Erica Iuvone, a first grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School in Succasunna, was one of 22 educators selected from a broad pool of elementary school teachers in New Jersey by the New Jersey Science Teachers Association (NJSTA) to attend a week-long professional development workshop in July held at Rowan University in Glassboro that was entitled “Preparing Elementary Teachers to Implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).”
These teachers received 40 hours of instruction and left the institute with curricular tools to interest students in science topics specifically for their classroom. These hands-on and data focused lessons, demonstrations, and field experience support the NJ Core Curriculum Content Stands and Next Generation Science Standards as well as address Common Core Mathematics and English/Language Arts Standards.
The NGSS and the New Jersey Model Curriculum promote scientific literacy and served as the foundation for the workshop activities. The participants plan to incorporate many of these engaging, hands-on, science activities that were developed during this summer experience into their science programs at their schools.
Participating teachers constructed content and grade-specific units that integrated the life, physical, and earth/space sciences disciplines. To develop the units, teachers were guided by NJSTA educators to create lessons that focus on authentic experiences by which learners can advance their abilities to build, test and refine knowledge. These lessons will change the focus of instruction from basic identification of concepts to explanations that make sense of scientific phenomenon. Participants also learned how to infuse science lessons with literacy and mathematics content, which will empower their students to achieve comprehensive results.
According to the NJSTA, “Educators such as Ms. Iuvone provide inspiration for our students and fellow teachers throughout our state and the opportunity to excite and motivate colleagues with new ideas for the science classroom. We appreciate Ms. Iuvone’s contributions to professional development and dedication to improving science education in NJ.”
Iuvone also received an invitation to attend the NJ Science Convention (NJSC) in October, where she will be recognized as an “NJSTA Simmons Scholars.”