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Friday, June 17, 2011

The End and The Beginning

The school year is over and summer is here.  So that means the rush, rush of cleaning a classroom so the custodians can get in and do their thing.  I never seem to be able to do that as well as I'd like or as quickly as they'd like.  Alas, today I finished up even if it did mean just getting some stuff out of their way without really taking time to sort through it and get organized the way I wanted to. Now it's on to the beginning of summer and planning for our 1st science camp.  I've had 3 students register so far.  Some of my colleagues have volunteered to help out and it's time to start making definitive plans for how we will spend our time.
On a side note, I had a visit from our district "Green Schools" intern along with some ladies from Ft. Bragg today.  One of them was a parent of a former student which was a delightful surprise!   Even better was the offer from our intern to come back by and drop off 2 watermelon plants for our student garden.  They have the cutest baby watermelons on them and I hope they do well. 
Last but not least, I finally remembered to return a phone call to the soil & water dept. and make arrangements for our 6 new rain barrels to be dropped off next week.  Next decision... where are the best locations for reclaiming water on our campus.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer Camp Anyone?

One of the first things I have planned for students is a summer camp.  This is a free opportunity for students entering 4th and 5th grade. I'll be running it from July 11th - 29th on Mon.-Thurs mornings.  I'm planning to connect science, math, and technology with STEM careers in a role-play environment.  The students seem really excited and I've had a number of colleagues express interest  in helping out for a day or two, perhaps even a week at a time. 

In other exciting news...
The '10-'11 school year has come to a close and we are now officially a school of math and natural sciences.  This calls for a face lift on our school website.  So here is the unveiling of Pauline Jones Elementary School of Math and Natural Science.  Stop by, take a look around, and don't miss the student blogs on the science classroom web page.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

And so it begins...

I began a journey long ago and every once in awhile it comes to a twist or turn.  Sometimes it is an uphill climb and sometimes it's like a sweet breeze on a summer day. One thing is for sure, I'm on this journey for life! 

The latest twist came back in December of 2010 when our district curriculum specialist  passed on some information to my principal about the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Outstanding Math and Science Teachers.  If I had come across this myself, I don't think I would have given it a 2nd glance.  The application process was quite involved and I was already in the middle of working on my Profile of Professional Growth (PPG) to renew my National Board Certification.  With the prompting and support of my principal and the curriculum specialist, I decided to complete the application process.  After all, it was due well before my PPG so I should be able to complete it and have plenty of time left over.

And so it began... a slight bend in the road that would open up new opportunities for my journey as a life-long learner and educator.  This blog will be my attempt to document the journey as it unfolds over the next 5 years.  Why the timeline?  As it turns out, I was selected as a recipient of the award I mentioned above.  Where it will lead, I'm not entirely sure although I have some ideas... Colorado and Indianapolis for starters.  Colorado in the Rockies with Steve Spangler for 3 days in July.  Indianapolis next spring for the NSTA conference.  Some of my colleagues will even be able to tag along!

I hope you will join me on this journey.  This blog and the other information on my website are intended to help other teachers benefit from my experiences.  If you want to make an impact on your students through meaningful, inquiry-based science simulations then you've definitely found a point of reference. Make sure you click to follow this blog so you don't miss a single moment of the journey.