sealPurdue News

June 6, 2002

Lafayette-area teachers attend first Purdue science-literacy program

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Eighteen Lafayette-area elementary school teachers will be on the Purdue University campus this Monday (6/10) to learn new ways to integrate science and literacy in their classrooms.

The School of Education's Children's Literacy and Science Project (CLASP), funded by the Toyota USA Foundation, will teach K-5 elementary school teachers how to use student's self-produced science journals as learning tools to strengthen their reasoning and communication skills.

"Purdue's School of Education received one of only four nationally funded education grants out of over 500 proposals submitted to the Toyota USA Foundation," said science education professor and project co-director Dan Shepardson.

The professional development program consists of three phases.

The first phase is a two-week summer institute starting June 10 that will focus on using children’s journals as a tool for teaching, learning and assessing, and the development of two science-literacy lessons.

The second phase includes eight workshops during the academic year to help teachers as they explore children’s science and literacy learning using journals, document children's learning through case studies and develop additional science-literacy lessons.

The third phase is a one-week summer institute in June 2003. Enrollment will be limited to nine elementary school teams of one primary and one intermediate level teacher.

This summer's institute will prepare teachers-as-researchers, developing teachers' assessment techniques through the creation of case records that chart students' growth in both science and literacy.

Teachers will be introduced to four different types of science journals that can be used in the elementary school science program: inquiry journals, laboratory/experiment journals, field journals and descriptive journals.

"The project provides teachers with very practical ways to use journals in the classroom," said language and literacy education professor and project co-director Susan Britsch.

The academic year workshops and site visits by CLASP staff members will help teachers as they develop and use their integrated science-literacy units. The project will culminate next summer with the goal of publishing the materials for use by other teachers.

The represented schools, the CLASP participants and the grades they represent are:

Cumberland Elementary: Heather Brannan, kindergarten; Lois Haueisen, all-day kindergarten; Margaret Samudio, kindergarten-to-third grade; and Sharon Smith, first grade.

Glen Acres Elementary: Emily Boerger, first grade and Lisa Krohn, fifth grade.

Hershey Elementary: Marti Crumly, first grade; Kari Riley, third grade.

Klondike Elementary: Susan Scanlon, third grade; Elizabeth McDonnell, third grade; and Mary Raub, kindergarten.

Mayflower Mill Elementary: Keely Williams, fourth grade and Cynthia Preston, second grade.

Mintonye Elementary: Dawn Ayala, first grade and Peggy Johnson, fifth grade.

Otterbein Elementary: Jill Bahler, sixth grade and Julia Chambers, fourth grade.

Oxford Elementary: Rita Deckard, kindergarten.

Writer: Grant Flora, (765) 494-2073,

Source: Jill Lesh, director of alumni relations, (765) 494-0568,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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