teaching materials

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Hi! I am brand new to district 6 (and New York) but not new to teaching. I work at IS 218 would love some ideas on using FOSS materials for inquiry method labs. I already have some in mind (if I could get to the materials- none of the keys work.....so I have no access to slides, microscopes, etc. unless some one busts the locks I suppose) but need help implementing them "without" traditional materials as noted above. I am a bit concerned that only one other science teacher at my school (Sarah Goodman) even attempted to use the lab.............can you give me some background at the situation at my school and help me negotiate how to teach. I know this sounds insane, but I have never dealt with such a goofy situation before where no one knows, cares or even seems involved in the lab although some one was assigned.

-- natalie berkowitz (whereiskatima@lycos.com), September 03, 2000


Hello Natalie and welcome to New York, District 6, and the Middle School Science Teachers' Lounge!

We need some more information aout your situation. What grade/grades do you teach, which particular FOSS units are you working with? Are all the key people back at your school already? (science point lead teacher, science AP?) Are you familiar with the Middle School Science Curriculum Frameworks? There should be an orientation or departmental meeting next week (Tuesday or Wednesday). In the meantime, let me know more about your situation and we will go from there...

-- Michael Gatton (mg143@aol.com), September 03, 2000.

Hi Natalie! I've heard so much about you already from Mr. Malave. I'm the Science Coordinator for District 6. Here's the deal at your school: the science program revolved around one person, Mr Echevarria, which no one realized until he left. We're working to change that, I hope you can be of some help. Now, currently the FOSS kits are for grades 5 and 6. The District will provide workshops on the use of the kits in the beginning of the year. In addition, there are other people in the building using the lab room. I believe Luis Espinosa is one. And Mr Echevarria is back.

-- Stacy Douglas (StacySher@aol.com), September 04, 2000.

The district office is working to resolve Natalies issues, in case others following this discussion are wondering what happened. As Natalie' concerns were more local and specific, we chose to continue this discussion by e-mail.

I am writing this response also for illustrative purposes. Sometimes you may have questions that are best addressed by e-mail, or by phone. The discussion forum is most suited for situations where you would benefit from getting responses from a number of other people or when you do not know whom to ask, and of course if you have information that would benefit the science teaching community.

You should by all means post a question like Natalie's if you need help. Sometimes the discussion will naturally leave the public forum, and that's OK.

-- Michael Gatton (Science Facilitator) (mg143@aol.com), September 06, 2000.

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