Author Archives: rippie77

Not Leadership Material? Good. The World Needs Followers. – The New York Times

“Followership” what is it? Read about it here. Qualities listed include “a purpose, principle or person outside themselves and being courageous honest and credible” Robert Kelley professor at Harvard.

But instead we seek a society of caring, creative and committed people, and leaders who feel called to service rather than to stature, then we need to do a better job of making that clear” Susan Cain Author of the “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”

Improving Pop-Up Debates: Better Prompts – Dave Stuart Jr.

I’ve held more than a few pop-up debates that went badly, and I could trace the badness back to before the debate started. What am I talking about? The Plague of the Poorly Formulated Pop-Up Debate Prompt. Recently, I was reading through Les Lynn’s blog (Les founded Argument-Centered Education, and his blog is the Debatifier) and […]

Source: Improving Pop-Up Debates: Better Prompts – Dave Stuart Jr.

Great idea for Climate Argument Lesson. We all know this has become a hot topic. Having students see both sides of the argument will help to create the next generation of informed citizens.

Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students

Source: Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students

Space Camp is a game changer. As a Teacher, it rejuvenated my career. For students who are visually impaired this could be a great experience. If you know of any student or a Teacher with students of impaired students please pass this along. Especially if you are in the UK.

The Game of School vs. The Game of Life – A.J. JULIANI

My daughter is in 2nd grade. She loves learning (seriously, she comes home every day excited about Flat Stanley, moving to multiplication, a piece of art she made, or something she learned while in school).

Source: The Game of School vs. The Game of Life – A.J. JULIANI

Please watch the movie! “Alike” it was great. It really addressed what we do to our children and students sometimes. Every teacher should watch this movie.


Invite Your Students to Create Their Own Countries With this Geography Design Project – WeAreTeachers

Your students will transform into world explorers in search of new land.

Source: Invite Your Students to Create Their Own Countries With this Geography Design Project – WeAreTeachers

This looks like a cool lesson for Geography or History Teachers. A new twist on it could be using it for Alien Planets when doing an Astronomy Unit.

The International Cloud Atlas | World Meteorological Organization

The World Meteorological Organization is advancing with a major project to revise and update the International Cloud Atlas. The aim is to produce a user-friendly, digital-based product which is an authoritative, comprehensive and up-to-date source of reference and is also interesting and accessible to a wide audience.

Source: The International Cloud Atlas | World Meteorological Organization

This is really a great site for Teachers on Clouds. It’s a great resource for teaching cloud classification. Use this and the new Globe Observer Cloud App for a lesson on cloud classification.

Feedback…Is it important

After reading a blog entry from Random Teacher Thoughts Blog “Feedback Failure”, I started to think of about the two projects going on in class,  Genius Hour and Citizen Science. I agreed with the blog, you can’t just let the students go through a project and not give them something as they complete the assignment. The author of the blog is reading “Hacking Project Based Learning” by Ross Cooper and Erin Murphy. According to him Hack 7 talked about feedback. Side note here I will probably have to read this book. After reading the article I started to think about what I do for my projects. I have always valued students opinions and ideas in class, this has led me to give surveys to find out what needs to be improved. My point here is that the students have always suggested giving feedback. To address this, I had students create a journal in Google Documents. They shared the journal with me and their partner. Students have a rubric to follow when filling out the journal, it specifies exactly what they should have in their journals. Journals are due every couple of weeks. I wasn’t asking them to write a book, but I wanted a summation on what they were doing. I also wanted them to understand how science notebooks and journals are important components of science experimentation.

The project is still ongoing so I can give up to date progress. While keeping an eye on everyone’s progress, I have found that some have fallen behind. I’ve given them a bit of nudge by commenting in their journal. This is the type of feedback I think students need in order succeed in completing their projects. I would also like to point out here that, students find the journal check a great way for them to communicate their questions or research. I think students really do need feedback from teachers, sometimes it may seem to students that Teachers are only worried about the end product. Feedback allows Teachers to convey a sense of caring about the whole process.  So is feedback important? Definitely!

Google Docs makes it really easy for them to keep track of my feedback, and for me to keep track of their project. I do however want to try other forms of digital “journals”. Maybe next year trying OneNote.

A different view of your classes

We know we set the mood of our classrooms. We know that the power we have to make a day better or worse is immense. We know that what we think about a kid, or a class, sometimes matters more than what we actually do. After all, kids can read us in ways we have […]

via It’s On Us —

Our Free Dr. Seuss Calendar Features a Favorite Quote for Every Day in March – WeAreTeachers

Download this month’s special calendar, filled with Dr. Seuss quotes!

Source: Our Free Dr. Seuss Calendar Features a Favorite Quote for Every Day in March – WeAreTeachers

Citizen Science Projects

Oh wow! Another blog entry! This time it’s about another project I having going on in class. I’m always looking for different ideas to use for class projects. If one works then I will use it again, if not I try others. This year I decided to use an idea one of my NASA colleagues has used in class; Citizen Science Projects. I really had never thought about this type of project before until I listened to this person give a discussion on the topic at an NSTA conference.

The reason I choose to do this project is because I believed that students should know more about what is happening in the science community and become informed citizens of science. I also like the environmental issues that some of the projects address. Different environmental issues are being addressed every day in the news, so I felt my students should understand the problems their generation will face. Which leads to a positive of this project, I have a good number of students working with the National Wildlife Foundations certified habitats. They are creating habitats that meet the criteria to become certified habitats by the NWF. Many of the groups are working with their parents to develop an area in their backyards to a “Garden for Wildlife” or “Wildlife Habitat”.  Another project a number of students are doing is Project Noah, a site that you post your spotting (pictures) of wildlife in your area.  The site allows a teacher to create a classroom and students can sign up. Through this site, the teacher can keep track of the student’s spottings. Students learn about different species from around the world and their scientific name for these species. I have taken part in this project and have posted some awesome pictures of animals. My username is rippie772011. I’ve enjoyed doing it too!

Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere

This has been such a success in class that I think I will be doing this again. I’ll give students a project survey at the end to see what I might have to do to improve the project. But overall I think it is going great. I’ve listed the various resources students used to pick their projects.

Project Noah: You will sign up under my classroom
Cornell Labs:
Globe Observer:
Hubble Telescope:
National Geographic:
National Wildlife Federation: Certify your garden (this one you will need your parent’s help)-
Globe Program: There are various readings and projects to do with this program. Please see the Teacher.
Museum of Natural Science- There are opportunities to work in labs. You need to see the Teacher for this.