Day 9: Research day 2

January 19, 2010 at 9:13 PM Leave a comment

Something happened to day 8…. oh well.

With a day of research under their belts, one girl told me “I’m just so bored of breast cancer. Can I change?” Because they have about 3+ months to live with their issue, I figured it was fair enough to bail at this early stage. You just can’t always tell. So with later classes, I really pushed on them to be sure. To think if they wanted to help in a hands-on way instead of fund raising which means local issues. On the other side, the local issues are harder to resource with scientific information.

Some were bailing from sea turtles toward more global issues such as coral reef preservation and over fishing. Save the SF Bay, lynxes and trash/landfill reduction were on the up tick today.

Overheard kids explaining food webs and interdependence today: “How do turtles affect anything else?” “Well, if sharks eat turtles… like if you had only cereal to eat and then the cereal ran out…” “Oh, THAT makes sense now.” Nearly butted in and messed it up.

Chatted with lots of kids about lots of science stuff  – Food webs and interdependence. What are dioxins and what is bioaccumulation? with interested kids who really wanted to know or were grateful for being pointed to a good resource.

Tiring to stay so engaged all day, but really necessary to avoid “Nah, I didn’t get anything down because I couldn’t find a book/didn’t know what to do/lost my paper/wasn’t here on Friday.” I’m always tempted to think they are just fine but as soon as I try to do something else, the student right in front of me starts working on their desktop picture or cruising around Google to find new snowboard technology or whatever.

Unlike usual, today I made an effort to engage with students who WERE working well too – “How’s it going?” “What’s interesting?” “Wow, that’s a really shocking picture!” etc. Kind of cool to hear their views on what they’re learning.

I’m really glad I’ve kept up with environment and public health issues in the news over the last six months. Knowing the issues at some level makes it easier to direct students to non-frustrating resources. The links on the web site are generally fine but within publications, students need help with exactly how to search for their issue.

Next time, I think I’ll also collect news magazines and news papers and have kids look for issues in the news right now instead of the big ol’ powerpoint shows. Make a bulletin of all the stuff that’s wrong with the world that THEY find and put together.

Also, I’ll order a few more easy reading level books on topics such as hunger, hunger in America, threats to coral reefs, threats to the bay, water pollution, trash, landfill and reduce/reuse/recycle, vaccination programs, pet overpopulation. And I’d lay the books out and have them make their research choice based somewhat on the books they see, especially special ed students.

Working on patience to re-explain stuff without making a student feel like an idiot for asking. And for not drifting off into my own world while they are working.

Raining, raining all day with thunder rumbling and lightning flickering by the afternoon, kids like birds on a wire, ruffled up by the wild weather in their bright rubber boots, wet boys all bright eyed with rat-tailed, electrified hair.


Entry filed under: TAP Curriculum.

TAP 7: Who’s doing what for TAP? TAP 11: Introducing the PowerPoints

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