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Active Since: July 3, 2020
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Replies Created: 12

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Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    I participated in the lost ladybug project.  We do spot ladybugs every once in a while especially in spring/summer and even when we return to school and the weather is still warm.  The students always get excited when they see a ladybug and how cool it would be for them to know about this project!  They like taking photographs too!  The challenges would be not finding ladybugs or spending days and days looking for them.  Since this is fairly simple, it would give us the opportunity to participate in one or two more citizen science projects.  I would expect my students to learn that they can help scientists, contribute to research and how we can help keep our ladybug population and why they are important.  The website is very easy to navigate, with a lot of resources and interesting information!
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    At the first grade level, there are two assessments I like and find age appropriate and meaningful.  One is a nature journal the students have.  Students get very detailed as they sketch and label and have a lot to ask, wonder and record.  The other is a video recording.  We go outside to do an investigation and the students are paired.  They can take photos and then record on their shared iPad.  They may have questions and tell about what they have discovered.  Although we have not focused on rubrics, if we do, we would need to keep them simple.
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    One of the challenges is remembering to use the open inquiry so that it becomes a good habit and happens more regularly.  Children are curious and ask questions and wonder, and I have found that the more we do it, the more naturally it becomes for them.  Assessing is more informal at this age.  I assess by looking at drawings and listening to questions students ask.  Pairing children and having them work in small groups also allows them to ask more questions and help each other with investigations.  Over the years, I have found it most helpful to teach across disciplines so that time does not become a constraint.  In first grade, we do have the luxury of having the students all day, so that gives us more flexibility.  It is important to get the students engaged and show your own excitement.  My other recommendations are working with another teacher and inviting a parent,  friend or community member who can share and help with a science investigation.  My hope is always to inspire children to continue investigating when they are not in school, which does happen often.
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    I researched Project Bud Burst, which is phenology and the study of the timing of life phases of all organisms.  I like how the video used the description "plant storytelling." The following paragraph in the site are questions our students are always curious about. "How does a bear know when it's time to hibernate? Why do April showers bring May flowers? Plants and animals don't have calendars or watches, but many of them take cues from the changing seasons. Changes in weather with the seasons, such as temperature and precipitation, signal many organisms to enter new phases of their lives. For example, buds form on plants as temperatures warm in the spring. As temperatures cool in the fall, deciduous trees and shrubs lose their leaves and become dormant." The database is accessible to anyone, and anyone can access the information, even without participation.  Students can access the information.  The younger children would have their teachers guide them and access it in small groups or whole class.  The site is very organized and easy to access. For my students I would use this project to conduct an investigation on our milkweed and when it blooms,  when we discover our milkweed bugs, and our observations of butterflies.
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    Sylvia, you make some important statements.   I like the idea of bringing something into class if you don't have the opportunity to explore outside.  I have also mentioned that we have been fortunate to turn a large courtyard area into a garden of plants native to our own area--the north shore of Long Island.  Wow--what happened as our milkweed plants attracted milkweed bugs and butterflies and  our goldenrod plants attracted many different bees!  The K-2 children planted the garden, observed the plants through the seasons, and saw the change in the number of butterflies and bees that visited our garden.  The open-ended inquiry came naturally, and the children can't wait to explore and observe changes and talk about it with their classmates.  The conversations are quite interesting.  The students have nature journals to sketch and ask questions.  They also partner up and share an iPad to take photos and record the results of an experiment or observation.  When they listen to their recordings, they are inspired to help each other and go deeper into their questions.  The more time we spend outdoors, the more we discover....  
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    I like the ideas of the "I Wonder" board and "Meet a Scientist."  My students were fortunate over the last couple of years to have parents and a grandparent who are scientists/teachers.  We invited them to our class, and each visit was hands-on, inquiry based, unique and interesting.  The students created "thank you" books with photos and their thoughts. We have perfect opportunities to participate in more than one citizen science project with our own garden and the discoveries we make on our own school grounds.  It will be a focal point for us this year.
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    Great article!  Having our own garden of plants native to our area have given our students the power to "do science", explore, observe and have ownership.  I always say "the more we go out, the more we will discover, investigate, and learn."  We get a lot of surprises on our 7 acres.  The students are naturally excited to share, and these three practices allow us to teach across disciplines.  We need to start a citizen science project right from the beginning of school to maximize learning.  They can extend/compare to what they observe in their own yards.  We can do the ladybug, butterfly and bird projects.  We have iPads, and the children have learned how to take photographs.   Our students also use nature journals and take great pride in their drawings and observations.  Doing the citizen science projects will elevate their learning and make it even more meaningful.
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    I have not completed a citizen science project, but this gives me great ideas!  We used a courtyard area to have the students plant a garden of plants native to Long Island to attract our own pollinators.  The plants are thriving, and we have our own milkweed bugs,  butterflies, bees, caterpillars, ladybugs and more.  All our K-2 students have nature journals and along with our STREAM teachers, we can contribute to at least two or three citizen science projects.  The children will have a deeper connection in their science world.
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    I teach first grade.  We are fortunate to have 7 acres that we can roam so it was interesting to hear about discovering and asking questions about the different bird nests.  We have a number of different birds, and it is especially interesting and relevant to notice changes in the birds through each season. We also wrote a "Light and Sound" unit.  One of our structured inquiries is making kazoos, and that develops into a more guided inquiry when students investigate how to make different/louder/softer sounds.  At the end of this unit, students have a table of various materials to choose from (that have been collected over months) and can decide if they will make something that makes light or produces sound or both.  They choose materials and work on creating something.  The practices are: asking questions, making models and communicating information. To make it more open-ended, the children can think about a question they may have about light or sound and creating something to solve their problem.  I think this could add the practice of planning and carrying out an investigation to see if their idea works to solve the problem.
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    Interesting article and one that should be studied in every education program for teachers....As children grow, they need time to be in the moment and explore their surroundings.  From the time they are babies, they can make a mess and naturally learn as they use their senses to explore their natural world and play with their toys. That leads to their first step of questioning and curiosity and confidence to investigate and wonder and experiment.  When children ask questions, I like to respond with "what do YOU think?" Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 9.14.29 AM
    in reply to: Intro to Inquiry #720057
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    I have found that the more time the students spend outside, the more they naturally learn to observe and wonder.  They spot birds' nests camouflaged, follow sounds to discover a woodpecker making a home in a tree, wonder why a hawk is flying around, why a flock of birds fly on the ground and then into a tree and do it again, why birds flock to our grounds after a rainy day, and which plants attract butterflies and bees in our own garden of native plants.  These are all great experiences to ask the important open-ended questions to encourage thinking and learning.
  • Antoinette
    Participant
    ahatzop
    Screen Shot 2020-07-07 at 10.06.04 AMScreen Shot 2020-07-07 at 9.46.30 AM A favorite read aloud for this lesson is the Listening Walk by Paul Showers, illustrated by Aliki.  The students quickly learn to observe and listen to the sounds around them once they are introduced to this lesson.  Every time they are outside, they are more in tune to the sounds of nature and are excited to share.
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