The Eight Reasons You Can’t Miss Out on Professional Development this Summer

20140612_085300Teachers. We know how important it is to relax and recharge after a long school year, but we also know that many of you use the summer months to learn and grow your craft – gathering new strategies, tips, and resources to help students learn.

If you recently perused any of the Iowa Area Education Associations’ course catalogs, you may have noticed a few new and what may have seemed like unusual offerings in the mix. Courses titled Using Agriculture to Teach Concepts & Skills in an Engaging Way, The Ag-STEM connection, and Getting to the Core of Agriculture Education are coming up in searching elementary offerings.   Yes, you read that right, ELEMENTARY! “Since when was agriculture taught in K-5th grade?” you probably thought.

We are teaming up with county Ag in the Classroom programs to offer eight teacher professional development workshops across Iowa this summer. Each two-day workshop will focus on using agriculture to teach elementary Iowa Core areas like science, social studies, language arts and math. Teachers will leave the workshops with instructional strategies, lessons and activities that can be immediately implemented into their classroom with little or no additional effort.

If you are still not convinced, here’s a few good reasons why an Agriculture in the Classroom workshop is a great professional development choice!

  1. Agriculture is Relevant – Even if your students are city-dwellers, agriculture a topic that students can easily connect with because they encounter it often. Who doesn’t enjoy talking about food? Everything we eat, wear, use – even the fuel that powers the cars they and buses they ride in—comes from plants and animals growing on farms.
  2. Cross Curricular Applications – Each workshop will include lessons that tie to Iowa Core learning in science, math, language arts, and more. Most lessons touch 2-3 subject areas!
  3. Exciting Tours – Each workshop includes one day of out-and-about learning in the community. Visit family farms, equipment dealerships, food processors, and more to see math, science, and technology applications from farm to table. I bet you’ve never toured an ice cream factory or crawled in the cab of a combine during a PD workshop!
  4. Great Deal – License renewal is only $25, and graduate credit is available for $45 to $100 depending on the graduate institution you choose. This is a bargain! Plus you’ll get free meals, classroom resources, and tours during the workshops!
  5. STEM Learning – STEM is big in education today and agriculture is a perfect real-world application, especially in Iowa. Just think of the STEM involved in growing a field of corn and transforming it into cornflakes or ethanol!
  6. Hands-on – Don’t come to these workshops expecting to sit back and listen to some one tell you the best way to teach. Our workshops are packed with hands-on learning that will show you not tell you how to use agriculture in classroom lessons.
  7. Fun! – Whether it’s touring farms, making ice-cream, or doing science experiments with soybeans, there is no doubt you will you will have fun learning!
  8. Earn more – Most of the workshops qualify for graduate credit, which could help you move up the play scale and put more money in your pocket!

Follow these links to register and learn more! Workshop Dates & Locations: June 8-9 near Lewis; June 8-9 in Ankeny, June 10-11 in Marshalltown & Newton; June 10-11 in Ankeny; June 10-11 near Nashua; June 30-July 1 in Ankeny; July 13-14 in Moville; and July 28-29 in Fairfield.  Each one is unique, so be sure to check out every workshop to find the best fit for your grade-level and interests.

We hope to see you this summer!

– Cindy

class hands on dirt        field        class hands on

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