Field Testing – Attention Elementary and Middle School Teachers!

Attention Elementary and Middle School Teachers: 2014-2015 Middle School Field Trial Opportunity

The Learning Design Group at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science is currently recruiting schools and teachers for upcoming Elementary and Middle School field trials. These trials will test preliminary versions of the Learning Design Group's rich science curriculum, developed in partnership with Amplify Learning, which combines hands-on inquiry, the use of digital tools, and support for disciplinary literacy (reading, writing, and talking about science). The curriculum supports both the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects.

The teacher's guide will be delivered digitally via a web browser. Student activities will utilize a mixture of paper-based materials, physical materials, digital simulations, and other online learning tools. Teachers will be provided with kits that include paper and physical materials and will be given access to digital simulations, videos, student readings, and other electronic tools. Computers or tablet devices will need to be provided by the participating schools.

Preliminary field trial details are below (please note these are subject to change). When our plans are finalized, we will contact interested teachers with more information.

Elementary school units and approximate field trial start dates:

  • Grade 1 Physical Science: Light and Sound - April 1, 2015
  • Grade 4 Physical Science: Energy - April 1, 2015
  • Grade 4 Physical Science: Waves - April 1, 2015

Note: The student technical requirements listed do not apply to the Grade 1: Light and Sound unit

Schools participating in elementary field trials are required to:

  • Have wireless Internet access and the ability to project.
  • Have 1:4 laptops or tablets available to students at least 50% of the time.
  • Create/provide teacher and student emails using Google Apps for Education (GAFE), a free application for schools.
  • Provide on-site technical support.
  • Support instructional time necessary to implement curriculum in classrooms.

Teachers participating in our field trials are required to:

  • Teach the field trial units as completely as possible to the best of their ability.
  • Provide student demographic information.
  • Complete online surveys about the curriculum.
  • Return a sample set of student work to the Lawrence Hall of Science (paid postage) within two weeks of the completion of the field trial.

Middle School Science Curriculum Field Testing

Local Bay Area middle school teachers (6th-8th grades) interested in supporting the development of middle school science units. These trials will test preliminary versions of the Learning Design Group’s rich science curriculum, developed in partnership with Amplify Education, which combines hands-on inquiry, the use of digital tools, and support for disciplinary literacy (reading, writing, and talking about science). The curriculum supports both the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects.

Middle school units and approximate field trial start dates:

  • Earth's Changing Climate - March 23, 2015
  • Earth's Changing Climate Digital Engineering Internship - March 23, 2015
  • Harnessing Human Energy - March 23, 2015
  • Phase Change and Temperature - March 23, 2015

Schools participating in middle school field trials are required to:

  • Have wireless Internet access and the ability to project.
  • Have 1:1 laptops or tablets available to students at least 75% of the time.
  • Create/provide teacher and student emails using Google Apps for Education (GAFE), a free application for schools.
  • Provide on-site technical support.
  • Support instructional time necessary to implement curriculum in classrooms.

Teachers participating in our field trials are required to:

  • Teach the field trial units as completely as possible to the best of their ability.
  • Provide student demographic information.
  • Complete online surveys about the curriculum.
  • Return a sample set of student work to the Lawrence Hall of Science (paid postage) within two weeks of the completion of the field trial.

To learn more, please contact Deirdre MacMillan at ldgstudies@berkeley.edu or 510-642-1327.

Contact the Field Test Coordinator:

ldgstudies@berkeley.edu

Why participate in a research project?

Educational research is a vital element in improving education for all students. Only by carefully testing various approaches and curricula can educational professionals learn how best to serve students. If you participate in a research project, many stringent privacy protections are put in place to ensure that your name, your school’s name, and your students’ names will never be attached to specific assessment results.

What is field testing and why is it important?

All Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading® units are field tested. This means that before a unit is published, teachers from a diverse range of classrooms around the country teach the unit to their class, and give us feedback on the unit. This invaluable step allows us to revise the units so they are more effective and easier for teachers to successfully implement.

What is the quality of the units used?

Although units being field tested have not yet been published, rest assured that they represent careful and thorough development by education experts. Units are initially tested in one classroom as they are developed, and are based on proven principles of science and literacy education.

What materials will I receive?

If you participate in a field test or research project, you will receive a field trial version of the unit, including each of the student books in the unit, all of the materials needed for activities, and student print materials. Our staff will be available to offer advice should you encounter difficulties as you teach the unit. The new middle school curriculum will be very different from the elementary school units and will rely heavily on technology, including a sophisticated assessment system.

What will I be required to do?

You will be required to administer and return pre- and post-assessments, and teach the unit as described in the teacher’s guide. You may also need to complete a daily on-line survey about each lesson, return samples of student work, and/or allow classroom observations. Requirements depend on the particular research project and will be made clear to you before you agree to participate.

Current Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading units have been field tested and researched in more than 400 different schools in 30 states, and in classrooms representing a wide range of geographic, socioeconomic, ethnic, and other factors.

We would like to express heartfelt thanks to all the schools, teachers, and students involved. They help make Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading® what it is!