Elementary School Professional Development Menu

Activate Learning offers professional development support based on goals for teacher learning. We provide several opportunities for teachers to examine the chosen materials, understand how the curriculum design works, and analyze an array of instructional practices and strategies that foster meaningful student engagement.

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Webinar led by an online facilitator (3 hours)

The facilitator meets virtually with teachers in any combination of grades (6, 7, 8) to introduce key components of the curriculum. The session uses one exemplar unit as an example to illustrate pedagogies and practices of IQWST including the use of a Driving Question, revisiting phenomena, and pursuing learning goals.

Teachers will:

  • Experience a lesson using Student Science Notebook
  • Debrief the lesson that is experienced
  • Review the Teacher Edition
  • Become familiar with IQWST resources
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Webinar: 2 hours per grade + 2 office hours

Led by an online facilitator who meets with grade-level teachers for a 2 hour block of time. Introduces the initial unit to be launched in each grade level to those teachers who will teach that unit. Full day includes three back-to-back sessions, one each for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teachers. Also includes one 2-hr block of time for follow-up Q&A (via Zoom) for teachers at all three grade levels to join.

Teachers will:

  • Experience a lesson using Student Science Notebook
  • Debrief the lesson that is experienced
  • Review the Teacher Edition
  • Become familiar with IQWST resources
Brasília - 25.08.2008
Segunda etapa de formação de mediadores das séries iniciais do ensino público do Distrito Federal, desenvolvido pela Sangari do Brasil, que numa parceria com a Secretaria de Educação, está implantando o Projeto Ciência em Foco.
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Mixed-Grades Option (1 facilitator for multiple grades): All teachers are attending PD together; some will be experiencing the program through a focal unit that is not the one they will teach. However, teachers will have opportunities to apply the tenets and instructional strategies to their own first unit.

INTRODUCTORY PD - Onsite (6 hours)

The Introductory PD introduces educators who are new to our curriculum to its scope and design prior to implementing the curriculum in their classrooms. Teachers experience an opening sequence of activities as learners. We then introduce our core research-based design principles as a tool the teacher uses to analyze their experience. Finally, teachers set up and engage in several follow-up activities, identify, and unpack the complexities of those activities, and develop a plan to approach these ideas and practices with students.

Teachers will:

  • Experience a lesson using Student Science Notebook
  • Debrief the experienced lesson
  • Review the components of the Teacher Edition
  • Become familiar with IQWST resources



Mixed-Grades Option (1 facilitator for multiple grades): One unit from the sequence will be modeled for mixed grades.

Getting to Know PRIME - Virtual or Onsite (3 hours)

In this session, we will introduce the Activate Learning PRIME program and share some best practices for getting started. Become familiar with the program components: equipment kits, Teacher Editions, Student Science Notebook, and the PRIME portal. We will share specific teaching strategies to help teachers implement the program and how to manage materials and students. Teachers will be shown how to set up the activities using the initial grade level unit.

Teachers will:

  • Understand how to unpack the PRIME material kits
  • Become acquainted with the program’s instructional materials
  • Practice activities and prepare to teach their first day of instruction
  • Learn how to manage the kit materials
  • Develop classroom management routines

Mixed-Grades Option: Districts that request implementation PD for multiple grades on the same day should be able to either accommodate multiple facilitators (1 per unit) or prepare for one facilitator who focuses on one unit.

Implementation of Next Unit - Virtual or Onsite (3 hours)

The implementation PD is designed to engage teachers in a sequence of activities specific to their next unit, focusing specifically on how the instructional sequence supports students in building and applying big science ideas over time.

Teachers will:

  • Experience a lesson using Student Science Notebook
  • Debrief the lesson that is experienced
  • Revisit the Driving Question Board and Word Wall
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PRIME Interactive Digital Edition (IDE) Training (90 mins)

Teachers are shown how to access and navigate the IDE to identify the many resources available for both teachers and students.

Teachers will:

  • Understand how to set up, manage classes, and grade student assignments
  • Become familiar with the many ways the student readings can be adjusted for all learners
  • Learn how to create assessments with available online questions and create their own questions
Young student watching lesson online and studying from home. Young woman taking notes while looking at computer screen following professor doing math on video call. Latin girl student studying from home and watching teacher explaining math formula on video chat.

Office Hours – Virtual (2 hours)

A virtual 2-hour block of time for Q&A (via Zoom) for teachers at all three grade levels to join. This will give teachers an opportunity to speak with expert consultants and ask questions that they have about PRIME.

Professional Development Team

Quality professional development is crucial for the success of our programs because it invites teachers to rethink previous practices, construct new expectations for student outcomes, and teach in ways they may not have taught before as classroom discourse and pushing student thinking take center stage.

Tracy Marmolejo

Professional Development Manager | Educational Liaison

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Ellen Mintz

PD Facilitator


Brian Klaft

PD Facilitator

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Marilyn Schmidt

PD Facilitator

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Mary Kelly

PD Facilitator


Chris Gleason

PD Facilitator


Diane Wright

PD Facilitator


Karen Mesmer

PD Facilitator


Gary Curts

High School Science Curriculum Specialist


Michelle Tindall

PD Facilitator

Kevin stinson

Kevin Stinson

PD Facilitator