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ENC helps educators to be more “Excellent”

Sama gesturing

The Environmental Nature Center (ENC) invites all educators to the Excellent Educator Series, a monthly event at which educators learn new hands-on ways to educate children about science and nature. The Excellent Educator Series consists of four workshops.  Attendees will learn exciting ways to broaden their teaching abilities.  Each workshop is only $5 (free for ENC members). 

On January 21, from 3:30 – 5:30, the ENC’s Education Coordinator Alex Lane will teach “Writing an NGSS Program”. Participants will learn what an NGSS (Next Generation Science Standard)-friendly program looks like, and what components should be considered when redesigning (or designing for the first time) programs or curricula. The revised CA Science Framework for NGSS will be completed in Jan. 2016, but many educators are already thinking about what their new curricula will look like. Participating educators will dissect, compose, and create activities using the National Framework to interpret the NGSS.  They will practice setting parameters (resources, location, space, set standards, etc.), and then share what they’ve produced. Sign up here.

On February 25, from 3:30 – 5:30, ENC Facility Manager Sarah Fitzgerald will teach “Lets talk Toddlers!”  Participants will learn how to make their activities hands-on, how to give quick directions and examples, and when parent participation is appropriate. Attending educators will learn about teaching with hand signs, do some art, and learn easy and fun games for 3-5 year olds where toddlers can participate without much help.   They will also talk about reading in nature and animal handling for toddlers. Sign up here. 

On March 18, from 3-5PM, Orange County California Regional Environmental Education (OC-CREEC) Coordinator Helen de la Maza will present “NGSS Update and Teaching well NOW”. Helen will provide an update on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and its corresponding California Science Framework, which is under development. Once NGSS is fully implemented in California, (2016 – 2017 at the earliest), science pedagogy in formal and non-formal environments will support authentic science experiences for children that put them in the role of the investigator. Participants will learn how learning styles fit into this new paradigm and how can they can begin to integrate these tools into their teaching. Sign up here.

On April 14th from 3:45 pm – 5:45pm, ENC Outreach Coordinator and Artist Sama Wareh will present “Teaching Art to Kids – How to use art as a tool for learning”. Using the right side of the brain encourages critical thinking while giving kids a way to express themselves and their knowledge of a subject matter. Educators of all grade levels will learn the tricks behind the trade of teaching Art, and how to use art to teach any subject. Educators will learn how to manage supplies so that art is not a hassle to setup, keywords to use and words not to use, free or low budget art projects, and how to incorporate art into Science, History, Math, and Language. Sign up here.

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