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: http://www.projectnoah.org/education: You will sign up under my classroom
Cornell Labs: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/citscitoolkit/about/definition
SETI: https://seti.berkeley.edu/
SciStarter: http://scistarter.com/index.html
Globe Observer: http://observer.globe.gov/
Hubble Telescope: http://hubblesite.org/get_involved/citizen_science/
National Geographic: http://nationalgeographic.org/idea/citizen-science-projects/
Zooniverse: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects?status=live
National Wildlife Federation: Certify your garden (this one you will need your parent’s help)- https://goo.gl/lNKQos
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.

 

Genius Hour! We started our projects again….

Well, my 30-day blog challenge went out the window a while ago. However, I’m not discouraged and I’m starting over.

Genius Hour! We started our projects again and I’m really impressed by my students. Some had a bit of an issue with the brainstorming process. This doesn’t surprise me. Every year I get some students who can’t or don’t allow themselves a chance to think outside the box. I don’t blame them for this, I blame us; teachers and adults. For so long we have insisted on telling them projects should be 10-page research papers, not that sometimes research papers are good, but allowing them a chance to do something else upsets the cart. However, in the end, they all succeeded in doing something that related to themselves and they could enjoy.

I modified the Genius Hour project to suit our class a bit. Similar to last year. I wanted to modify the project to include the LAUNCH cycle. Nevertheless, this just did not work out this year. I did decide to use the Look, Listen and Learn process. This did help the students who were having a difficult time with the brainstorming activity. I do like the LAUNCH cycle and the book was great, but I really want to make sure I have everything in place before having my students do it. I am hoping to work with the Physics teacher to use the LAUNCH cycle for next Mars Rover project. For those of you have not read LAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student, I would advise you read it. It is a great way to start your Genius Hour project. The authors John Spencer and  AJ Juliani have written a very creative way of empowering students to utilize design thinking when completing their projects.

A Plus this year was I changed one of the components of my Genius Hour Project, I added the “A”, Art. Instead of STEM, I now used STEAM. This has been a great idea, I have a couple of students working with Music and Drawing. I have one student investigating sound with different enclosures. Another student creating a new Alien and Alien world.

My motto for this year’s project is to allow my students to be creative and enjoy their what they are learning about

WEB ADVENTURES: FOR EDUCATORS | Teacher Resources — Virtual Clinical Trials – About The Series

Source: WEB ADVENTURES: FOR EDUCATORS | Teacher Resources — Virtual Clinical Trials – About The Series

What is virtual reality? – A simple introduction

An easy-to-understand introduction to virtual reality, the equipment it requires, and the things we can use it for.

Source: What is virtual reality? – A simple introduction

Article simplifies the VR topic. Introducing you to the basic background information about VR.

The Five Stages of Tribal Innovation – A.J. JULIANI

In their book, Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright, call groups of people (from 20-150) tribes. Their basic argument is that success and innovation

Source: The Five Stages of Tribal Innovation – A.J. JULIANI

Definitely some information for me. Interesting points made here about “tribes” and innovation in Schools. Good Read!