Mt. Vernon Register-News

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August 23, 2013

Center tweaks new science curriculum

MT. VERNON – The newly approved Nancy Larson Science Curriculum will be a welcome addition to the educational programs offered at the Primary Center, said third grade teacher Julia Laur.

Laur was part of a group of Primary Center educators who attended a two-hour training seminar Thursday on implementing the new science curriculum. She said she was anxious to start her students on the program, which takes a hands-on approach to science education.

“I am excited because we haven't had science in the last couple years, so I'm anxious to get it back,” Laur said. “We just had to fit it in where we could with the reading. … I think the hands-on part is going to really appeal to the students.”

The seminar, or in-service training session, was led by Gracia Roberson, an educational consultant with Nancy Larson Publishers.

Over the course of the session, Roberson walked teachers through all the various components of the curriculum, as well as the tools and materials provided in the program's starter kit.

“We'll just be talking about all the different aspects of the program,” Roberson said prior to the seminar. “We're just going to talk about how the program is meant to be used in the classroom, that it's a sequential learning progression, sort of an interwoven program that revisits concepts and takes them to a deeper level.”

In July, the District 80 Board of Education approved a $22,000 expenditure to implement the first year of the Nancy Larson Science program. The total cost of the curriculum will be $56,000 over a five-year period.

Primary Center second grade teacher Erika Phelps has taught the curriculum on a limited basis for the past six years. Starting this fall, however, the program will be expanded and taught to all second and third graders at the Primary Center, an estimated 307 students.

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