About the Academy

Academy Mission

The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy for grades 3–5 teachers is dedicated to increasing students’ learning and appreciation of math and science by: 
  • enhancing teachers’ mathematics and science content knowledge; 
  • demonstrating the interrelationships between scientific inquiry and mathematical problem solving; 
  • helping teachers use the tools of mathematics to build understanding and connections to science concepts; and 
  • modeling "best practices" in teaching and learning for teachers to use in their classrooms.
Academy Organization and Content

The expectation is that teachers will gain more content knowledge, and add to their instructional strategies, to implement in their classrooms. Teachers are attending as part of a “school or district” team and as such the team will develop a plan for sharing what they’ve learned in their school and/or district depending on the school team goals you define. 


During the week of the academy school teams will have a chance to network with teachers from twenty other school districts across the country. Teachers will be organized into three different groups:
  • Whole group sessions 
  • Color group sessions 
Whole-group sessions are held to provide information that can be shared in a large group setting. 

Color groups are designed to deepen content knowledge and skills. Teachers have opportunities to be active learners and to experience learning in small, cooperative groups. All color group sessions promote thinking, reasoning, and communication; instructional skills that make the math and science accessible to all children. The random distribution creates color groups with representation of teachers from all grade levels and school districts. 

Each color group attends the same series of sessions and has the opportunity to work with each instructor. The content of the color group sessions is designed to meet district identified needs and we ensure consistent quality of instruction for all teachers. 

During color group sessions, teachers are randomly seated so they work with different groups of teachers. This provides the chance to work with a variety of people throughout the week. Also, since philosophies, policies, and procedures of schools and districts often differ, teachers have the opportunity to learn from one another. 

School/District team sessions:

Each team will be assigned to an instructor. Each team will complete a “Commitment to Action” plan on Day 4 based on what they have learned during the academy. The expectation is that this plan along with the individual learning plan each teacher completes will help the Team Coordinator support implementation back in the district. 

Academy Content

The week has been designed so that science is the content driver, and mathematics is the tool for learning the science. We used current math and science standards to define grade appropriate content for the week: 
  • Science concepts — Motion and Forces, Action/Reaction, Newton's Second and Third Laws 
  • The mathematics topics are chosen because they support the science content — graphing on a coordinate plane, linear growth, measurement, estimation, and data collection