Summer Learning Opportunities

Improving Discussion, Questioning, and Student Engagement

The Office of Evaluation will be providing workshops throughout the summer that focus on elements of teacher practice. Attendees will investigate strategies to enhance discussion and questioning techniques as well as student engagement.

Districts are invited to register:

1. Teachers that would benefit from additional support in these areas.
2. Teachers who could serve as lead teachers and provide additional support back in their district.
3. Mentor teachers interested in providing additional support to new teachers in the upcoming year.

Contact Keesha Wright in the Office of Evaluation at 609-777-3788 or at educatorevaluation@doe.state.nj.usfor more information. Visit to register.

Summer workshop to focus on Next Generation Science Standards

The New Jersey Astronomy Center (NJACE) Science Education Institute at Raritan Valley Community College has developed a week-long teacher workshop to help teachers of grades 3-8 prepare for the possible adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, NJACE also offers a variety of other science and astronomy workshops for K-12 teachers, which are listed at All workshops are held at Raritan Valley Community College, located near Bridgewater. Register online at

For more detailed information on the workshops, or to obtain registration forms, see or contact Theresa Moody at 908-526-1200, ext. 8942, or

Starlab Training (gr. K-12) Wednesday and Thursday, July 9 and 10 (9 a.m.-4 p.m.). A Starlab is a portable planetarium that can help teachers make science and astronomy exciting for their students. Abstract ideas such as the Earth's daily and annual motions, moon phases, constellations and the reason for the seasons are easily presented in Starlab. During this workshop, participants will practice setting up and taking down Starlab and practice operating the projector. They will also have time to design, practice and present their own Starlab lesson. Teachers can also choose to attend only one day of the workshop for half the cost. Cost: $150 with NJ Space Grant scholarship (12 PD hours).

Summer Science Institute (gr. 3-8, although teachers from other grades are welcome). Monday-Friday, July 28-Aug.1 (9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.). Receive an in-depth introduction to the Next Generation Science Standards, which emphasize eight science and engineering practices and seven crosscutting concepts that support the learning of core ideas in science. The investigations will illustrate how these practices, concepts and disciplinary core ideas are integrated into instruction. Participants will be engaged in exemplary investigations in a variety of subject areas (Physical Science, Life Science, Earth and Space Science, and Engineering). There will be several opportunities for teachers to reflect on the investigations and enhance their own lessons. Cost: $400 ($200 NJ Space Grant scholarship for the first 13 registered participants, $400 thereafter).

Middle and high school teachers invited to attend GeoSTEM Summer Academy

“From Ore to Store: Environmental Geochemistry Applications for Middle School and High School” will be held on Tuesday, Aug.5, at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, Ogdensburg, N.J. This free event will run 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Additional partners for this event are the New Jersey Earth Science Teachers Association, the National Earth Science Teachers Association, and the New Jersey Technology and Engineering Education Association.

The 2009 NJ Core Content Curriculum Standards for Science and the Next Generation Science Standards strongly support the integration of science topics and practices. Natural resource management is a topic ideally suited for the spirit of this integration, and Sterling Hill Mining Museum is the perfect venue to host a workshop on classroom applications of this topic. The museum is on the grounds of a former zinc mine that operated for over 100 years, closing in 1986. Participants will use this museum as their living laboratory while exploring all aspects of the mining process.

Join the elite science and engineering team from Sterling Hill this summer for a hands-on workshop that uses problem-solving approaches to investigate the exploration, extraction, and processing of natural resources. This is the perfect STEM workshop as it will integrate aspects of science, technology, engineering, and math in the context of natural resource management.

Space is limited to 24 teachers, and middle school and high school science and technology teachers are welcome to apply. Preference will be given to teachers applying from the same school district.Participation in this workshop includes taking part in pre-workshop (August) and post-workshop (October) webinars along with attending the full day workshop on Aug. 5. Attending teachers will receive classroom resources and professional development hours.

Visit to register online.

Contact Missy Holzer at for more information.

Rutgers to host summer algebra institute

A three-day institute titled "Common Core State Standards and Assessments in Algebra" will be held at Rutgers in New Brunswick this summer. This institute will be offered  Aug. 5-7. The presenter at both institutes will be Deborah Ives, who will discuss both instructional strategies and assessment in algebra. For further information and registration form, visit or call 848-445-4065.

This institute is sponsored by the Rutgers Department of Mathematics and DIMACS (Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science), which also sponsors math workshops year-round for elementary, middle, and high school teachers of mathematics.

Information about workshops given in April and May can be found at,,

Scholarships available for summer Monarch Butterfly workshop

Each fall, monarch butterflies make an epic migration from southern Canada and the eastern states to their winter colonies in Mexico. The following spring, their great grandchildren return.  This summer, prekindergarten through high school teachers can learn to use the monarch story as an exciting interdisciplinary learning experience.  

The two-day ‘Teaching and Learning with Monarch Butterflies” workshop will be conducted at the following locations: Aug. 8-9 at Raritan Valley Community College (Somerset County) and Aug. 14-15 at the EIRC facility near Glassboro (Gloucester County).  Each day runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The project is sponsored by the Educational Information and Resource Center (EIRC).  The 2014 workshops are part of a continent-wide expansion of the project, which began in New Jersey in August 2001 and led to the formation of a Monarch Teacher Network (MTN). 

Additional workshops are being offered in: Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, New York, and Canada. Visit for exact dates and locations.

Participants will receive MTN’s resource guide, Journeys, a video about the monarch, a teaching poster, rearing cages and more.

Workshops include hands-on activities, lectures, small-group instruction, demonstrations, simulations and whole group interactions. Through a combination of New Jersey standards-based classroom and field experiences, participants learn:

  • The life cycle, ecology, and conservation of monarchs
  •  To raise, breed and “tag” monarchs
  • Inquiry-based science activities for students of all ages and abilities
  • Opportunities for distance learning with schools in Canada/Mexico
  • Activities for Mexico/pre-Hispanic culture, history, Spanish language
  • Language arts, dramatic and fine arts, and simulation activities
  • Proven models for engaging community support and involvement
  • Models a variety of learning styles, principles and teaching techniques
  • Strategies for butterfly gardens
  • Fellowship opportunities to visit Mexico or California with Monarch Teacher Network
  • Activities to teach about climate change and sustainability.

Workshop graduates become members of Monarch Teacher Network; they get New Jersey professional development credits and receive post-workshop support and continued help with Monarch projects and related activities.

Workshop graduates are eligible to apply for $400-$800 fellowships to participate in a one-week extension experience in Mexico or California in February 2015, traveling as a group with other teachers.

Workshop content and activities will be delivered by NJEA members who have participated in the workshop use these projects in their classrooms. Many presenters have traveled to Mexico or California through Monarch Teacher Network fellowships. Since 2001, over 5,000 teachers have been trained and joined the growing Monarch Teacher Network.

Participants are encouraged to register as individuals or by grade-level or cross-content teams of two or more.

The cost is $99.  Grant-funded scholarships are available to cover this fee. Scholarships are limited so apply early. For more information, contact Brian Hayes at 856-582-7000, ext. 110, or