Dr. Uecker offers the following in-service topics:
Using Children’s Literature to Facilitate Language and Thinking in Young Children
This three hour session will overview the use of children’s literature to develop a child’s language and thinking. The session develops the rationale for using literature with children, the types of books that prepare children for reading, and a variety of instructional strategies that promote thinking.
Using Children’s Literature Across the Elementary Curriculum
This three hour session demonstrates the integration of literature across the elementary curriculum. Topics will include literature selection and literary analysis with children. Teachers will also learn how to incorporate children’s literature into Bible, social studies (including the selection of culturally responsive books), and mathematics. This session can be extended to a full day through the incorporation of interactive activities.
From Mission to Mission Accomplished
This six hour session leads a faculty through the process of developing a curriculum framework as a means to accomplish and validate the school’s mission. The session begins by brainstorming the “portrait” of a graduate and the resulting outcomes. The faculty will align mission, vision (portrait), outcomes, instructional strategies and content, and an annual assessment plan. The completed framework provides the overarching structure for curriculum and an assessment plan that provides annual data upon which to make informed curricular decisions and do strategic planning. Schools can elect to have follow-up sessions as a means of making the framework process a year long process. This extended process can involve the development of departmental frameworks (math, science, social studies, language arts, etc.), curriculum matrices, and the development of assessment rubrics.
Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum
This three hour session develops the rationale for critical thinking as a dynamic spiritual formation strategy. Critical Thinking is directly related to the ability to think Christianly and defend one’s faith. Faculty will develop biblical critical thinking strategies and learn how to incorporate the strategies in lessons. (This session can be combined with the Biblical Integration workshop for a full day in-service.)
This session has been used within many schools to help faculty understand the nature of true biblical integration. Faculty will be challenged to determine the key “structural ideas” of a given discipline and then develop these ideas into biblically integrated concepts that are the basis for instructional units. A variety of models including worldview and character integration will also be considered. Departments will be encouraged to develop the integration points for each discipline. (This session can be combined with the Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum in-service for a full day experience.)
Understanding the Learner
Schools can select early childhood, preadolescence, or adolescence as the focus for a three hour session. Within a given session, faculty will overview the cognitive, social, and physical developmental needs of the time period. The needs form the backdrop for a discussion of how to address the needs of the learner within the classroom. As schools better understand the needs of the learner, programs and instructional strategies can be developed that will grow children and increase learning. (Schools can select multiple developmental periods, including the combination of the elementary level with early childhood, to create a full day in-service.)
Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT)
As schools become increasing diverse it is imperative that classrooms become responsive to the cultural differences among families and their children. What characterizes a culturally responsive classroom? Is CRT appropriate within the Christian school context? How does CRT facilitate learning among all students? What are the implications for classroom and school libraries? How does (or should) CRT impact curriculum? This three hour session will not only increase and maintain diversity within the school but will lead to more effective instruction for all learners.
Developing The Early Childhood Curriculum
This session leads an early childhood faculty or leadership team through the process of developing a curriculum framework as a means to accomplish and validate the early childhood program’s mission and desired outcomes. The session begins by brainstorming the outcomes that are to be reached prior to a child’s completion of the early education unit. This framework provides the overarching structure for the program’s curriculum. It also provides the basis for an assessment plan upon which to make informed curricular decisions and do strategic planning.
About Dr. Uecker...
For more information, email Dr. Uecker at