Science teachers needed for graph literacy pilot project

The Concord Consortium is recruiting 10 seventh- and eighth-grade science teachers for the Piloting Graph Literacy Activities in Maine project, funded by the National Science Foundation. During the past year, four pilot Maine teachers used more than 50 class sessions trying and commenting on new instructional materials designed to help students understand graphs, which are an important component of the Next Generation Science Standards and are used often in science (and math) textbooks, as well as newspapers and magazines.

This year, students of the participating teachers will be able to interact with the graph literacy activities using a computer or tablet. These free, interactive graph literacy activities encourage interaction with a graph—clicking on the correct points, placing labels on graphs, answering numeric questions, etc. Hints and visual help are built in for students who need them. Pre-/post-test items will also be online and accessible through a web browser.

Half of the 10 teachers chosen for this year’s study will be randomly selected as experimental teachers, and the other half will be selected as control. Both sets of teachers will (separately) receive training in the fall of 2013. Teachers in the experimental group will learn to use the web-based graph literacy activities. Teachers in the control group will also learn to operate software useful for middle school science education; however, the software will focus on computer models that do not use graphs (so a true experiment can be conducted comparing students in the two groups).

The Concord Consortium will collect weekly logs from the participating teachers during the weeks they teach the graph literacy activities. Teachers complete those brief logs online. Each teacher will receive $400 for participating in training and an additional $900 to use the activities with students, conduct pre/post tests and complete online logs.

To apply, email Carolyn Staudt at carolyn@concord.org. Please attach a resume and include your grade level and a list of courses you will teach this school year.

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