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Natural Connections: Interdisciplinary Strategies for Teaching and Learning

WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY, MARCH 13-15, 2019

8:30 am – 3:30 pm, Massey Conference Center

Presented by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Virginia Department of Education and with additional support from the Seltzer Family Fund for Nature-Based Education.

Join us for the 2019 Educators’ Conference! This three-day collaborative conference provides valuable professional development opportunities for PreK–6th grade educators, administrators, and pre-service teachers. Join your colleagues for inspiring opportunities to make natural connections using interdisciplinary teaching approaches. Presenters model ways to blend science, social studies, language arts, and math standards for authentic learning experiences.

$45 per day; includes sessions, continental breakfast, lunch, classroom resources and 8 hours professional development points.

SCROLL DOWN FOR DAILY SESSION DESCRIPTIONS AND PRESENTERS.

REGISTER DAY 1 | Pre-K - 1st Grade

REGISTER DAY 2 | 2nd - 3rd Grade

REGISTER DAY 3 | 4th - 6th Grade

Dates:
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 - Friday, March 15, 2019
Time:
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Event Details

Join us for the 2019 Educators’ Conference! This three-day collaborative conference provides valuable professional development opportunities for PreK–6th grade educators, administrators, and pre-service teachers. Join your colleagues for inspiring opportunities to make natural connections using interdisciplinary teaching approaches. Presenters model ways to blend science, social studies, language arts, and math standards for authentic learning experiences.

March 13 | Pre-K – 1st Grade

General Session AM 9:00-11:00/PM 1:00-3:00

Project Learning Tree Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood
Page Hutchinson, Department of Forestry
Are you a teacher of children ages 3-6? Would you like to take your students out into the environment or bring the environment into the classroom, but unsure of how or need a few more ideas? Then the Project Learning Tree Early Childhood Workshop is for you. During this workshop, participants will engage in some of the activities from the curriculum guide.  After the session, participants will get their own guide to use in the classroom. The curriculum guide comes with a music CD and extensions for activities that can be done outside with children. 

Growing Up WILD (AM Session-Part 1  & PM Session-Part 2)
Tarneshia Evans, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Growing Up WILD is an early childhood educational program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about the natural world and lifelong social and academic skills.  As a requirement, participants who select AM Session-Part 1 must also select PM Session-Part 2 and will receive a copy of the Growing Up WILD Guide.

Nature and Art for the Young and Inquisitive
Lori Coffey, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 
Explore the connections between art, nature, and the development of young children’s heads, hearts, and hands. Investigate the ways young children are naturally inquisitive and how they thrive in educational settings that utilize natural environments. This hands-on interactive workshop will include an overview of VMFA’s Early Childhood Education Program for children ages 3 months to five years old. Following a presentation on nature’s connection to child development, participate in a nature walk and create your own work of art with the natural materials you gathered during the walk.

Technology Resources to Amp up Your Science Instruction
Karen Hues and Sarah Green, Henrico County Public Schools
Don’t miss this technology enhanced science adventure! Come discover some free technology resources to leverage your science instruction in the classroom. Programs explored include: Kahoot, Nearpod, Digital Breakouts, Safari Live, Google Expeditions, SeeSaw etc.  Resources will also have a focus on literacy integration and ways to bring the outdoors inside to the classroom! 

The Science Behind Play
Krista Dawson, Children’s Museum of Richmond
Join Children’s Museum educators to explore Children’s Museum/VCU Living Lab demonstrations that highlight the science behind children’s learning through play as we explore different types of play and the correlation to essential life skills.


Plenary Session:  The Healing Power of Nature 
Jackie Burgeson, Child Savers
11:00AM-12:00PM All Participants
This experiential session for educators addresses the outdoors as a learning tool for young children to develop an appreciation for their natural surroundings. Participants will have an opportunity to learn how to use these tools with children as a calming source of wonder in their daily lives.


March 14 | 2nd – 3rd Grade

General Session AM 9:00-11:00/PM 1:00-3:00

Amazing Adaptations
Mitra Bryant, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
There are so many different ways plants and animals adapt to an environment. Sharp beaks, waxy leaves, long roots, and migratory journeys are just a few of the physical and behavioral adaptations that will be explored in this hands-on workshop. Participants will move though adaptation stations gathering interactive ideas for engaging students.

Project WILD (AM Session-Part 1  & PM Session-Part 2)
Suzie Gilley, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
Project WILD is an interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program that focuses on wildlife and habitat. The goal of Project WILD is to develop awareness, knowledge, skills, and commitment resulting in informed decisions, responsible behavior, and constructive actions concerning wildlife and the environment. As a requirement, participants who select AM Session-Part 1 must also select PM Session-Part 2 and will receive the new revised edition of Project WILD with new activities and updates of old favorites!

Science and Art: An Interactive Journey
Mary Dickerson and Cyndi Marchetti, Hanover County Public Schools
Come explore the nature of our natural world through art and science connections.  Our journey will highlight certain science standards for grades 2 and 3 using methods of observation and inference, while also engaging with visual, kinetic and tactile stimuli.  Sure to promote excitement for learners of all ages!

Technology Resources to Amp up Your Science Instruction
Judy Christopher, Henrico County Public Schools
Don’t miss this technology enhanced science adventure! Come discover some free technology resources to leverage your science instruction in the classroom. Programs explored include: Kahoot, Nearpod, Digital Breakouts, Safari Live, Google Expeditions, SeeSaw etc.  Resources will also have a focus on literacy integration and ways to bring the outdoors inside to the classroom!

Schoolyard Botany 
Barbara Adcock, Powhatan Public Schools
Being outdoors motivates children!  Use your schoolyard to enhance subjects in all core areas.  Come away with hands-on activities which require very few supplies to integrate what you are doing in your classroom into activities outdoors! 


Plenary Session:  The Healing Power of Nature
John Richardson-Lauve, LCSW Director of Mental Health and Lead Trauma and Resilience Educator
11:00AM-12:00PM All Participants
Experiences of trauma create critical moments in the lives of children. As helping professionals, we have the opportunity to support the healing and growth of children in and around these moments. Nature is one of many tools we can use to promote resilience and overcome the barriers to learning and success that result from trauma.


March 15 | 4th – 6th Grade

General Session AM 9:00-11:00/PM 1:00-3:00

Implementing Environmental Education and Stewardship into your Curriculum
Nat Draper, James River Association
Nat Draper, education manager at the James River Association, will introduce several hands-on environmental lessons that you can use in your classroom. He will also demonstrate an environmental stewardship project that teaches students how the community can have less of an impact through storm drain art stencils.

Project WILD (AM Session-Part 1  & PM Session-Part 2)
Kim Dye, DGIF Project WILD Facilitator
Project WILD is an interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program that focuses on wildlife and habitat. The goal of Project WILD is to develop awareness, knowledge, skills, and commitment resulting in informed decisions, responsible behavior, and constructive actions concerning wildlife and the environment. As a requirement, participants who select AM Session-Part 1 must also select PM Session-Part 2 and will receive the new revised edition of Project WILD with new activities and updates of old favorites!

Creating Curiosity: Art and Art-Making across the Curriculum
Twyla Kitts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Don’t miss this hands-on adventure that will inspire you to put art at the center of student explorations of science, language arts, and math. Art and art-making can invigorate investigations of natural cycles, living systems, and natural resources; improve vocabulary and communication skills; and inspire recognition and understanding of patterns, measurement, and geometry. Participants will receive a workshop resource packet with images, lesson plan concepts, and other materials. 

Technology Resources to Amp up Your Science Instruction
Judy Christopher, Henrico County Public Schools
Don’t miss this technology enhanced science adventure! Come discover some free technology resources to leverage your science instruction in the classroom. Programs explored include: Kahoot, Nearpod, Digital Breakouts, Safari Live, Google Expeditions, SeeSaw etc.  Resources will also have a focus on literacy integration and ways to bring the outdoors inside to the classroom!

STEMulate Your Natural Mind
Elizabeth Morris, City of Richmond Public Library
Love hands-on projects? Love STEMulating your student’s minds? Discover and participate in some hands on science projects you can do in your classroom that meets the standards of learning for grades 4-6 using natural materials and survival skills.


Plenary Session:  The Healing Power of Nature
John Richardson-Lauve, Child Savers
11:00AM-12:00PM All Participants
Experiences of trauma create critical moments in the lives of children. As helping professionals, we have the opportunity to support the healing and growth of children in and around these moments. Nature is one of many tools we can use to promote resilience and overcome the barriers to learning and success that result from trauma.