Teacher Classes

Teacher classes


All classes offer PDCH. Graduate credit through Dominican University is optional for most classes. Dominican University will accept up to 6 hours of credit from these class options as electives in their MaEd program.

Cancellations, Rescheduling, and Refund Policy:
The following policies are in place because making our Teacher Classes the best possible experience they can be requires months of planning, preparation, and investment of staff resources. Upon making a reservation, we reserve a space for you. In doing so, we are barring others from signing up as we have limited seats available.

All class fees include a $100 non-refundable deposit. Class fees, minus the non-refundable deposit, can be refunded or transferred to another teacher class if we receive notice of this request at least 14 calendar days prior to the date of the original class.

During registration, you agreed to and paid a processing fee. The total processing fee imposed by The ACTIVE Network, LLC or its applicable subsidiary, (collectively ACTIVE) includes sums charged by ACTIVE as consideration for providing its software and services (including without limitation promotional and marketing services) to the activity organizer (Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo). These sums, as part of the total processing fee, are in addition to any actual costs incurred by ACTIVE from third party providers for each transaction. These fees are nonrefundable as they do not belong to the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo.

Participants who do not show up for their registered class or choose to leave early on one or more days will not be granted a refund.

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2018 Teacher Classes at Brookfield Zoo


June 18 - 21: Collaboration and Creating an NGSS Storyline

Presented by staff/members of the Illinois Science Teachers Association

Monday, June 18 through Thursday, June 21 (8:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily)
All Grades, $525,3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Dominican University; Course number: EDU 815)

In this course, participants will engage in understanding the process of NGSS implementation through the creation of an NGSS storyline unit. Through collaborative work over the course of this class, participants will design a phenomenon-driven investigation using the three dimensions as prescribed by the Next Generation Science Standards. Participants will gain greater confidence in their understanding by applying their knowledge of three-dimensional learning to build coherence within a carefully designed unit of instruction. This will enable more effective and engaging pedagogy as well as enhanced learning experience for students. Developing an understanding of how to build curriculum coherence around a central phenomenon will be a central focus.

 
July 2 & 3: Dr. Seuss-Inspired Science

Monday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 3 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. both days)
Grades PreK - 3, $175, 13 PDCHs, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Dominican University; Course number: EDU 806)

Love to use picture books and story books in your classroom? Join this class to learn how Dr. Seuss books and other children’s conservation books can help you expand content knowledge in science with learning literacy skills. Incorporate science, literacy, social sciences, and math in your curriculum while having a great time with time honored literacy characters.

NGSS LS4: Adaptation.
NGSS LS4D: Biodiversity and Humans.
NGSS LS1A: Structure and Function.

 
July 5 & 6: Animal Grossology: The Fascinating World of Feces

Thursday, July 5 and Friday, July 6 (9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $175, 13 PDCHs, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Dominican University; Course number: EDU 807)

Poop, feces, scat, number two. There are just as many names for poop as there are uses of it in the Animal Kingdom. Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of poop and become a “scat-ologist.” Discover the amazing ways animals use poop as well as how humans can use excrement to learn all about animals.

NGSS LS2A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems.
NGSS LS4C: Adaptation.
NGSS LS1A: Structure and Function.

 
July 9 - 13: Water, Water Everywhere

Monday, July 9 through Friday, July 13 (8:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily)
All Grades, $525, 45 PDCHs, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Dominican University; Course number: EDU 803)

Water is a resource we use daily without even thinking about it. Yet, it is one of our most precious resources. In this week long class, engage in a collection of activities about water consumption, access, movement, and pollution. Participate in data interpretation, interactive mapping, and guided inquiry investigations, learn about ways to protect the environment by properly disposing of waste, reduce impacts caused by overconsumption, integrate content on climate change, and through the learning of these principles, create a framework for your students on the importance of global citizenship.

K-LS1-1: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
2-PS1-4: Construct an argument with evidence that some changes caused by heating or cooling can be reversed and some cannot.
2-ESS2-2: Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area.
4-ESS2-1: Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
5-ESS2-1: Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
MS-ESS2-4: Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns; Cause and Effect; and Quality Systems and System Models.
NGSS Science & Engineering Practices: Asking Questions; Developing and Using Models; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions.

 
July 23 - 27: Plants & Pollinators

Monday, July 23 through Friday July 27 (9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily)
All Grades, $525, 45 PDCHs, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Dominican University; Course number: EDU 808)

Did you know that Brookfield Zoo is also an Arboretum? Discover the fascinating world of plants by taking "field trips" around the Zoo to visit the many ecosystems where plants are found. Learn how pollinators play a key role in the lives of plants, including birds, bees, and bats. Explore the internal and external structures of plants and participate in both science and engineering activities that you can take back to your classroom.

NGSS LS1.A: Structure & Function.
NGSS LS1.B: Growth & Development of Organisms.
NGSS LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems.
GSS ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions.

 
August 6 - 10: Integrating Science across Disciplines

Monday, August 6 through Friday August 10 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily)
All Grades, $525, 45 PDCHs, 3 optional graduate credits ($300 through Dominican University; Course number: EDU 805)


Participate in activities that make the Zoo come to life as you explore across content areas! During this 5-day class, examine science, math, reading, writing, social studies, and fine arts through the lens of a Zoo employee. Hear from experts and learn how to turn a day at the zoo into an all-encompassing experience for you and your students!

NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale Proportion and Quality Systems and System Models; Energy and Matter; Structure and Function; and Stability and Change.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions; Developing and Using Models; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Engaging in Argument from Evidence; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information.

 
September 14 & 15: Non-Fiction Reading and Informative Text

Friday, September 14 (4:30 – 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, September 15 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $175, 13 PDCHs, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Dominican University)


Making the leap from learning to read to reading to learn can be tough! Join us as we examine the skills necessary to comprehend non-fiction text and how using picture books plays an integral role. Learn like your students in this interactive class that highlights fun and engaging ways to make text come alive through discussion and real-world connections.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns; Cause and Effect NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions; Engaging in Argument from Evidence; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information.

September 28 & 29: Nature’s Winter Activities

Friday, September 28 (4:30 – 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, September 29 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $175, 13 PDCHs, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Dominican University)


Step outside and take a deep breath! Smell the chill in the air? Experience the zoo in a different season as we learn more about animal adaptations to the changing weather. Interact and observe the world around you through engaging and authentic learning experiences as we explore the natural world during the colder months. Discover ways to integrate these activities into your curriculum and how make connections to fall and winter holidays.

NGSS LS2A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
NGSS LS4C: Adaptation
NGSS LS1A: Structure and Function

 
October 6: Mini Conference

Saturday, October 6 (9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $100 ($80 Early Bird Price until 7/31/18!), 3 PDCHs

Join us for engaging sessions about inquiry-based learning, engineering, NGSS, differentiation, meaningful classroom conversations, accommodations for English-language learners, phenomena-based instruction, and so much more! Participants earn PDCHs (IEIN number required) at the conclusion of each training. We hope that you can join us for one (or more) of these professional development learning opportunities! A light breakfast will be provided.
 

If you are interested in presenting, please click here.

Space is limited!
Register Today!

 
October 12 & 13: Social Emotional Learning

Friday, October 12 (4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, October 13 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $175, 13 PDCHs, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Dominican University; Course number: EDU 801)

Do you struggle with group work in your classroom? Have you found that students, despite all your best efforts, don’t seem to be progressing the way you would like? Learn how to address issues like these across the curriculum as we look closely at how to integrate Social Emotional Learning Standards. The goals of these standards are to address the student as a whole and to teach them how to set and achieve positive goals. Join us as we make connections to one another, the animals here at the zoo, and the larger world through emotion management and empathy.

Goal 1: Develop self-awareness and self-management skills to achieve school and life success.
Goal 2: Use social-awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships.
Goal 3: Demonstrate decision-making skills and responsible behaviors in personal, school, and community contexts.
NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts: Cause and Effect; Systems and System Models; and Stability and Change.
NGSS Science & Engineering Practices: Asking Questions; Developing and Using Models; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information.

 
October 26 & 27: Solving Engineering Challenges

Friday, October 26 (4:30 – 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, October 27 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $175, 13 PDCHs, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Dominican University)


Think and act like engineers and scientists as you follow the eight steps of the engineering design process to successfully complete team challenges. Engineering Design Challenges connect students with the work of engineers and scientists by engaging them in similar challenges of their own. Learn how to lead an exciting unit that focuses on specific problems that engineers must solve and the process they use to solve it. Watch your classroom come to life as your student’s design, build, test, and revise solutions to problems using simple and inexpensive materials and experience real-world science and engineering issues.

NGSS K-HS: Engineering Design
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions; Developing and Using Models; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Engaging in Argument from Evidence; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information.

 
November 2 & 3: Health and Nutrition

Friday, November 2 (4:30 – 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, November 3 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $175, 13 PDCHs, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Dominican University)


Eating a balanced diet is vital for good health and wellbeing. Food provides our bodies with the energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals to live, grow and function properly. How does health and nutrition go hand-in-hand? How does the nutritional needs of Brookfield Zoo animals compare to the nutritional needs of their human visitors? Are the signs of good health and nutrition the same in both? Combine math, biology, and fun to learn more about animal and human nutrition.

NGSS ESS3.A: Natural Resources
NGSS LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
NGSS LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships I Ecosystems
NGSS LS2.D: Social Interactions and Group Behavior

 
November 16 & 17: Cycles in Nature

Friday, November 16 (4:30 – 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, November 17 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $175, 13 PDCHs, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Dominican University)


The Earth is a dynamic planet that works in cycles. Thanks to this natural process, life can thrive! Examine which elements are continuously cycled in various forms between different compartments of the environment and how many of nature’s cycles overlap. Learn how to make cycles accessible to all age groups through hands-on activities, observations, and simulations.

NGSS LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships I Ecosystems
NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns; Cause and Effect; Scale Proportion and Quality Systems and System Models; Energy and Matter; Structure and Function; and Stability and Change.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions; Developing and Using Models; Planning and Carrying Out Investigations; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Engaging in Argument from Evidence; Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information.

 
November 30 & December 1: Carnivores

Friday, November 30 (4:30 – 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, December 1 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $175, 13 PDCHs, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Dominican University)


In this course participants will investigate carnivore conservation and behavior through direct observation providing a foundation for understanding research methods and conservation issues. Lions, wolves, painted dogs, tigers, leopards, and other carnivores are ideal for comparative studies on topics ranging from social structure to communication.

NGSS LS 4: Biological Evolution

 
December 14 & 15: Animal Behavior and Training

Friday, December 14 (4:30 – 10:00 p.m.) and Saturday, December 15 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
All Grades, $175, 13 PDCHs, 1 optional graduate credit ($100 through Dominican University)


Find out about the work done in zoos to ensure quality of life for their animal residents. Meet staff who help encourage natural behaviors and the craftspeople who create animal “toys” and environments. From the Dolphin Experience to training predators to show their teeth on command, training and enrichment programs improve animal husbandry and the environment in which animals live.

NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns, Cause and Effect, Structure and Function, and Stability and Change.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Asking questions; defining problems; developing and using models; using mathematics and computational thinking; obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.
NGSS LS4C: Adaptation
NGSS LS1A: Structure and Function

 
 

Have questions?
Contact Jennifer Noncek-Eastman at 708-688-8437 or jennifer.noncek-eastman@czs.org or Julie Wozniak at 708-688-8367 or julie.wozniak@czs.org.

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