Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Learning Science Through Inquiry
About the Workshop
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About the Workshop

Helpful Hints for Successful Site Investigations

This page provides instructions for leading Site Investigations — group discussion and activity sessions for each workshop. These 30-minute, pre- and post-video group discussions help you better understand the video programs and enhance the workshop experience. Getting Ready prepares you for what to focus on during the video program and Going Further provides the opportunity to analyze and reflect on what you saw.

During each video program, there are one or more opportunities to pause and reflect on questions that are presented on the screen and in this guide. Groups watching the workshops on VHS/DVD can stop the program to discuss the questions immediately (five minutes recommended).

The following hints are intended to help you get the most out of your sessions.

Designate a Facilitator

Each week, one person should be responsible for facilitating the Site Investigations (or two people — one to facilitate Getting Ready, the other to facilitate Going Further). The facilitator does not need to be the Site Leader, nor does he or she need to be the same person each week. In fact, we recommend that participants rotate the role of facilitator on a weekly basis.

Review the Site Investigations

Be sure to read over the Getting Ready and Going Further sections of this guide before arriving at each workshop. The Site Investigations will be most productive if you and your colleagues come to the workshops prepared for the discussions and activities.

Bring the Necessary Materials

A few of the Site Investigations require group brainstorming or list-making. It will be useful to have markers and a flip chart, as well as a few sheets of paper available for each participant. The facilitator should be responsible for bringing these materials to the session when necessary. Please note: You will need these materials for Workshop 1.

Keep an Eye on the Time

We have suggested the amount of time you should spend on each question or activity.

Record Your Discussions

We recommend that someone take notes during each Site Investigation, or even better, that you tape-record the discussions each week. These notes and/or audiotapes can serve as "make-up" materials in case anyone misses a workshop.

Share Your Discussions on the Web

The Site Investigations serve as a starting point to share and think about the video program. We encourage you to continue your discussions with participants from other sites on the Teacher-Talk area of the Web site.

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