and After Instruction

Page Keeley

Saturday Short Course, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Learn how to develop and use purposefully designed questions, called formative assessment probes, to reveal the range of ideas K-12 students use to explain phenomena and concepts. Using examples from the author's Uncovering Student Ideas series, we will explore how these questions are developed and used in an instructional sequence, both in class and virtually, to provide opportunities for students to surface and work through their initial ideas and build new or deeper understandings using scientific practices and crosscutting concepts. Participants will use a scaffold to collaboratively develop their own 3-D formative assessment probe during the workshop. Additional Cost: $15

Storyline Models to Rethink Student-Centered Learning

Saturday Short Course, 12:45 pm – 3:45

Three-dimensional learning that incorporates the disciplinary core ideas, the science practices and the crosscutting concepts is the driving force of the National Framework for Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards. In an effort to bundle science concepts around phenomena, especially those concepts traditionally siloed in separate units, storylines that are coherent and phenomenon-driven can be implemented to support student learning.  These contextual units help students make sense of how the natural world works by focusing on "figuring out" over just learning about facts. Participants will be asked to reflect where they are in shift to the Three Dimensions and immersed in a model storyline that will allow them to view how students navigate a storyline.  Though storylines take a great deal of time, effort and iteration, the aim of this short course will be to provide models that can help teachers rethink their approach to student-centered learning.  Additional cost: $15

Keeping Science at the Center of Elementary STEAM Learning (K-5)

Saturday Short Course, 12:45 pm – 3:45 pm

As elementary schools make the shift from STEM to STEAM, it can be challenging to balance the new focus on the Arts with effective science instruction. We know that science and art can have a mutualistic relationship, and many great scientists also display great artistic talent and creativity. So, how can you balance science and art while also integrating technology, math, and engineering and not making STEAM "just one more thing" in your classroom? We will share a STEAM planning framework, along with classroom examples, that meaningfully integrates STEAM components to help students become well-rounded problem solvers and critical thinkers. This session will be geared towards teachers of K-5. Additional Cost: $15

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