FIRST HAND LEARNING E-NEWSLETTER

Vol. 4, No. 2

IN THIS ISSUE:

1. REGISTER NOW FOR NSTA!

2. AN HOUR A DAY KEEPS NATURE IN PLAY

1. LAST CHANCE TO JOIN FHL AT NSTA

The NSTA 2008 National Conference (March 27 – 30 in Boston) is fast approaching! First Hand Learning is looking forward to presenting one of the day-long Professional Development Institutes (PDI) that NSTA is offering on Wednesday, March 26, 2008.

“The Outdoor Classroom: A Natural Path to Science and Literacy” will be held at the Boston Nature Center, an urban nature sanctuary run by Massachusetts Audubon. There, participants will explore how to use the natural world to integrate key literacy skills with inquiry-based science. The aim is to provide strategies and resources to help teachers get students thinking, writing, questioning, communicating, and learning more about their local environment. The experienced facilitators will address relevant issues from their complementary perspectives. Presenters will include Dr. E. Wendy Saul from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, Mark Baldwin from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, and Diane Miller from the St. Louis Science Center, as well as FHL staff.

We invite you to join us this year. We look forward to learning from you! To learn more specifics about the PDI content and the presenters, and to register, go to http://www.nsta.org/pd/pdi/2008pdi06.aspx

Not coming to NSTA this year? Your district can apply to host one of the day-long Outdoor Inquiries™ professional development workshops that First Hand Learning will be offering this school year thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation. Outdoor Inquiries™ offers specific strategies for teaching and learning using the local environment, for implementing inquiry-based science, and for linking science inquiry and literacy. Participants will have opportunities to experience the strategies firsthand and will receive stipends for attending. Contact us at inquiries@firsthandleaning.org to discuss the possibilities.

These professional development opportunities support the recent publication of FHL’s new book, “Outdoor Inquiries: Taking Learning Outside the Classroom,” issued by Heinemann. Find out more at http://books.heinemann.com/products/E01120.aspx

2. MAKING THE MOST OF A “GREEN HOUR”

The National Wildlife Federation has launched a new initiative to encourage parents and caregivers to get their children outside every day, discovering nature. Their dedicated website, http://www.greenhour.org, states that “by giving our children a ‘Green Hour’ a day -- a bit of time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world -- we can set them on the path toward physical, mental, and emotional well-being.”

The website offers suggestions for focused activities, a blog, and a “community corner” where members can discuss what they’ve been doing and ask questions. There’s lots of interesting ideas here – adapt them for school use or pass along the resource to your students’ parents.

Check out this blog about how to choose a field guide that’s right for your needs: www.greenhour.org/content/blog/detail/3568/

The First Hand Learning Catalog offers nature journals, hands-on science kits, posters, and more. Go to www.firsthandlearning.org/catalog/catalog_frameset.html

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

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© 2008 First Hand Learning, Inc.



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