FIRST HAND LEARNING E-NEWSLETTER

Vol. 3, No. 1

IN THIS ISSUE:

1. “WHAT’S OUT THERE?”

2. JOIN FIRST HAND LEARNING AT THE MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN!

3. WINTER-DAY FUN FROM DOWN UNDER

1. THE MAKING OF A SCHOOLYARD FIELD GUIDE

Looking for ways to integrate science into your curriculum? Interested in a project that will get your students thinking, writing, questioning, communicating, and learning more about their local environment, all at the same time? If so, consider challenging them to create a custom-made field guide to the schoolyard.

Michael Milliman, a teacher in Amherst, NY, began the project by asking his 5th grade students one, initial, focusing question – “What’s out there?” The resulting investigation provided many opportunities for his students to follow their own interests as they mapped the site, discovered the diversity of plant and animal life present there, and worked to identify, catalog, and communicate their findings to others.

Read more about how the process unfolded and view some authentic student work from the class’s field guide at http://www.firsthandlearning.org/milliman.html

Do you have a story to tell about your classroom scientists?

First Hand Learning is interested in teachers’ accounts of learning and teaching from direct experience. Share your thoughts and stories with us, and we’ll feature them in a future e-newsletter. Contact us at inquiries@firsthandlearning.org.

2. FIND OUT HOW TO INTEGRATE SCIENCE INQUIRY AND LITERACY AT NSTA

Now’s the time to register to participate in First Hand Learning’s NSTA Professional Development Institute, to be held at the Missouri Botanical Garden! This one-day workshop will take place on Wednesday, March 28th, a day before the NSTA National Conference in St. Louis officially commences.

Participation in this day-long workshop offers you:

  • firsthand experiences designed to help you seamlessly integrate critical literacy skills with inquiry-based science
  • exposure to the rich resources and collections of a world-class science institution
  • opportunities to interact and learn from known and respected educators, such as Wendy Saul, Professor of Education at the University of Missouri at  St. Louis; Mark Baldwin, Director of Education for the Roger Tory Peterson Institute; and Diane Miller, Vice President for Community Science at the St. Louis Science Center
  • insights into improving student facility with reading, writing, questioning, and communicating, while simultaneously developing critical thinking skills

Learn by doing. Spend a day participating in engaging, hands-on activities, peer discussions, and thoughtful reviews of student products.

Find out more about the experience - read a full description of First Hand Learning’s PDI offering at: http://www.firsthandlearning.org/PDI2007

Visit the National Science Teachers Association website to learn more about the St. Louis conference and its offerings: http://www.nsta.org/

REGISTER FOR FIRST HAND LEARNING’S NSTA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE AT http://www.nsta.org/conferencebrowse2/&Meeting
_Code=2007STL&type=Prof.+Dev.+Institute

We look forward to seeing you in St. Louis!

3. BE ExperiMENTAL!

Although it’s cold where we are, the sun is shining bright in the southern hemisphere. Brighten up your winter days with a visit to an Aussie website that offers kids a slew of fun and exciting experiments to try.

Find activities using balloons, bubbles, candles, water, straws, and more. Check out the “cool stuff” at the experiMENTALS site: http://www.abc.net.au/science/experimentals
/experiments/messaroundwith.htm

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We hope you found this edition of the FIRSTHAND E-NEWSLETTER useful. Please contact us with any comments, suggestions, or questions you may have by emailing us at: inquiries@firsthandlearning.org.

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