Sunday July 29, PM Workshps

W36: Reading, Writing, and Cross-Disciplinary Competency in the Secondary Science Classroom

Mike Dappolone, Cherry Hill High School East

There is an all-too-common stereotype that the chemistry classroom is a place only for periodic tables, Bunsen burners, and bubbling solutions; reading, writing, and grammar are best left to the “experts” in the subjects where such things are traditionally more valued – English and social studies, for instance.  However, basic literacy skills serve as the foundation for all further learning regardless of the subject area, and with the Common Core Standards now recently adopted by most states, teaching of such skills in every subject has become more important than ever.  In addition, reading and writing in courses where such skills are not traditionally appreciated can serve as a portal to the integration of skills from other disciplines, such as technology and the arts.  The ability to integrate reading, writing, and other “non-technical” skills in the science classroom is absolutely critical to ensuring that students leave school properly prepared to be productive citizens.  These skills must be employed by students in the science classroom in two ways – one as a direct carrier of content, and the other as a way of helping students bring their own interests and talents into a course in which they might otherwise not have such an opportunity.  This workshop provides a research base for the need and importance of reading and writing in the content areas, how these skills relate to real-world skills and college preparedness, how they deviate from traditional attitudes about the “important” content in the curriculum.  This workshop addresses the difference between narrative nonfiction and textbook nonfiction in the curriculum.  It will demonstrate specific strategies for incrementally and seamlessly integrating reading and writing into existing programs, and will look to the workshop participants to work together to develop more for their specific needs.  The workshop closes with project ideas and draws on the experience of teachers in the workshop to demonstrate how the many cross-disciplinary skills of students – music, art, theater, and technology, to name a few – can be integrated into science classes to allow even the weakest students to shine.  In addition, the instructor will discuss how science teachers can take advantage of the many technological conveniences (and the seemingly innate ability of teenagers to use them) and how they can be successfully used to magnify the benefits of these other skills; 3-hour session.

Intended Audience: HS

No fee; limit of 40 participants

Sunday, July 29, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., 145 FNK


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