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Monday, August 15, 2011

IBSO Workshop

Today was spent with a wonderful group of educators from Bladen County Schools.  We took a good hard look at how teachers can bridge student learning and standardized assessment expectations while managing inquiry based learning experiences.  If you were a part of this experience, I hope you gained some valuable information and would love to hear from you.  Please feel free to comment on this post and share what part of the day was most meaningful to you.  Come back from time to time.  Teachers helping other teachers is a critical piece to our growth as professionals.  Let's learn from each other so that our students can have the benefit of an abundance of ideas, knowledge, and practice.

Now, go "DO" some science and get those kids engaged!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Join me for the 1st Webinar

I am hosting my first webinar tomorrow night @ 8 pm EST. Please join in as we talk about the best ways to teach elementary science.



Saturday, August 6, 2011

Announcing my 1st Webinar

I've participated in tweetchats and webinars.  Now I'm branching out as a moderator.  Moderating a tweetchat was easier than I thought it would be.

In my application for the Burroughs Wellcome career award, I mentioned the use of webinars to share knowledge and collaborate with other teachers.  Now that I have won the award, it's time to start utilizing them.  Consider this your formal invitation to join in on the adventure.

I have scheduled a webinar for Aug. 12th @ 8 pm EST.  We'll chat about our best practices for teaching science to students in grades 3-5.  I'm hoping this will become the first of many wonderful collaborative opportunities.  The session will be recorded and placed in an archive if you miss it. 

Send me a PM if you have any questions.
To sign up for the webinar you'll need to go to learncentral
I'm pretty impressed that they offer this service for free.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

LifeLab - Workshop Day 2

Another great day today with John Fisher from LifeLab and 9 other teachers from CCS.  We started out by learning the best way to prep a bed for planting.  My thumb is feeling a little bit more green already!  Even though we got an early start, the humidity was tough to take.  What a great group of educators who stuck it out and planted 2 beds of cantaloupe, eggplant, and tomatoes.  Yes, we realize it is a little bit late to put these in the ground.  If I can keep them watered they might just hang in there long enough to bear some fruit.  Thank goodness for the long growing season of NC. 
While we were at the community garden, we found that our 2 fig trees were full of fruit that is getting close to being ready to pick.  What a great surprise!
Later on, we dissected the soil and prepared paper pots for seedlings.  Who knew that a V8 can makes a great tool for creating a paper pot?!  Everyone left with ample seed packets to go out and start on their own.  All in all, this was a great 2 day workshop and we all gained a great deal of knowledge that hopefully will translate into classroom experiences for our students.
Thanks LifeLab!

Monday, August 1, 2011

LifeLab - Workshop Day 1

If you've ever considered gardening with students, LifeLab.org is a great resource.  This week about 10 teachers in our district are spending time with one of the trainers from LifeLab and we've been learning lots already.  For example, today we made "the perfect compost pile."  At least I hope it will be.  Thanks to the Food Lion on Skibo Rd. we had about 9 banana boxes full of greens that had just been pulled from their produce selection in the store.  This was a great start.  I learned that in NC we say straw and many of us think pine straw, but when you are composting you want straw that is the stem of hay producers like wheat.  So much for the 2 bags of pine straw I had gathered for our pile.  Luckily we have Southern Gin and Seed Co. about 2 blocks away from the school and they had plenty of straw bales available.

After lunch, Shauna Haslem (from the NC Coop. Ext.) shared with us some advice for fall and winter planting in NC.  This is great because that is the time when our students can best participate in harvesting crops.  She is a great resource for our district and we were excited to learn of opportunities to collaborate with her further.  Teachers learned that Shauna will come out to our schools and homes to help address gardening concerns.  We can also get our soil tested through their drop off program.

Later in the day we learned about the 6 plant parts and dressed one of our colleagues up as a plant.  We sang a little song and then made some edible art with the 6 plant parts. Check out our pictures from the day..

John Fisher from LifeLab in Santa Cruz shared some fantastic resources with us.  Attending a workshop or bringing a trainer in to do district training isn't always an option.  Fortunately, many of the resources from LifeLab can be found online.  They even have their own channel on Youtube.
If you like this, you should really check out the Banana Slug String Band for some great songs too.

Can't wait for day 2 when we will be planting in our community garden.

If you use any of these resources, I'd love to hear about your experience.  Leave a comment below.