STEM Coach Brings Learning to Life

FWSU Action Plan

TARGET 1: FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.
STRATEGY 1: Highlight, create and model innovative learning opportunities that promote collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creativity for students and staff

This school year the Georgia Elementary Middle School implemented a job-embedded professional development model, commonly known as Coaching, to boost science, technology, engineering and math instruction (STEM) in the elementary school.

JoAnn Harvey, a longtime GEMS Kindergarten teacher, now spends three days per week as the GEMS STEM Coach. One reason this model was used because it has been found that effective professional learning is intensive, ongoing, focused on the classroom, and occurs during the teacher’s workday (Darling-Hammond, 2009).

By collaboratively working with teachers, JoAnn plans strategies and models instruction. In addition, she integrates math and science inquiry through the engineering process, developing/modeling STEM activities, and engaging students in their work.

Research has shown that educators are more likely to incorporate technology into their instruction when they have access to coaching and mentoring. (Strudler & Hearrington, 2009).

Through the use of Science Notebooks and an intriguing problem-solving approach, students are surrounded by inquiry based learning and they love it!

The level of engagement in STEM activities is tremendous. It is wonderful to see students students think like scientists, think like mathematicians, think like engineers and are excited about learning and discovering answers through experimentation!

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