Events & Exhibits

Calendar: Event Details

 

Event Dates
March 16; 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

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Event Sponsors:

Educators' Conference: Natural Connections - Day 2

Saturday, March 16, 8:30am - 4:00pm

Details:

Presented by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, St. Joseph’s Villa, and the Virginia Association of Science Teachers, Region 1.

Registration is closed.

Saturday, March 16, 8:30am - 4:00pm
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, $40

Saturday At A Glance (8.0 CEUs)
Saturday’s event at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden offers multiple opportunities for improving inquiry-based teaching strategies across the K-5 curriculum, with emphasis in three content areas:  science + literature; STEM; and nature-based, outdoor education.Descriptions below are organized first by grade-levels, then by content area. When you register at the bottom of this page , you will indicate your session choices.
 
8:30    Check In at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
9:00     Keynote Address
10:45   Workshop A (choose from three topics)
11:45   Lunch, Book Sales/Signing
1:00     Workshop B (choose from three topics)
2:15     Workshop C (choose from three topics)
3:30     Closing Comments, Door Prizes
4:00     Adjourn

Keynote Presentation

Using the Landscape for Learning
Ginny Sullivan, Landscape Designer, Learning By the Yard and co-author, Lens on Outdoor Learning and
David Sobel, Senior Faculty, Education, Antioch University New England

Richard Louv’s groundbreaking 2006 book Last Child in the Woods and myriad new studies document the educational and health benefits of going outside; yet many schools operate as if valuable learning happens only inside, largely with materials brought from somewhere else. Even time for recess is at risk as schools dedicate more and more time to mandated curriculum. Ginny Sullivan will address how nature-based, hands-on education creates memorable learning experiences and how nature programs can fulfill all the core learning standards that early childhood educators are required to meet. Focusing on the Approaches to Learning Domain, she will present examples of how children engage with ideas in a rich natural environment, and how educators can support children’s work and play outside. David Sobel will illustrate place- and community-based approaches to elementary grades learning that address core curriculum standards in literacy, math, social studies and science.   Implementing a place-based education pedagogy is an effective way to increase student motivation and achievement and improve schools while developing an active citizenry.

David Sobel is Senior Faculty in the Education Department at Antioch University New England in Keene, NH and he consults and speaks widely on child development and place-based education with schools, environmental organizations and the National Park Service. Over the last 30 years, he has authored seven books and more than 60 articles focused on children and nature for educators, parents, environmentalists and school administrators. His most recent books are Place-based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities published by the Orion Society, Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators published by Stenhouse and Wild Play, Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors published by Sierra Books.

Ginny Sullivan, co-principal of Learning by the Yard (www.learningbytheyard.com), is an early childhood educator with advanced degrees in curriculum development and ecological landscape design. She has taught young children, trained teachers and parents in child development and landscape design, and run schools in both New England and California. She is both a graduate and a trustee of the Conway School of Landscape Design and has completed course work for a PhD in the College of Design at North Carolina State University, where her particular research interest is the natural world as a context for children’s language and cognitive development. She serves on the professional development committee of the North Carolina Outdoor Learning Environments Alliance (NCOLEA) and is co-author of Lens on Outdoor Learning (www.redleafpress.com, 2010).

Pre-K - 1st Grade Workshops

Pre-K - 1st Grade Science and Literature  (Workshop A, 10:45 - 11:45am)

1 - Ag in the Classroom   FULL
David Pippin 
 
Join the staff from AITC in a highly interactive session featuring hands-on activities to engage the young learner. Participants will enjoy unique make-and-takes which use the farm to integrate science and literature. Additionally, each teacher will receive a resource kit with curriculum and books.

2 - Raising Readers and Scientists
Patricia Reed

PBS Public broadcasting has developed programs such as Curious George, Sid the Science Kid, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That, and Peep and the Big Wide World to help children experience the joys of discovery and learning. Come to find out about the resources available and the most effective ways to use the programs in the early learning environment.

3 - Once Upon a Science Experiment
Gwynn Johnson and Carla  Crump

Learn simple ways to integrate science into language, writing, and grammar activities for PreK-1st Grade. Activities include writing prompts, story-comprehension activities, nonfiction sources, web quests, lapbooks/foldables, notebooking ideas and others. Teachers can still sharpen student science vocabulary understanding and usage by stimulating students' natural curiosity during language activities.

Pre-K - 1st Grade STEM (Workshop B, 1:00 - 2:00pm)

1 - Data Detectives
Kristina Anthony,
MSiC
Have you ever wondered how to collect and organize data in your classroom? Explore the scientific design process from beginning to end to make your students expert data detectives.

2 - Design and Build It: An Introduction to Children’s Engineering
Crystal Clark,
MSiC
Solve a problem, encourage teamwork, and explore engineering and technology in a whole new way. Learn the design and build process and how to make math and science more relevant by incorporating engineering applications. Leave with ideas to jumpstart engineering in your classrooms.

3 - Integrating Engineering into the Science Curriculum
Barbara Adcock, Powhatan County 

Integrating Engineering provides a problem solving, hands-on approach to teaching science. In this session, we will show participants how to successfully incorporate children’s engineering into what they are already teaching in science as well as how to incorporate writing into the process. Participants will come away with ready to use design briefs to use in science for early grades.

Pre-K - 1st Grade Outdoor Learning (Workshop C, 2:15 - 3:15pm)

1 - Teaching with Trees
Kristi Orcutt, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
 
Learn how to identify trees using classification techniques by observing leaves, buds, nuts and bark. Trees offer endless STEM opportunities for your students to compare and contrast, search for patterns, use sensory descriptors, measure using nonstandard units, and observe growth and changes throughout the seasons. Discover how to integrate Project BudBurst, a citizen science project, into your curriculum to support your classroom’s investigations of life cycles and climate.

2 - Discovering Plant Parts with the Five Senses
Kristin Mullen, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden 
Go on a sensory exploration of the early spring garden using the five senses! Whether you have a few plants or a cultivated garden in your schoolyard, learn how to teach with plants rather than about plants. Discover ways to bring science, math, art, and literature to life using plants as your focus.

3 - Meaningful Outdoor Investigations
Kate Quarles and Claire Russo, Maymont

Join Maymont’s Environmental Educators as we bring science SOLs to life! Discover how to safely lead outdoor investigations with your class while making meaningful connections across all subjects. Gain new techniques for teaching your students about habitats, animal adaptations and how to use their observation skills in your school yard, nearby park or any outdoor setting. Activities for PreK-1st grade teachers include nature scavenger hunts, habitat and animal needs and adaptations.

2nd-3rd Grade Workshops

2nd-3rd Grade STEM (Workshop A, 10:45 - 11:45am)

1 - Everyone Engineers: An Exploration of Children’s Engineering Activities and Modules
Cathy Surowka & Beth Sawyer, Chesterfield Practical

Ready to use engineering projects can happen in your classroom. Participants will see lessons that engage 2nd and 3rd grade students in critical thinking and problem solving. Final products and pictures of the action will be shared.  

2 - Make It! Improve It!
Elizabeth Edmondson, VISTA Director, VCU

Investigate how matter (solids and liquids) can be engineered. Learn about the engineering design process while learning about the properties of matter. Students can make, investigate, and improve on the making of ice cream and play dough.

3 - Building Pyramids
Barbara Longest, Hanover County GT Teacher

Come see how to incorporate Ancient Egypt with Science, Math and English. Engage your students in constructing a 3-D model of a pyramid using 2-D materials. All participants will receive activities and ideas to address the following SOLs in one class project.

2nd - 3rd Grade Outdoor Learning (Workshop B, 1:00 - 2:00pm)

1 - Teaching with Trees
Kristi Orcutt, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Learn how to identify trees using classification techniques by observing leaves, buds, nuts and bark. Trees offer endless STEM opportunities for your students to conduct simple experiments, measure volume, height and mass, examine water phase changes, observe seasonal changes and the life cycles of trees throughout the school year as they produce buds, flowers, leaves and fruits. Discover how to integrate Project BudBurst, a citizen science project, into your curriculum to support your classroom’s investigations of life cycles and climate.

2 - Investigating Life Cycles in Your Schoolyard
Kristin Mullen, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Find producers, consumers and decomposers in the early spring garden as we explore all of the ways that plants support animals (including humans) throughout their life cycle. We’ll dig into the Children’s Garden Farm Garden and Compost Bin, highlighting simple ways to incorporate outdoor learning into your curriculum using plant and animal life cycles as a focus.

3 - Meaningful Outdoor Investigations
Kate Quarles and Claire Russo, Maymont

Join Maymont’s Environmental Educators as we bring science SOLs to life! Discover how to safely lead outdoor investigations with your class while making meaningful connections across all subjects. Gain new techniques for teaching your students about habitats, animal adaptations and how to use their observation skills in your school yard, nearby park or any outdoor setting. Activities for 2nd-3rd grade teachers are focused on animal adaptations, habitats and food chains.

2nd - 3rd Grade Science and Literature  (Workshop C, 2:15 - 3:15pm)

1 - Picture Perfect Lesson
Melanie Haimes-Bartolf
Instructional Specialist for Science, Chesterfield Co.
Students develop an understanding of inference versus observation by analyzing Dr. Xargle’s humorous attempts to teach his students about human babies. Students then infer the identification of “mystery samples” collected from Earth by Dr. Xargle. In addition to process skills such as observation and inference, students practice other science process skills, use graphic organizers, and open and closed sorts.

2 - Life Cycles and Literature
Barbara Young, Dept. of Education Elementary Science Supervisor, Suzie Gilley, Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries

Come investigate primary resources that will help you engage your students in understanding the life cycle of Virginia’s White-Tailed Deer. (SOL 2.4) Literature resources will be shared to make a strong integration with nonfiction with science.

3 - Come Investigate a Good Book!
Teresa Leahy,
MSiC
Explore various 2nd and 3rd grade science concepts through the world of literature! Throughout the session, we will investigate how literature can help provide a conceptual understanding of science while motivating and engaging students.

4th – 5th Grade Workshops

4th – 5th Grade Outdoor Learning (Workshop A, 10:45 - 11:45am)

1 - Teaching with Trees
Kristi Orcutt, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
 
Learn how to identify trees using classification techniques by observing leaves, buds, nuts and bark. Trees offer endless STEM opportunities for your students to use tools and simple instruments to measure growth, design and conduct experiments, understand the process of photosynthesis, classify organisms. observe environmental adaptations, and appraise the value of forest resources. Discover how to integrate Project BudBurst, a citizen science project, into your curriculum to support your classroom’s investigations of life cycles and climate.

2 - Conducting Investigations in Your Schoolyard
Kristin Mullen, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
 
Whether you have a few plants or a cultivated garden in your schoolyard, learn how to teach with plants and animals rather than about plants and animals. We’ll dig into the Children’s Garden Farm Garden and Compost Bin as you learn how to lead hands-on, inquiry-based lessons focusing on plant & animal adaptations and life processes in your own schoolyard ecosystem.

3 - Meaningful Outdoor Investigations
Kate Quarles and Claire Russo, Maymont

Join Maymont’s Environmental Educators as we bring science SOLs to life! Discover how to safely lead outdoor investigations with your class while making meaningful connections across all subjects. Gain new techniques for teaching your students about habitats, animal adaptations and how to use their observation skills in your school yard, nearby park or any outdoor setting. Activities will focus on ecosystems, animal classification and adaptations.

4th - 5th Science and Literature  (Workshop B, 1:00 - 2:00pm)

1 - Integrating Science into Your Language Arts Classroom 2.0   FULL
Amy Gordon and Jennifer Post, Hanover 5th Grade Teachers

With all the demands on a teacher’s schedule, we need to be more creative than ever to get it all taught! In this interactive workshop, learn how to integrate core Science curriculum into your Language Arts instruction.  Model activities and resources will be provided for you to take back to your classroom the next day!  Participants will learn to design their own activities to follow a balanced Literacy Diet.

2 - A Framework for Integrating Science and Literacy
Kip Bisignano, Delta Publishingialist, Hanover County
With so much to cover and so little time during the school day, making connections across the curriculum is no longer an option, but a necessity. In this session, the presenter will demonstrate inquiry and literacy while integrating content, process and skills across the curriculum. Come be engaged with a variety of easy to use tools and proven strategies for implementing the framework.

3 - Balancing Ecosystems
Rhonda Hawley, MSiC

Investigate Virginia ecosystems, food chains, and food webs using multiple hands-on materials that make up our Environmental Circle kit. Explore the example of First Americans, who were our first scientists, by using problem solving skills and real artifacts, all focused on maintaining the balance of needs and resources within an ecosystem. Teachers will receive information on how they can "borrow/check out" this unit and all of its resources for use in their classroom.

4th - 5th Grade STEM (Workshop C, 2:15 - 3:15pm)

1 - Get Revved Up About Engineering Through STEM Connections
Rachel Martin and Alicia Broughton, Hanover County 5th Grade Teachers

Get students geared up for science, math, and technology through the incorporation of the engineering design process into your curriculum. See how you can use hands-on, real-world experiences to promote engineering. Leave with ideas that will jump start and enhance your very own STEM program. This session is sure to get you revved up about engineering!

2 - STEM Connect
Dory Doyle, Henrico County 4th Grade Teacher and Lizzie Roettger, Henrico County 5th Grade Teacher

See how this collaborative project assisted students to exploring and creating shipping containers for Goldfish crackers. After shipping and receiving packages from another class, they needed to rebuild the package. Students also Skyped with a shipping expert to be better prepared. With this lesson, you can tie engineering into your math class with ease. Resources will be included to conduct this project with your class.

3 - Probing STEM Ideas
Kristina Anthony, MSiC
Explore a variety of probeware and software to stimulate STEM in your classroom. Discover how the “T” can improve mathematics and science content while making your students engineers for the future.