Creating a Lifelong Love for Learning with TCI

Meet Curriculum Supervisors at Gloucester Township Public School

Grades: K-5 | Programs: Bring Science Alive! and Social Studies Alive!

Gloucester Township first adopted TCI’s Social Studies Alive! and Bring Science Alive! elementary programs back in 2017. When it came time to review new programs, they chose to continue with TCI. The district’s Curriculum Supervisors, Jeff Christo and Chris Mason, knew sticking with TCI was the perfect choice because they recognized the value of a comprehensive and user-friendly curriculum.

“We wanted a robust program consistent across grade levels, engaging, and easy for teachers to implement. K-5 teachers have a lot on their plate as far as planning many subjects, so we wanted something you can open up and use. It’s a support, but it’s not so overly scripted that you have to do it this way or precisely like that. And that’s where we saw TCI as a great resource, and it also has wonderful content that is presented in interesting ways,” recounts Jeff Christo, Curriculum Supervisor.

Furthermore, they liked that TCI engages students in scientific inquiry, historical inquiry-based projects, and engineering design. This focus on methodologies that truly meet the standards was a crucial selling point for the district, as it empowers teachers to deliver high-quality instruction and provide students with meaningful learning experiences.

Chris Mason, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction Science & Tech-Ed, shares, “TCI does a great job of organizing the materials, providing resources, and offering interesting links, videos, and hands-on experiments for science. For a teacher, setting up a lab with individual purchases and finding materials can be challenging. TCI’s one-stop-shopping option simplifies the process for our district.”

Differentiating Instruction

He continues, “What was a big sell for me was the ability to make accommodations and modifications very quickly for our diverse learners. Our Social Studies and Science courses are inclusive and consist of diverse learning styles and ability levels. Having the resources and tools to adjust the reading levels or offer answer masking on assessments with TCI products, assists in leveling the educational experience to meet the needs of all.”

Additionally, Jeff and Chris find that not only is implementation easy with TCI, but its approach to active learning gets students excited to come to class.

Implementation Made Easy

TCI’s commitment to a district’s success doesn’t end with adoption. We provide continuous support that incorporates teacher feedback every step of the way, from pre-adoption to implementation and beyond.

Recounting his experience with TCI support, Jeff says, “The responsiveness of the personnel at TCI helped with implementation. We work with a number of companies that sell you something, and then that’s the end of the working relationship. TCI, on the other hand, is invested in making us successful.”

Apart from continuous support, our professional development courses allow teachers to get hands-on training in the TCI platform so they can experience the programs for themselves. Chris experienced this firsthand when he took the online in-app professional development courses.

TCI Professional Development

“I immediately jumped on the PD courses when they were launched, and the initial segments are absolutely fantastic! They are incredibly easy to follow, and everything just makes sense. Plus, the little checks they provide ensure you grasp the content effectively, which is vital,” he shares.

In addition to onboarding courses, TCI provides support for teachers to meet the needs of all learners. Accommodations, differentiating instructions, and lesson modifications are especially helpful for a district like Gloucester Township, which has a diverse student population.

“I must also mention the exceptional support TCI offers for special needs students, allowing us to easily make accommodations to meet the diverse needs of our learners.” Chris shared. “Additionally, the seamless integration with Google and our platform has proven immensely beneficial, and we are actively utilizing it.”

Creating a Lifelong Love for Learning

Active learning is at the heart of TCI’s programs. Students ask questions, think critically, and learn with TCI’s memorable activities that can be conducted in the classroom or online.

When Gloucester Township conducted its own internal review on the quality of science and social studies instruction, it found an increase in student engagement levels and rigor. TCI’s programs provide their teachers with the flexibility to tailor the content to their students’ needs.

Jeff shares about TCI’s science programs, “Rather than simple fill-in-the-blank activities or surface-level learning, teachers now engage students in design challenges with constraints, criteria, and multiple trials. They encourage students to construct models and think critically about the concepts being taught. This new approach not only promotes hands-on learning but also challenges students to actively engage their minds, resulting in a rigorous and comprehensive learning experience.”

Chris also notices a significant shift in focus, especially with science education.

“Parents are reaching out to make comments about their science experiences, something that hasn’t happened in years. But now, kids are coming home and talking about some of the exciting things they’re doing with the science experiments and investigations using the lab kits and interactive materials.”

Kids engaged in a science activity

The transformative power of TCI’s materials is evident as teachers themselves became captivated by the content. Some were so inspired that they replicated the labs at home with their own children, further fueling the district’s mission of igniting a sense of wonder and curiosity about the natural world.

Jeff adds, “TCI material is the best opportunity to foster that natural sense of wonder for students. It gets students really excited and intrigued about learning. The teachers and parents become interested, too. Igniting the sense of wonder in a small child is a magical experience, and TCI materials allow you to do that.”

At TCI, we are passionate about creating meaningful experiences for students everywhere. Districts like Gloucester Township inspire us to keep developing engaging and hands-on social studies and science programs.

Elementary kids looking at a globe

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