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 PARTNERS in a 4th, 5th, and 6th Grade Classroom View next topic
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Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well, it has been far too long since I've been on the TREC website checking out what has been going, but that is because I have been busy teaching the PARTNERS Project in the classroom! I have enjoyed the experience, and as the first assessment pieces have come in, it looks like my students have learned a thing or two as well (always a good thing)!

I was fortunate to receive grants from the Addison Central Education Endowment Fund and the Middlebury College Partners in Education Grant to buy a load of new equipment to teach and digitally record many of the concepts that students studied over the last six weeks. I was also fortunate to have a Middlebury College senior working with me on the project. Jeff is a senior who is exploring if teaching is a career he wants to go into. I hope his experience at Salisbury was positive and he goes into the profession. I always joked with him because every morning the students would come into class and ask if Jeff was going to be there. On the rare Tuesdays when he didn't come in and I had to say "No" the students would look at me like I was chopped liver and say, "You mean we have to have you today." Luckily, my ego wasn't too bruised.

As I am wrapping the unit up, my fifth grade students are preparing scientific posters which will be on show at the Vermont Science Teachers Association annual conference on March 4. Students have used the PARTNERS Project scientific poster and the scientific poster that I created for my graduate school as models and have enjoyed both developing the text, creating graphs on the computer, and using diagrams and digital photos to show what they learned about different concepts. We are also planning on taking some of the digital images and creating a picture book explaining what we did and sending it to our penpals in Zhigansk and possibly to other schools on some of the other rivers that the PARTNERS project is sampling.

This experience (teaching the PARTNERS Project in the classroom) has been a very good one. I have always known the power of teaching science with an inquiry context. However, I now have experienced the power of teaching content within the context of current scientific projects. There was such a tremendous difference teaching the water cycle by itself with inquiry based experiences and teaching the water cycle with many of the same inquiry based experiences, but with the context of how the increase in global temperatures affects the water cycle. Teaching within the context of the science project added so much relevance to the lessons. This is a subject (the value of teaching content within the context of scientific projects) is an area I am now conducting action research on for my graduate school degree.

So, I hope to post some of my students' work as they complete it and will continue to post as my Lena River TREC continues.
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Toolik Field Station Lena River, Siberia Svalbard, Norway Summit, Greenland Prince Patrick Island, Canada Healy Icebreaker Caribou Poker Creek Barrow, Alaska