The Teams Enacting Classroom Innovation Project

Funded by a grant from the Google Faculty Institute, the Teams Enacting Classroom Innovation (TECI) Project collaborative Tech Teams of pre-service teachers, cooperating teachers in grade 6-12 classrooms, and university faculty / supervisors will develop and implement curriculum units that integrate technology-rich, high-leverage practices in mathematics and science teaching and learning.

TECI Project Facilitators

  • John Keller, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Tara Barnhart, California State University, Fullerton
  • Mark Ellis, California State University, Fullerton
  • Kelly Estrada, Sonoma State University
  • Polly Diffenbaugh, Stanford University

TECI at Sonoma State University

Teams of math and science credential candidates and their mentor teachers developed TECI Projects for Sonoma State University involvement in the Google Faculty Institute (GFI) initiative. Projects were developed collaboratively between the teacher candidates and the mentors, with teacher candidates taking the lead role in the initial planning of the technology-infused lessons and then subsequently implementing the lessons in classrooms during their student teaching phase.

The TECI Projects developed by the teams of preservice and mentor teachers demonstrate the strategic use of:

  • student-led inquiry and/or lead to student-created materials in mathematics or science;
  • clear mathematics/science objectives that focus on concept(s) and/or relationship(s); and
  • technology to promote mathematical/scientific understanding and/or student collaboration and sharing.

TECI Projects

John Kennedy

I grew up in Novato, spending a good deal of my free time in some sort of water (pools, oceans, rivers, etc.). My favorite memories of childhood involve summertime family camping trips to the National Parks west of the Mississippi. Each summer, we'd jump in our old Suburban, and head East to soak up something vast, beautiful, mysterious, and dirty - I loved it! Each trip would also involve a river rafting adventure, so I've had the good fortune of experiencing many of the Western United States, from trails and from kayaks. These trips prepared me for a lifetime of curiosity, intrigue, and admiration for all things natural. I grew up to be a scientist of various sorts, and I've never lost my passion for anything that evolved on this remarkable hunk of rock we like to call Earth.

I spent most of my 20s teaching and tutoring and I've explored a lot of different subjects as a teacher: music, gardening, science, math, health, emotional literacy, etc. At some point in my journey, I realized that the world is doing well in terms of cultivating awesome science teachers, as their job is to stoke one's curiosity, and it tends to attract magnetic souls. However, I felt like the world of Math education could use a renaissance of sorts, and so I've dedicated the next decade or so to this pursuit. I love Math, as its the operating system for all of the natural sciences, and it just so happens to help one understand Music at the same time - how cool!

This semester (Spring 2012), I was lucky enough to be a student teaching at Casa Grande High School, in Petaluma, CA. I've been teaching an Algebra 1 class, and a SDAIE Geometry class, while assisting with an honors Geometry class. What an experience it is to be a student teacher! It's a lot of work, and yet, most of the time, it doesn't feel like work at all. The lesson I chose to focus on for my TECI project involved the surface area and volume of spheres; part of a larger unit of the volumes and areas of solid figures (3-D shapes). I decided to try out the idea of a 'flipped' class, and it was a fun challenge. I recorded an 18-minute lesson for students to view on their own, as the nightly homework assignment. Then, when they came back to class, we spent time getting deeper into Academic Language development, and students were able to use a large portion of class time to work on their next assignment, as they had already learned the new material. Most of my students now prefer the 'flipped' model, and are asking me why we can't finish out the semester in 'flipped' mode - which I'll take as a sign of success.

View John's Lesson Plans

Mashawna Miller

I am a recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz in the Environmental Studies major and am pursuing a teaching credential at SSU to teach high school science. I enjoy sports and have played rugby for 4 years and like to stay active. I'm completing my Student Teaching phase at Rancho Cotate High School in Rohnert Park, CA.

The TECI Lesson Plan focuses on types of volcanoes and their associated properties.

There is this website where students can virtually build a volcano based on gas pressure and magma viscosity and they can watch it explode as well as get an inside look as to what is happening in a volcano.

View the website here

View Mashawna's Lesson Plans

Charles Speir

I am a transplant from Missouri to California. I have been fascinated with science as long as I can remember. As a young child in the 1950s, I remember how the launch of Sputnik affected the adults around me. I, however, was too young to be afraid of the political implications of missiles and instead desired to learn everything I could about rockets and outer space. My mom still has my detailed drawings of my spaceship designs that would someday take me to the Moon and Mars. Over the next fifty years and throughout my flying career with the Air Force, my interest in all branches of science never faded. In my squadron, people knew me as the person who always had a science or math book with me. As I approached retirement, I decided I wanted to become a teacher and share my passion about learning science.

My lesson plans submitted for the TECI project are for my physics class, which focuses on alternative energy sources. We used small miniature wind turbines to explore different turbine blade designs and configurations under different wind conditions. This hands-on lab activity allowed students to experience directly many of the concepts we discussed over the previous week. They then applied those concepts to analyze data and reach a conclusion about the environmental and engineering factors that affects wind turbine design.

Contact Charles at:

View Charles' Lesson Plans

Rachel Yannes

I was born and raised in beautiful Sonoma County. Wanting to explore and spread my wings I attended Colorado State University for a short while, then returned home and transfered to Sonoma State University where I successfully completed a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. For the past 6 +/- years I have been co-managing and indoor rock climbing gym and teaching rock climbing technique and movement. Moving forward, I am in the process of completing a teaching credential in Secondary Education, focusing in Science. I would love to teach Earth Science, Biology, or even Human Physiology at the high school level.

Currently I am assisting in an Opportunities Program at Lawrence Jones Middle School (LJMS), located in Rohnert Park. The class size is fairly small (varying between 15-19 students) and primarily consists of male students. The Opportunities Program at LJMS is intended as a "points improvement" class, where students needing to work on and improve their skills in math, reading, and writing prior to attending high school. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this particular classroom as each of these students have continuously challenged me in coming up with new and exciting ways to "show" them what my resident teacher and I are talking about (i.e. trying to teach them).

My TECI Lesson Plan is intended as an introduction to motion, primarily focusing on speed. For the main part of the lesson I utilized a Prezi to create a "lecture" consisting of a fun introductory YouTube video and a compilation of pictures from the the textbook and Google image search. Many of the students in this class are visual or tactile learners. Additionally I also utilized Puzzle Maker to create a word search handout consisting of useful and important vocabulary words. For the culminating activity / student assessment, using questions based from my lesson, I put together a game of Jeopardy.

View Rachel's Lesson Plans