Summertime, and the livin’ is…

I am looking for recommendations on how to spend my summer preparing to implement the science program our school district adopted.

—C., Illinois

Without knowing the specifics of your district’s program I can’t say precisely what to do, but I have some general advice.

First, this is your summer break—take some time to unwind and not think about this at all!

About three weeks from the beginning of term, start reading the introductory material —you might even consider arranging a relaxed planning party with colleagues to go through the material together. Have a calendar handy and take notes.

  • While you read, keep these questions in mind:
  • What is the program’s basic approach to science education?
  • How is it structured? Is it flexible?
  • How does it match with what you are doing in your classroom already?
  • Does it differentiate for the different learners in your classroom?
  • How are assessments structured?
  • Compare it line by line to your state’s curriculum. Note any differences. Can you insert local content?

Many programs use simulations, videos, and class management software. Try to get access to these now. Will there be technical issues using these in your class? Are they good quality and can you substitute media that you already use?

Inspect manipulatives or kits. Are they durable? Will you need to purchase consumable supplies? Start planning when to reorder materials.

What supports are available? Contact them now to establish lines of communication. If there are training sessions start signing up. Coordinate this with your colleagues.

Hope this helps!


Photo credit: H. Zell  via Wikimedia

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