Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: July 7, 2020
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 27

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 27 total)
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    I love spending time in nature and have always enjoyed sketching and painting. I am a K-2 STREAM teacher at an elementary school and began incorporating nature journaling a few years ago. I would like to do more of it with them.   I like the monthly nature journaling approach. I think it would be a nice way to track seasonal changes and document places I have visited. I would be sure to include the date, time, weather and then detailed notes along with my sketches.   I am apprehensive about the watercolors. I never thought of them as being easy to use while on the go but I am excited to give it a try.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    I LOVE Seesaw and this is a wonderful suggestion of how it could be used. I was thinking about creating a folder for each student that would be their investigation folder where they could keep track of all of their findings so it would all be in one place.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    I was thinking this too Annette. It is very important to visit the rubric throughout the investigation with the students.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    I think giving students choices of how they could present their results is important. Students could create videos, posters, PSA's or a traditional report to show learning. I think informal assessment throughout the time they are conducting their investigations is also very important. The rubrics I would use with my young students would be much simpler and the report would probably outlined or fill in the blank. Then after filling in the template, students would be given choice for how they would share their findings in a way that works best for them.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    I'm so sorry to hear about the challenges you have faced. A few years ago I took a class from the GREENTREE foundation on Long Island and one of their recommendations was setting up a committee and involving all stakeholders before beginning these projects that could very easy be disrupted. In our school we created a committee with teachers, our building principal and head custodian. We have even had the head of buildings and grounds in on our meetings so everyone is aware of our vision and goals. This has proven to be successful over the past few years with few hiccups.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    Valid points...changing a culture of a school or mindset of students can certainly be a challenge. This is especially true when this inquiry method of learning is only happening in isolation in your class.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    I have not had challenges with my guided level inquiry lessons with my K-2 students. One of the issues I see having when they progress to the next level of inquiry is managing multiple inquiry projects within one class. This includes time management, management of grading and conferencing with students and helping as needed. I guess this can only be done successfully when have participated in and have been successful in lower level inquiry projects.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    Thank you for sharing this project. I looked into https://www.mission-monarch.org/   It seems like project Monarch Watch is well established and provides a nice amount of data. I will spend more time looking into it.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    Mission Monarch is the project I decided to look into.  This project has participants locate and verify the presence of a milkweed plant. Next, participants identify the species and confirm whether or not there is the presence of monarchs. This is done through observations and examining the leaves for eggs, caterpillars or chrysalis. Next participants record their observations and the final step is submitting the data through the Mission Monarch website. The data is available on their website but is not very well organized or easy to analyze. The data can be viewed on a map and with a list. The data has not been put into any graphs. This may make it difficult for younger children to look at and make sense of the information. The data on the map could be used to determine the presence of monarch butterflies in certain areas and their abundance. The only thing I don't think this accounts for is the number of participants in the study. There may be a higher number of participants around the great lakes which makes it seems like there are more monarchs there but it could mean the organization got the word out about participation there but not on Long Island.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    Hi Edna,   I agree that making real word connections is important and a great way to spark curiosity. Whenever possible, we try to study local/native species and the environment around us.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    My students have a STREAM journal they use during my class. In their journals, they record questions they have, sketch observations and complete assignments. Their journals are a place where they are encouraged to record questions they have about things they observe or about things related to the current content we are working on. I do have to explain that we may not be able to investigate or to find the answers to all of their questions but they can also find the answers to their questions when they are at home. I often discuss extension lessons or activities for students to complete at home to extend their learning. I am a special area teacher so I work with every class in the school. I have been trying to think of a way to manage 18 I wonder boards and where I would put them. I really like the idea of using a digital I wonder board on a Padlet. I am going to look into this for next year.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    I chose to participate in eBird. My husband and I went kayaking on the bay last Sunday at 6:00pm. I was surprised with how little birds we saw and were able to identify. There were a few gulls flying overhead but I could not differentiate the species. On the way back to the beach at about 7:45pm we saw two beautiful great egrets at the shore line near the reeds. These birds were much larger and still so it was easier to identify them.   This birding experience was challenging because the kayaks were moving and it was so difficult to look through binoculars while on the kayak because of the current. There is a path along the shore road I will try to walk next time and participate. I think it will be much easier to observe and identify while on dry land.   Using the Merlin Bird ID application was very helpful. I wasn't sure if the bird I saw was a heron or egret but was later able to determine it was an egret using the app.   I think having my students participate in this project has made them excited about science and excited to learn about native birds. Teaching them the power of observation is key to this project and may take more time than I originally thought. I have created native bird guides that I use with my students when we go out birding. This narrows things down for them and allows them to more easily identify what they see. It is always fun when there is a "mystery bird" that is not on our field guide. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HmeyjLtKW6_SfiAjBC65a1lBiOU-cKrs/view?usp=sharing
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    Laurie, thank you for sharing what you do with your young students. I really like the idea of using the pringle cans and having other children put their hands in to feel or describe the texture of what is inside.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    As educators we can do our best to help cultivate a classroom culture where curiosity and questions are the norm. In this type of environment, children will be used to and feel comfortable asking questions and sharing their wonderings with the class. Sometimes I think teachers feel rushed and pressure to cover certain material so rather than asking open ended questions, they rush and ask questions with yes or no or other basic answers.   Until watching the video above, I never thought about how these questions can be intimidating for children. They may be afraid of getting the answer incorrect and may choose not to participate. Asking what do you think or opinion questions may be more inviting for students.   It is also important to teach students we don't always find the answers to their questions but can continue to investigate and learn more throughout the year.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    I had a very similar experience. It took me a little while to isolate the sounds and hear nature over the man made sounds.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    For both adults and children in our fast paced society it can be difficult to just be still. This activity forced me to be still and to focus on sound. At first it was difficult to hear anything but my neighbors lawn mower but after a few minutes I was able to isolate and block out that sound and hear more. I was able to hear tree branches swaying, leaves brushing against one another, birds chirping and the gentle hum of an idling car in the driveway of a neighbors home. I enjoyed this activity and think it would be interesting to do with children in various places so they could compare their sound maps.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    I feel like the most important practice or key point so far is choice of project to make it meaningful an authentic to students. By choosing a meaningful project students are invested in and feel connected to, it will be easier to hit on other key practices such as following and promoting inquiry and investigations, teaching them scientific processes, connecting both globally and locally and having youth "do science." If a project is not age appropriate or does not match up with curriculum, these other points will be very difficult to achieve.  
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    Position you as people who do science is the first key teaching practice. Students need to understand that they can be scientists and contribute to scientific findings at a young age. Giving students a purpose makes them feel more involved and allows them to begin to learn about scientific processes in an authentic way.   The second key practice is framing the work globally and locally. In my opinion, this is one of the most important practices. It gives students knowledge about how what we are doing is not only impacting what is going on in our community but how it it is connected to the state, country or even the word. Letting students know that things we do in one place can have a larger effect on our global community as a whole is very important. If they have this understanding when they are young, they may make more responsible decisions as adults. This is the area where I most need to improve and incorporate more in my classes with my students. In grade one, students will be completing a Marvelous Marine Animals science unit. In this unit, students learn about our local marine ecosystems and what we can do to contribute to keeping them healthy. This is an area where I think I can connect with the global picture regarding pollution and how what we put in our water locally can travel and impact species in other places.   The third practice is attend to the unexpected. It is important for our students to understand we are not experts at all we do and we are learning with them. Taking time to explore wonderings together and discover things shows students your enthusiasm and that you can be a lifelong learner.
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    "Students need to  know that their work is impactful and can make a difference in their community.  Real world application and student interest,  are to me, the most important factors when choosing a project to participate in." Beautifully said!
  • Jessica
    Participant
    jmckenna
    I think choosing a project based on student interest is a wonderful idea. If it is something they are interested and invested in, they are more likely to continue participating in the project outside of the classroom.
Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 27 total)