PROPOSAL FOR PROCEDURES FOR FIELD TESTING
OF K-5 SCIENCE CURRICULUM MATERIALS,
SUBMITTED 10/2/2001 FOR CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL
OF THE ELEMENTARY SCIENCE STEERING COMMITTEE (ESSC)
OF THE LANSING SCHOOL DISTRICT (LSD)

 

Selection of Materials for Field Testing

  1. Based on recommendations of the 2000-2001 academic year ESSC, curriculum analyses conducted by LSD elementary school teachers during summer 2001, and administrative request, K-8 science curriculum materials from ten sources will be considered for field testing during the 2001-2002 academic year. Ultimately, modules will be adopted on a unit-by-unit basis. These ten sources are:
    • Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center modules
    • Building Elementary Science Units and Communities (BESU&C) on-line modules
    • BSCS Science T.R.A.C.S. modules
    • EDC Insights modules
    • Full Option Science System (FOSS) modules
    • Galaxy modules
    • Houghton Mifflin’s Discovery Works series
    • McGraw-Hill’s Science series
    • Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) "New Directions" modules
    • National Science Resources Center’s "Science & Technology for Children" (NSCR STC) modules
       
  1. Based on curriculum analyses conducted by teachers during summer 2001, and additional review by the district’s Elementary Science Teacher Specialists (ESTSs) to align modules from the above 10 sources with units in the LSD elementary science program (as defined in the September 2001 K-1 recommendation from the ESSC and the draft of the new grades 2-5 science pacing guides) a subset of all of the modules available from the above ten sources will be selected for field testing during the 2001-2002 academic year. Selection of this subset includes attention to the degree of match with the district’s elementary science program (along with no excessive coverage of extraneous content), developmental appropriateness of the content and form of presentation relative to the grade level at which it will be used, and cost effectiveness. On average, 5-6 modules are selected for field testing for each district unit. (Note that there are three units in the school year for grades K and 1 and four units in the school year for grades 2-5. Thus approximately 120 units should be field tested in this process for consideration relative to the K-5 science program.)

 

Composition of the Grade-Level Field-Test Study Groups

  1. Teachers participating in field testing of K-5 science curriculum materials will be organized into grade-level study groups. Wherever possible, at least two teachers will field test each module. Thus, given that on average we are selecting 5-6 modules per unit for field testing, each grade-level study group will have approximately 10-12 classroom teachers as participants. In selecting and assigning teachers to grade-level study groups, an attempt will be made to include one special education teacher (either from an inclusion classroom or a resource room) in each group. (Note that self-contained special education teachers and teachers of the gifted and talented program will not be selected as members of the study groups since for the 2001-2002 academic year each of these sets of teachers are engaged in field testing science materials more appropriate for their teaching and programmatic situations.) One classroom teacher will be selected by the members of the group to act as the co-facilitator of the group. Each group will also have as a second co-facilitator either a Michigan State University (MSU) staff member with expertise in elementary science teaching, learning, and curriculum materials or one of the district’s three new ESTSs (i.e., Lori Abbott-Smith, Andon Pogoncheff, and R. Timothy Smith).

 

Selection of Teachers for Participation in Field Testing and Grade-Level Study Groups

  1. By the end of September 2001, more teachers have volunteered or been recruited to participate in the field testing of K-5 science curriculum materials than are necessary (given the above numbers of to-be-field-tested modules and the number of teachers desired in a study group to accomplish this) or can reasonably be accommodated logistically. Therefore, the following system will be used to select which teachers will participate in the K-5 science curriculum materials field testing and grade-level study groups.
    1. First priority goes to teachers in the six originally targeted schools (i.e., Allen, Averill, CLCCA, North, Post Oak, and Woodcreek), ideally selecting up to 2 teachers per grade level in each school.
    2. Second priority is to include teachers from other schools who are also representatives to the ESSC. Having these teachers involved in field testing increases the overlap between those teachers involved in field testing and those teachers reporting field testing information (presented at ESSC meetings) back to their schools. This means that more teachers in more of our schools can learn about what's happening in the field testing study groups from someone who is participating in them rather than only getting it second-hand via the reports at the ESSC meetings.
    3. Third priority goes to teachers who are the "Science Teacher" across grades K-5 in their school. With these teachers we have more flexibility in assigning them to a grade at which to field test materials and make up the difference where we have fewer teachers recruited. Ideally, these teachers are more familiar with thinking about how curriculum materials might support good science teaching and learning, and, like the ESSC representatives, they can share their field testing experiences directly with all of the teachers in their buildings.
    4. Finally, any remaining teachers are assigned to field testing based on a first-come first-served basis until all to-be-field-tested materials are covered (i.e., ideally, two teachers for each module) at each grade level.
    5. In all cases, where teachers have expressed a strong preference for what material(s) they want to field test, we will attempt to match teachers and materials, but we also assume that a teacher will field test materials from all quarters at their grade level as assigned and will not be allowed to participate in the field testing work only if or when their preferred material is available. (In other words, for example, if a teacher only wants and is willing to field test Houghton Mifflin materials, but Houghton Mifflin materials are only being field tested in two quarters at their grade level, then this teacher would not be included in the field testing.)
       
  1. Additional details of what is involved in field testing and expected of field-test teachers, along with some of the benefits that may result from participating in field testing, are outlined in the attached draft of a cover letter (see Appendix A of this proposal) to be distributed to all teachers selected for field testing participation upon approval of this proposal by the ESSC.

 

Schedule of Field Testing

  1. The following table outlines the schedule of meetings and tasks for the grade-level field-test study groups, along with other pertinent events and deadlines. Note that throughout this proposal, references to "field testing" include both actual classroom use of complete curriculum packages for second- and third-quarter units and "paper analyses" of teacher materials for first- and fourth-quarter units. As with all other portions of this proposal, the schedule outlined below adds to the selection process outlined in the "Lansing School District Resource Materials Protocol Handbook," as provided for in "Article 15: Curriculum" (Section C: Steering Committees, number 1.e) of the "Master Agreement between Lansing Schools Education Association and Lansing School District Board of Education 1999-2003" (p. 53, a copy of which is included as Appendix B of this proposal).

Date and Time

Event

Tuesday

4:15 — 5:15 PM

October 2, 2001

ESSC receives, reviews, and approves proposal for K-5 science field testing procedures.

Request opportunity to present ESSC-approved field testing procedures (i.e., this proposal) at the next meeting of Instructional Council for their consideration and approval (10/9/2001).

Teachers selected for participation in K-5 science curriculum materials field testing are contacted with information about field testing and the first meeting of all field-test teachers 3:30-5:30 PM, Wednesday, October 10, 2001.

Tuesday

1:00 — 3:00 PM

October 9, 2001

Instructional Council Meeting

Presentation of K-5 science curriculum materials field testing procedures approved by ESSC for consideration and approval of the Instructional Council.

Wednesday

3:30 — 5:30 PM

October 10, 2001

[District-wide In-service Day]

First meeting of all field-test teachers:

Introduction of all participants to one another, to the goals for our work together, to the Michigan Curriculum Framework (2000) Science Benchmarks, to the Lansing School District’s new grades 2-5 science pacing guides and recommendations for K-1 science units, and to the Project 2061 curriculum evaluation procedures (see Appendices C and D for drafts of the modified Project 2061 procedures to be used for content and instructional analyses of K-5 science curriculum materials). Dividing into grade-level study groups, participants then do an initial "walk through" of the Project 2061 content analysis of modules to be field tested as second-quarter science units.

NOTE: The new LSD grades 2-5 science pacing guides define four science units per year in grades 2 through 5. The procedures outlined in this proposal refer to these units by "quarters." The ESSC-approved K-1 recommendation outlines three units per year for kindergarten and first grade, each session being approximately 12 weeks in length. Since K-1 science currently is not locked into a particular sequence by a district pacing guide or quarterly assessments, teachers who are field testing K-1 science curriculum materials can be more flexible in how they sequence units and evaluate materials during the 2001-2002 academic year. Thus, when grades 2-5 are field testing first- and second-quarter modules, K-1 teachers will be field testing first- and second-session modules (with all second-session and some first-session modules being field tested in classrooms with students using complete packages; remaining first-session modules will be field tested by "paper analysis"). When grades 2-5 are field testing third- and fourth-quarter modules, K-1 teachers will be field testing second- and third-session modules (with all second-session and some third-session modules being field tested in classrooms with students using complete packages; remaining third-session modules will be field tested by "paper analysis").

Homework: complete content analysis of second-quarter modules for discussion at 10/30/2001 study group meeting.

10/11/2001 — 10/29/2001

[All LSD first-quarter quarterly assessments are to be completed between 10/22/2001 and 11/2/2001.]

Representatives of the various sources for K-5 science curriculum materials provide training for teachers who are field testing their curriculum modules for first- or second-quarter units. These sessions will be scheduled by Linda Morrow and R. Timothy Smith, in consultation with representatives of the various sources. These sessions will be held after school and offered as opportunities for voluntary in-service professional development (i.e., teachers are not paid for this time). Teachers participating in K-5 science curriculum materials field testing are expected, as part of their field-test participation, to attend the training sessions for the materials they will be field testing. Field-test teachers are also welcome and encouraged to attend training sessions by other suppliers, except in those cases where the suppliers have asked that attendance be limited to teachers using their materials, or there is a per teacher cost to the LSD for teacher participation in the training workshop.

Tuesday

5:00 — 7:30 PM

October 23, 2001

Seventh Annual Instructional Swap Shop -- held at DeWitt High School

Sponsored by the Capital Area Science & Math Center (CASM), Lansing Community College, and MSU’s Division of Science & Mathematics Education

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

October 30, 2001

Meeting #2 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Discuss content analysis of second-quarter modules; begin first portion of instructional analysis with second-quarter modules.

Field work: begin documentation of use of second-quarter modules, begin collection of examples of second-quarter unit student work (including pre-assessments), and continue instructional analysis of second-quarter modules.

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

November 13, 2001

Second Curriculum Summit in the Russ Maple Room at the Hill Center

(The latter portion of this time is devoted to a meeting of the ESSC.)

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

November 27, 2001

Meeting #3 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Discuss initial instructional analysis results with second-quarter modules; begin second portion of instructional analysis with second-quarter modules.

Field work: continue documentation of use of second-quarter modules, collection of examples of second-quarter unit student work, and instructional analysis of second-quarter modules.

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

December 4, 2001

Meeting #4 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Discuss classroom teaching and students’ learning using second-quarter modules; introduce paper analysis for first-quarter modules.

Field work: continue documentation of use of second-quarter modules, collection of examples of second-quarter unit student work, and instructional analysis of second-quarter modules.

Homework: complete paper analysis of first-quarter modules for discussion at 1/8/2002 study group meeting.

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

December 18, 2001

Meeting #5 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Touch base on progress of paper analysis of first-quarter modules; review evidence of students’ learnings thus far using second-quarter modules; discuss and complete instructional analysis of second-quarter modules.

Field work: continue documentation of use of second-quarter modules and collection of examples of second-quarter unit student work.

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

January 8, 2002

Meeting #6 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Discuss results of completed paper analyses of first-quarter modules; begin preparation for using and evaluating third-quarter modules and begin content analysis.

Field work: begin documentation of use of third-quarter modules and begin collection of examples of third-quarter unit student work (including pre-assessments).

Homework: complete content analysis of third-quarter modules for discussion at 2/5/2002 study group meeting.

1/9/2002 — 2/4/2002

Representatives of the various sources for K-5 science curriculum materials provide training for teachers who are field testing their curriculum modules for third- or fourth-quarter units. These sessions will be scheduled by Linda Morrow and R. Timothy Smith, in consultation with representatives of the various sources. These sessions will be held after school and offered as opportunities for voluntary in-service professional development (i.e., teachers are not paid for this time). Teachers participating in K-5 science curriculum materials field testing are expected, as part of their field-test participation, to attend the training sessions for the materials they will be field testing. Field-test teachers are also welcome and encouraged to attend training sessions by other suppliers, except in those cases where the suppliers have asked that attendance be limited to teachers using their materials, or there is a per teacher cost to the LSD for teacher participation in the training workshop.

January 14-18, 2002

[All LSD second-quarter quarterly assessments are to be completed between 1/14/2002 and 1/25/2002.]

In order to have post-assessment data from second-quarter units in hand for analysis and discussion at the next field-test grade-level study group meetings during the week of January 21st, all field-test teachers are expected to complete all second-quarter science unit post-assessments (e.g., LSD quarterly assessments for second and third grade or teacher-developed tasks for grades K-1 and 4-5) by 1/18/2002.

January 22-24, 2002

Meeting #7 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Half-day release time for grade-level study group meetings this week to examine evidence of student learning based on second-quarter post-assessments (and other examples of students’ work); complete all aspects of analyses of first- and second-quarter modules in order to prepare reports by each group’s teacher co-facilitator to the ESSC on 1/29/2002.

Tuesday

4:15 — 5:15 PM

January 29, 2002

Reports on first- and second-quarter modules presented by teacher co-facilitators from each grade-level study group to the ESSC.

January 30 through February 14, 2002

ESSC members share results of first- and second-quarter module field testing with the teachers in their buildings.

1/28/2002 — 2/15/2002

MEAP

Grade 4: Reading and Mathematics

Grade 5: Science, Social Studies, and Writing

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

February 5, 2002

Meeting #8 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Discuss content analysis of third-quarter modules; begin first portion of instructional analysis with third-quarter modules.

Field work: continue documentation of use of third-quarter modules, collection of examples of third-quarter unit student work, and instructional analysis of third-quarter modules.

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

February 12, 2002

Third Curriculum Summit in the Russ Maple Room at the Hill Center

(The latter portion of this time is devoted to a meeting of the ESSC.)

Tuesday

February 19, 2002

Meeting #9 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Touch base on first portion of instructional analysis and classroom teaching using third-quarter modules; begin second portion of instructional analysis with third-quarter modules; begin paper analysis of fourth-quarter modules.

Field work: continue documentation of use of third-quarter modules, collection of examples of third-quarter unit student work, and instructional analysis of third-quarter modules.

Homework: complete paper analysis of fourth-quarter modules for discussion at 3/5/2002 study group meeting.

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

February 26, 2002

Meeting #10 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Discuss both portions of instructional analyses, along with classroom teaching experiences and evidence of students’ learning, with third-quarter modules.

Field work: continue documentation of use of third-quarter modules, collection of examples of third-quarter unit student work, and instructional analysis of third-quarter modules.

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

March 5, 2002

Meeting #11 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Complete paper analysis of fourth-quarter modules; prepare for curriculum fair on 3/12/2002.

Field work: continue documentation of use of third-quarter modules, collection of examples of third-quarter unit student work, and instructional analysis of third-quarter modules.

Homework: complete preparations for "curriculum fair" on 3/12/2002.

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

March 12, 2002

Grade Level Meeting — "Science":

After-school curriculum fair for all LSD elementary school teachers includes grade-level displays of all field-tested K-5 science modules (e.g., teacher guides and students’ materials), displays of students’ work, and opportunities to discuss field testing experiences and results with field-test teachers.

March 11-15, 2002

[All LSD third-quarter quarterly assessments are to be completed between 3/18/2002 and 4/12/2002.]

In order to have post-assessment data from third-quarter units in hand for analysis and discussion at the next field-test grade-level study group meetings during the week of March 19th, all field-test teachers are requested to complete all third-quarter science unit post-assessments (e.g., LSD quarterly assessments for grades 2-5 or teacher-developed tasks for grades K-1) by 3/15/2002. Note that this is the week before LSD quarterly assessments would normally begin for the third quarter.

March 19-21, 2002

Meeting #12 of field-test grade-level study groups:

Half-day release time for grade-level study group meetings this week to examine evidence of student learning based on third-quarter quarterly assessments (and other examples of students’ work); complete all aspects of analyses of third- and fourth-quarter modules in order to prepare reports by each group’s teacher co-facilitator to the ESSC.

Tuesday

4:15 — 5:15 PM

March 26, 2002

Reports on third- and fourth-quarter modules presented by teacher co-facilitators from each grade-level study group to ESSC.

March 27-28, 2002

ESSC members share results of third- and fourth-quarter module field testing with the teachers in their buildings.

March 27 through April 8, 2002

All Lansing elementary school teachers submit to the Subject Matter Leader for elementary school science their recommendations for materials to be adopted for use with each of the science units designated for their grade level either by the grades 2-5 science pacing guides or the ESSC-approved recommendations for K-1 units. Results of these recommendations are compiled by the Subject Matter Leader for elementary school science, the co-chairs of the ESSC, and the ESTSs, for report to the ESSC at its next meeting on 4/9/2002. Weighting of recommendations submitted by field-test teachers, active ESSC members, and all elementary school buildings will follow the procedures outlined in the "Lansing School District Resource Materials Protocol Handbook" (p. 2, a copy of which is included as Appendix E of this proposal).

March 29 through April 7, 2002

LSD Spring Break

Tuesday

4:15 — 6:00 PM

April 9, 2002

Fourth Curriculum Summit in the Russ Maple Room at the Hill Center

(The latter portion of this time is devoted to a meeting of the ESSC, at which time the results compiled from all recommendations submitted by LSD elementary school teachers will be reported.)

Wednesday

1:00 — 3:00 PM

April 10, 2002

Instructional Council Meeting

Results of the K-5 science curriculum materials field testing and recommendation process are submitted by the Subject Matter Leader for elementary school science and the co-chairs of the ESSC to Instructional Council for their consideration, approval, and forwarding as appropriate to complete the elementary science adoption process in a timely manner so that science curriculum materials are available for use by all K-5 teachers at the start of the 2002-2003 academic year.