Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Beyond Our Walls: Professional Development for Teachers & Caregivers

Teachers engage in math-talk
DuPage Children’s Museum hosts a variety of workshops and trainings with local school districts, child care associations and preschools, on- and off-site. Learning concepts that are present within the Museum are extended to show how they can have a lasting impact on the lives of children--even when outside of the Museum!  Last Friday, the Program Department invited teachers from districts all over DuPage County to participate in a workshop titled Science and Math for Early Learners.

As the title suggests, this one-day workshop was filled with information on math and science.  In addition, art and art processes were a major component. The inclusion of art allowed teachers to think beyond math and science to gain an understanding of how art can intersect with other curricular areas and deepen the learning experience.

School Programs Manager Chris Barry gave an engaging presentation on math and science in the classroom. Barry used a balance to show equal and unequal weight distribution with numbers that were weighted according to their value. In the early stages of learning these concepts, children can see that the fulcrum of the balance itself indicates that the numbers are equal or unequal in weight. This activity can be both practical and hands-on, making for a more meaningful learning experience.        
Pattern is art, pattern is math
The Museum’s Interdisciplinary Arts Specialist Marcia MacRae showed teachers how art concepts can be integrated with math and science in early learning. By integrating art and the art process with math and science learning, critical thinking and creativity skills can be enhanced as well! Teachers were encouraged to deepen student’s skills in math and science through processes such as color mixing, patterning, working with shape, lines and more!

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