Professional Development for Educators

Four Winds offers a wide range of professional development support for educators

— K-12 classroom teachers, early childhood professionals, preservice teachers, camp staff, afterschool program providers, and others. Four Winds staff members are dedicated to improving science education and increasing environmental literacy in communities. Over the years, we have worked with individual teachers, curriculum coordinators, and whole supervisory unions to improve science instruction.

We recognize that to be effective in improving practice, teacher professional development support needs to be ongoing, sustained, collaborative and rigorous. Participants should be engaged in inquiry, research and reflection. And the work should be current, real and relevant to both teachers and students.

Some place-based science teaching units developed by K-8 teachers:

Janis Boulbol, Sharon, VT. Let’s Get Wet!

Karen Gaudette, Bradford, VT. Travels with Trees.

Jenny Hewitt, Pomfret,VT. Rot On! Composting and Worms, Wonders of Water Testing, and  Inquiring About Erosion.

Jessica Loeffler, Bradford,VT. Circuits, Cycles, Circles.

Elizabeth Dutton, Tunbridge, VT. The Forest As A Sustainable Resource.

Jill Kurash and Cindy Siegler, Woodstock, VT. The Forest Tells A Story.

Cindy Siegler, Woodstock, VT. A History of VT People in Our Forests.

Stephanie Loeffler, Tunbridge, VT. Paper Footprint. The Clay of Tunbridge.

AnneMarie Stout, Lebanon, NH. Lewis and Clark and My Backyard.

Christine Baker, Newport, NH. The Three R’s.

Jill Kurash, Woodstock, VT. Insects: Friends or Foes – grade 3.  Watts Off: Energy and Conservation – grade 5+

Kevin Gianini, Grantham, NH. Water Quality and Eastern Brook Trout.

Danielle Smith and Meghan Quinn, Newport, NH. Our Forest Ecosystem – grade 3.

Heather Durkel, Bradford, VT. Reading the Landscape – grade 3. Nature Journals Introduction to Place – grade 4.

Rob Hanson, Pomfret, VT. A Cosmic Sense of Place – grade 6.

Marian Mumford, Richmond, VT. A Five Senses Unit – kindergarten.

Vanessa Stern, Springfield, VT. Pollination – Exploring Interdependence in Ecosystems.

Lindsay McKittrick, Lebanon, NH. Our Place in Space – grade 1.

Jessica Wilmot, Weathersfield, VT. Sustainable Forestry – grade 4.

Gretchen Czaja, Woodstock, VT. A Permaculture Garden for the School – grade 3+.   Building a School Composting System – grade 4+

Galen Miller, Shrewsbury, VT Spring Reveal: an afterschool exploration of the season for K-4

Laura Knight, Plainfield, NH  Changes on Kindergarten Mountain – grade 1

Jennifer Manwell, Thetford, VT  The Story of a Building – grade 5/6 (and the link to the movie)

Upper Valley Linkages for Environmental Literacy

2017 UVLEL application form and cover letter for teachers

With the generous support of the Wellborn Ecology Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Four Winds coordinates the Upper Valley Linkages for Environmental Literacy (UVLEL) project. UVLEL supports teacher-directed, needs-based environmental science professional development for K-12 teachers in the Upper Valley area of Vermont and New Hampshire.

The goals of this project are to improve teacher and student environmental literacy, build sustainable collaborative professional partnerships, and cultivate awareness of place-based environmental citizenship in the Upper Valley. The UVLEL model of place-based teacher-directed professional development was developed through a partnership between Four Winds staff and Judy Ross, math and science specialist.

UVLEL supports teachers in curriculum development and implementation by connecting them to a vast network of environmental educators, scientists and researchers who can serve as content specialists for educators and administrators. Rather than promoting a single program or curriculum, UVLEL is place-based teacher professional development that helps teachers identify and meet their curriculum goals.

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Four Winds’ Authentic Nature Play and Learning PLCs support teachers as leaders, leverage local resources and community connections, as well as make lasting changes in teaching practice.  Topics emerge from the interests and needs of the group and have included: doing science, meeting Common Core and NGSS, physical spaces and adult role, group management, nature journaling and establishing outdoor routines during the first 6 weeks of school.  Join a PLC in your area!

Brattleboro VT Area PLC flier   Plainfield NH Area PLC flier

St Johnsbury PLC 2017-18

Call Four Winds at (802) 353-9440 for more information about our professional development support services.

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