Teacher Spotlight: Wendy Howe

  • Name: Wendy Howe
  • District: Grapevine-Colleyville ISD
  • Grade/Subject: Instructional Coach- Science 6-12
  • Twitter Handle: @whowe67

Q: How and when did you first learn about ADI?

A: I attended an ADI session at the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching several years ago.

Q: What do you like most about ADI (face to face or at a distance)?

A: Stages 3 and 4 are my favorite as students are able to share their findings with peers and receive feedback.

Q: How many ADI do you do in a typical year?

A: As the district trainer, I do many ADIs in a co-teaching model, so I do more than most teachers and conduct them in various courses and grade levels. Most of our teachers do 3-5 per year.

Q: What did you find most surprising or unexpected about ADI at a distance (virtual or hybrid)?

A: Students who are able to collect data away from the school building have really been engaged by the process.

Q: What did you find most challenging about doing ADI at a distance (virtual or hybrid)? How did you overcome that challenge?

A: The need for all students to be able to collect data is apparent for an accountability aspect. Homogeneous grouping for the hybrid model is more effective than trying to manage mixed groups of students with both face-to-face and online students. So, finding an equitable way for both types of students to collect data has been challenging. Conducting Stage 4 effectively is still a work in progress with virtual and hybrid students.

Q: What ADI investigation is your favorite to use at a distance?

A: We have only done a few in the district so far, but at this time the best one was Biology #8- The Effect of Temperature and pH on Enzyme Activity. We actually packed up and sent home all the materials for students to use, including safety goggles and MSD Sheets. Each student collected data at home and then their groups were able to synthesize their data to construct the argument. We got tremendously positive feedback from students and parents regarding this ADI.

Q: What positive shifts have you seen in your own practice and with kids?

A: Using online tools to take the place of face-to-face practices.

Q: What advice do you have for other teachers as they are starting out?

A: Be prepared for students to struggle at first, whether face-to-face or online. ADI requires creative thinking, which is difficult for some students, but also makes it so valuable for them to do. Embrace the struggle. It’s a journey!

Wendy Howe