Mississippi Teachers Learn Strategies to Teach New Science Standards

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) introduced the 2018 Mississippi College-and Career-Readiness Standards (MS CCRS) for Science to 672 science teachers in grades K-12 in July along with school administrators and curriculum coordinators.

The one-day professional development sessions were held at seven regional sites across Mississippi. Six of the sessions were held through a collaborative partnership between the MDE Office of Secondary Education and MDE Mathematics and Science Partnerships (MSP) Award Program. One session was held at N. R. Burger Middle School in conjunction with the Hattiesburg Public School District.

Each session included an overview of the organization of the MS CCRS for Science with an explanation of the components used in the writing of the new document. The MS CCRS for Science document was written by adapting and extending information from the National Research Council’s 2012 publication, A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. A major difference in the new science standards is the “three-dimensional” (3D) learning where teachers guide students to explore science content and phenomena organized in Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) using Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs).

Teachers engaged in activities that included comparing the 2010 Science Framework to the 2018 MS CCRS for Science and understanding how to include the Inquiry strand from the 2010 document into future lessons using the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs).  This full-day training also included grade-band hands-on activities, implementation strategies, and grade-band suggestions for developing lessons based on the new document.

All sessions were led by the K-12 Science Specialist, Dr. Jackie Sampsell, and the Science Professional Development Coordinator, Tanjanikia McKinney. Additional assistance for the training in various sites was provided by regional professional development coordinators Kristi Higginbotham, Vision Impaired; Christie Hatten, Literacy; Celeste Maugh, Elementary Math; and Ashley Kazery, Elementary ELA.

Dr. BoNita Harris, State Math and Science Partnerships Director, coordinated the seven site locations. Six trainings took place in conjunction with the MSP two-week summer professional development training for mathematics teachers grades K-8 at six of seven IHL sites.  A seventh site, N.R. Burger Middle School hosted a training for teachers in Hattiesburg

IHL training sites:

  • Alcorn State University–Braves Academy
  • Delta State University–Delta Math and Science Partnership
  • Jackson State University-Mathematics Advancement in Teaching through Professional Development (MAT-PD)
  • Mississippi State University- In-Depth Mathematical Practices and Content Teacher Training (IMPACT2)
  • Mississippi University For Women-Creating High Achievement in Mathematics and Problem Solving (CHAMPS)
  • University Of Mississippi-Creating Continuity and Connections across Content(C4)