Planning a Workshop

This page was developed as part of the NASA-funded Sustainable Trainer Engagement Program by LPI
  Return to Earth & Space Science Classroom Activities and Resources

Planning Workshops

  • Initiate your planning:
    • Start with “What is a picture of success?”
    • Then what are your goals & objectives
    • What are your resources — do you have the people and equipment you need to make this happen?
  • What types of activities to include?
    • Begin then with your engagement activity (although you may change this as you work through it)
    • Include a variety of activities (visual, kinesthetic, etc)
    • Plan to include practical activities (such as make & take) that they can use immediately
  • Fill in other features
    • What types of background information can you include?
    • Should you include content on misconceptions?
    • Prepare for extra questioning
    • Do you have access to all of the materials
    • Share how it works in the classroom
  • Finalizing details
    • Plan it to the minute, but prepare to be flexible and change some things
    • Decide on handouts (electronic and/or paper copies)
    • Participant feedback

Why Partner for Planning Workshops?

  • Partners can strengthen the workshop planning through brainstorming
  • Partnerships can improve the overall plan
  • Multiple sources of knowledge:
    • Content
    • Knowledge about the participants
    • Technology
    • Knowledge about the location
    • Facilitation abilities
  • Different styles of presenting will make a better workshop
  • Different angles (learning methods, perspectives) can make a better workshop
  • Changing presenters can keep participants’ attention (every 20 minutes, participants need a new perspective)
  • Having partners can provide the presenters with breaks as they hand off tasks
  • Partners can help remind each other of things they’d planned & discussed
  • Partners can provide confidence to make the task easier and less daunting (although some partners can actually be intimidating)
  • A partner can bring you back when you or the group gets off-topic
  • Partnering with someone can help develop their skills
  • Partnering can make a colleague feel valued—you are acknowledging their expertise

Top Items to Consider in a 1 hour Workshop

  • Focus on readiness standards or tested TEKS
    • May want to include grade alignment
  • Teachers attending must be able to use activities/content immediately
  • Content should be student-focused
  • Needs to be fast-paced
  • Should be very well-structured
  • May not want to make large numbers of copies of all activities for this; put materials online for easier access
  • Difficult to include and address teacher misconceptions; prominent and important student misconceptions can be mentioned but there may not be time to dedicate to this
  • Can include:
    • Breakdown of TEKS
      • Including wording, testing, expectations re: Bloom’s taxonomy
      • Only 2–5 minutes on this
    • Vocabulary (from the topic and from the standard)
      • Possibly including tricks/ mnemonics
      • Only 1-2 minutes to cover these
    • Probe or think-pair-share at the beginning
    • List of materials
    • Further resources/ websites
    • Sign-in to get their email
      • You can send them more documents later
      • They can enter their email on your laptop
    • Vocabulary, resources, activities can all be gathered into a single 1-page handout
    • Some type of evaluation or feedback from participants


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