Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: July 5, 2020
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 14

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    My issue is I tend to grade everything. Which isn't necessarily valuable feedback. I know that I need to scale back on what I am grading and start truly assessing the process and skills being used. I plan to use these materials and build a portfolio during the process. My hope is that by the end of the semester, there will be at least one class investigation and one individual investigation. During that process, I would like to be focusing on writing skills, experimental design and brainstorming, variables and graphs, (how to read and which to use), research skills, and presentation skills. I am still mapping it out but in the end I would like to build a website, submit to bird-sleuth investigator, and possibly create a magazine which compiles their investigations, nature journaling, and creative writing as well.
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    The single most challenging aspect of my job as been assessing students work. Our summative assessments are usually in the form of lab packets and reading guides, and our formative assessments are mostly tests which assess what they know/learned from the curriculum and if they can effectively apply their knowledge. We do some lab based performance assessments to see that students can safely perform a procedure, which applies their knowledge of the curriculum, to acquire a "desired outcome." Before Covid, I've felt confined to teach the curriculum, which left very little room for creativity and flexibility in science. Now, having the opportunity to slow down and concentrate on the skills a 6th grade student should have when he/she moves onto 7th, I feel like I have the green light to "chill out" and introduce projects that students are more invested in, while assessing those skills. I love the idea of creating a website for students to display their work. I am excited to get to know my students; truly know my students and the way they learn best as well as what sparks their curiosity.
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    I researched Journey North which is one of the largest citizen science programs in North America.  This program tracks Monarch Butterflies, as well as birds, animals, and plant data. From what I can see, it looks like the database is accessible to anyone.  I have not participated in the project for tracking Monarchs, but the lower school students at my school study them and have a weigh station in our garden.  What I love about this resource is that it tracks the butterflies from January releasing a new "newsletter" each week to tell the story of the migration.  There are interactive maps that show the migration in correlation to time and you can also look at the data using individual sighting. Either way, you can clearly see the journey of the monarchs north from Winter to summer. I think using this as a way to share the story with our students is wonderful and also to get them excited about tagging their own monarchs- I know they tag the ones that they bring inside, but beyond that, we don't have any exciting tagging parties that I know of... Monarch tagging and knowledge is not one that I know much of, but I would be interested in seeing how many of the teachers in lower school would be interested in using this resource more as a way to correlate the story of the Monarch to the data/map.
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    In my classroom, we do have a question board, but it is very open-ended and we don't usually have a lot of time to get to them.  This is one thing that I hope to change this coming semester.  Sometimes too, the students ask questions that do not really have a lot of thought in them. It's like they just write a question so they can write on a sticky note and post it. (middle school). I feel like throughout my lessons and labs I do a good job with answering questions with questions to encourage deeper thinking and while I don't answer their questions with answers they want (ultimately, they want to know if what they did is "right") I also don't spend enough time diving deeper into their questions. IN order to inspire deeper observation and experimental questions, I feel I really do need to scaffold the scientific process in the same way the bird-sleuth guide lays it all out. This guide is going to help me help me students to be better scientists while helping them to care about answering their own "I wonder's" in a way that makes them feel like a scientist.  I am excited to use this in my classroom and see what happens.  I also appreciate the emphasis on good research and distinguishing between a prediction and a hypothesis.  Really Awesome Resource!
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    *disclaimer- I am not selecting an above project due to my location- For this response- I am basing it on one of my previous experiences. "Bio-Cube" (a project spin-off of the one square meter project) is one I performed with a group in the Amazon at 4 different locations at the ACTS research Station. (Amazon Conservatory for Tropical Studies) and I modified this project to be done with my Global Environmental Issues course. The challenges of collecting and reporting data in a remote location are tremendous.  I communicate a few times a year with the program head about "how do we collect meaningful data which can be recorded over time in a way where we can look at trends." I think that project, while tremendously valuable for students, seems unattainable at times, when you are confined to an 11 day experience and are continually moving from one location to another where the focus is something entirely different at each location. I want to have an experience where my students can be immersed in biodiversity, culture,  and service, but the scientist in my is like- let's just stay here at ACTS and be scientists! It is a struggle and one I hope to make better before my next trip there with students.... (whenever that will be).  The students worked in teams, collected data on the biodiversity, weather/atmospheric conditions, etc... and participated in a reflection activity post field work- But the recording of that data alongside the congested work space on is using to collect and report the data to each other was a challenge.  They didn't mind the environmental conditions, more so the fact that they couldn't all get down to look inside this tiny little biocube.  When I returned I modified a similar activity where I had 1 meter square dowels made.  While the space was bigger, they complained that their biodiversity was limited... Which did lead to some great conversations about rural vs suburban areas and how over time, biodiversity in natural places are being relocated, habitats demolished, etc. I suppose having the suburban discussion was one in which drives the point that industrialization, human impact, and the economy take precedence over our natural spaces.  The students had the a-ha moment of realizing that we invaded their homes and that spider/ant/plant actually do belong here and it was humans who have mostly impacted the rate of environmental destruction. This also poses the question- how do we connect/enhance/foster conservation and preservation of our natural spaces better so that we can bring this same awareness to others? Overall, it fails in the mission of sharing what a biodiverse place our earth can be... but succeeds in the mission of making them realize that humans are destroying it and humans can help re-build it.
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    I love the quote that students come into classrooms as question marks but leave as periods... Which in my experience, with my rigorous curriculum, the pressure for students to get A's, and time restraints... this absolutely has so much open ended truth.  I know that I stress over time management, planning, and making sure that I "fit it all in" rather than focusing on the skills that we want them to have as scientists... I hope that my enthusiasm and love for science is enough to foster the same in them, and for some it does... but I can't help but wonder - "I wonder- how many more students I would "touch, inspire, motivate" to love science if I left the learning in their hands." I also believe that in order to facilitate and raise student awareness of the importance of the environment, it is time to make sure I am concentrating more on that "students as self" piece rather than worry about the restraints I place on myself as highlighted above.
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    In the past, I have also completed an activity much like the Lemon activity, using sticks and nature journaling. I love the lemon or clementine idea because this better emphasizes the need to make careful observations, measurements, etc... as oftentimes, there are many distinguishing factors with sticks.  I can easily incorporate this into my first lesson of the year.
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    I have done sound maps before and with my students, however today I am in an urban setting where the man-made sounds are taking over. I am not used to this type of environment but I felt it interesting that I actually had to close my eyes and "tune into" the sounds I was hearing.  It wasn't until I did that, that I was able to hear the sounds of the cicadas over the sounds of the generator or cars around me. Screen Shot 2020-07-20 at 9.53.52 AM
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    Honestly, I think both of them are important and can be easily adaptable and incorporated in what I am already doing now.  Having 50% reduced class size is going to help also in executing real inquiry studies and CS projects.
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    In my Global Environmental Issues course, the students do a rendition of the One Square meter project to take a closer look at biodiversity.  However, we only report out findings with each other.  I would love to try to incorporate more of the CS projects into this project.  I am currently working on a community project with High School and Middle School students in both my school as well as inner city schools which will connect food systems, bees, and environmental education. One of the best things I can do right now in making that a success, is allowing the programs to grow organically with nature and LET GO of the control. What great advice!   I am taking this course so that creating, monitoring, and continuing CS programs at my school can happen. As I previously mentioned, I sometimes struggle with fitting it in, or keeping it going, or even getting it started. I think that the pandemic is going to allow me more freedom with my curriculum this year, so I am looking forward to stepping back and getting students more involved in "real" science.
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    A few years ago I took a group of middle school students into the Amazon Rainforest of Peru to immerse them in culture, service, and biodiversity. While there we participated in a project through the Smithsonian called, The Bio-Cube Project. The students LOVED being able to contribute data, and for a lot of them this was a highlight of the trip. The data was recorded through the Amazon Academy and EcoTeach. Other than that, I haven't incorporated CS into my classroom mainly because I myself get pretty overwhelmed by the different avenues in which one can contribute.  I often struggle with consistency rather inconsistency due to demands on the classroom.  I know my students are fascinated by nature and want to be outside more.  I am excited to make that happen this year since school is going to look a lot differently than it used to and I believe it is cruel to take kids out of quarantine and make them sit inside anymore!  I suppose sometimes I think about managing all of those students in small spaces as well. There will always be a few who do not want to participate and who demand your attention. Last semester, while my students were stuck staring at screens all day, I incorporated a weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, nature journal. If for no other reason than to just get outside, appreciate nature, and see all of the life sprouting up around them in the spring time.  I had students emailing me about birds and their nests/eggs, I had students excited to share their drawings of flowers, and for some I think they just loved being able to get away from their screen.  I LOVE BIRDS. I love amphibians/reptiles/mammals/insects/plants too!  But I love birds.  When I first started my naturalist work in the Great Smokies, I remember thinking " I will never learn all of these birds."  And now, there are so many birds I can hear and know who they are that it's even shocking to me! I have to say, that too is all thanks to Merlin Bird ID as well.  Each new year I name my classes based on something that I loved studying personally that year. I tried to pick my favorites in each category and keep my selection to those who frequent my state, NC. The year of birds was by far the best group of students I had ever had!  And you can bet those kids new how to ID the Chickadee, Goldfinch, Ruby-Throated, and the House Finch. We had calls so that I could get their attention and the connection I made with those students was stronger than any class that I have ever had.  I say that to say this, it is time for me to get some feeders on campus (I have been talking about it for awhile but always get wrapped up in other things and don't want to ask for permission).  Project Feeder Watch as well as Ebird are two tools that I would like to get started with right away.  I would also love to look into phenology on campus. I think it would be cool if we could get those kids working towards removing invasive species.  We already have our facilities department planting only natives, but even that took years! It would be cool to help them id those types of plants and educate their family at home. This generation of students is so precious and important to the future of our planet and I need to be better about making time to inspire them to wonder more. I also have been trying for years to figure out a way to use citizen science in the Amazon (no wifi) and compile data over time for my students. (we are supposed to go every 2 years). SciStarter/Zooniverse will have my attention.
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    I am a middle school teacher (6th grade science and 7/8 Environmental Science) in an independent school. While I am lucky to have the resources that I do, I was also handed a curriculum to teach.  Carolina Biological's Smithsonian Series.  While they (and I) have been describing this curriculum as inquiry based, I knew from the beginning it really wasn't completely inquiry based, but I couldn't put my finger on why.  Now I can see that there is much to be done in making these lessons inquiry.  At best these lessons are confirmation level.  There are many different lab-based inquiries which include investigations on density, volume, mass, etc... but developmentally, I am tasked with helping them learn how to follow directions, read procedures, work with formulas etc.  In retrospect, I do let them mess up and figure out how to fix it... but their work is confirmation inquiry.  Moving forward, I would like to start looking at the skills in science and move away from the "scripted" curriculum so that I may include more discovery, self-wonder, and interest for students to answer their own questions.  In this world we live in now, it seems the perfect time for independent studies where I can focus on science skills while helping to empower my students to be life-long scientists because that is what they want to be. I think sometimes we get so caught up in making sure they are knowledgeable in content, even though blooms, marzano etc tells us this is the surface of learning and we need to dive down deeper into more analytical stages of brain use. I loved the idea of using portfolios and dialogue to evaluate rather than to test.
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    This is amazing! I love it and I want you to teach me to use color like this! :) thank you!
    in reply to: Intro to Inquiry #723630
  • Sarah
    Participant
    CoachGoody17
    Inquiry is a process which empowers lifelong learners to make connections, take risks and solve problems.  It is a discovery process where one takes ownership over learning by making observations, asking questions, and seeking answers.  They draw from background knowledge, prior experience, and curiosity to participate in a more flexible and subtle scientific process that alternatively is more demanding. By using this process of collecting data, drawing upon resources, and clarifying misconceptions, one is able to communicate their findings. What is Inquiry?
    in reply to: Intro to Inquiry #723629
Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)