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Making Sense of SCIENCE: Force & Motion for Teachers of Grades 6-8

By Kirsten Daehler, Mayumi Shinohara, Jennifer Folsom


Published in collaboration with NSTA Press.

This comprehensive professional development course for grades 6–8 science teachers provides all the necessary ingredients for building a scientific way of thinking in teachers and students, focusing on science content, inquiry, and literacy. Teachers who participate in this course learn to facilitate hands-on science lessons, support evidence-based discussions, and develop students’ academic language and reading and writing skills in science, along with the habits of mind necessary for sense making and scientific reasoning.

Force and Motion for Teachers of Grades 6–8 consists of five core sessions:

  • Session 1: Motion
  • Session 2: Change in Motion
  • Session 3: Acceleration and Force
  • Session 4: Force
  • Session 5: Acceleration and Mass

The materials include everything needed to effectively lead this course with ease:

  • Facilitator Guide with extensive support materials and detailed procedures that allow staff developers to successfully lead a course
  • Teacher Book with teaching, science, and literacy investigations, along with a follow-up component, Looking at Student Work™, designed to support ongoing professional learning communities
  • CD with black line masters of all handouts and charts to support group discussion and sense making, course participation certificates, student work samples, and other materials that can be reproduced for use with teachers

Charts that serve as a focal point for teacher learning during the course as well as additional Teacher Books can be purchased separately.

Also available are Facilitation Academies designed to prepare staff developers, district science leaders, and other teacher educators to effectively lead Making Sense of SCIENCE courses.

For more information about Making Sense of SCIENCE courses and Facilitation Academies, visit the Making Sense of SCIENCE website.


Resource Details

Product Information

ISBN: 978-0-914409-77-9
Copyright: 2011
Format: Multimedia
Pages: 656
Publisher: WestEd

Available Previews

Praise for this Resource

  • “What more could you ask for in a professional development experience? I learned new ways to get kids talking about science in a rich way, ways to analyze student work, and ways to improve my lessons. I also came face to face with some of my own science misconceptions. My teaching practice is changed forever.”

    Vicki Baker, National Board Certified teacher, Union City, CA
  • Making Sense of SCIENCE is phenomenal. We’ve learned so much about science, literacy, and facilitation during their academies, and as a result our science teachers have grown tremendously. The work has been instrumental in improving student achievement in our district.”

    Kathy Huncosky and Lesli Taschwer, science instructional resource teachers, Madison, WI
  • “At last we have an outstanding professional development resource that takes into account both students’ and teachers’ ideas and leads teachers through a collaborative process that makes a measurable difference in their teaching and student achievement. By engaging in sense making using well-developed teaching dilemmas, teachers can better understand their students’ ideas and take deliberate actions to address them through improved understanding of content and how to teach that content.”

    Page Keeley, (Past-President of the National Science Teachers Association and author of the Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series)