After receiving our tie dyed shirts, we began class. I was going to post exciting photos of us posing with our tie dyed shirts, but Jo Ann stole my thunder below. She has every right to do this, however, because she took the photos then provided them to us as a hard copy, via e-mail and then on her blog.
Also, we stayed at her house well into the night dying our shirts on Friday, and may have dyed her basement floor and her lawn various colors.
Because we had already begun discussing our camp goals and objectives in Seminar, Michael changed our Bell work prompt to ask us to look over our third Critical Commentaries.
Afterwards, every one of us was recognized for our strengths, which was much appreciated. Of special note was Tiarra’s recognition, which stated that she has superhuman feats of stamina.
We discussed how camp will be an environment where we can take risks without the pressure of the structure of schools, a nice way to start out working with learners.
We were reminded that our Grant Drafts are due tonight at midnight via e-mail to Michael, and our Goals and Objectives are due via Blackboard on Wed.
We when discussed Critical Commentary #3. Some thoughts from that discussion:
- We must become the change we want to see in the world, but how?
- How does understanding yourself help?
- What does it mean to be a teacher leader?
- As GRS grads we will be positioned to be radical thinkers more than many other first year teachers- Michael
- What would you do if you had a student like Miguel?
- Be the voice for change in your school. Be on a trajectory to be a teacher leader but that doesn’t men signing up for every committee and burning out. Learn to recognize what caused past burn outs. – Andrea
We split into small groups and discussed our final Critical Commentary, #4:
- It could be a danger if students mis-perceive what science is -Ceb, Jill, and Jessica
- We should ask ourselves “How applicable is this hands on inquiry task to real life? Would a scientist do this?” Tiarra
- The separation of learning content and doing inquiry is not necessary. It is important that the learners learn the topic through the process of inquiry. Science is non-linear- Eric and Ryan
- There is a difference between a lecture and a whole group discussion, a fundamental shift. – Michael
We then discussed how we can incorporate engineering practices like design into our inquiry based teaching:
- Tiarra told a story about noticing a house next to an eroding stream. The class had to consider how to prevent the house becoming in danger, and Earth Science content was needed to do this.
- Ryan suggested that students could design their own sextants to look at the moon, rather than have the teacher give them out
We discussed must-haves for inquiry based teaching:
- An optimal challenge- Ceb
- Why does what we’re doing matter outside of the classroom? Make this clear. – Eric
- Has to be complex- Ryan
- The activity has to address the content of the course- Eric
Our vegan leader then told us about a lesson he did with wasps, saying “…..cut their heads off and mash them.” This was a great inquiry-based lesson, except for that detail.
We discussed how reading scientific articles might be intimidating for some students. Some ways to handle this:
- Use a news story with more accessible language
- Bring up vocab words as they come up, rather than lecturing, then put them on a word wall
- Ceb participated in a global warming debate when he had Michael in high school. This teaches kids to have strong evidence to support claims.
We then split up into our camp teams to begin planning.
Team Purple JAR was sent to the cold room, where we almost froze to death!
When we came back together as a class, we discussed many things about camp: (sorry about all the lists!)
- Day 1 should be planned to a T before we start
- We have a shelter booked, which is the closest one to the pier
- We shouldn’t let the campers go to the bathroom alone. There are staff to take them. Or, we can build in bathroom breaks.
- Snack and lunch will be provided
- We should have a back-up plan if it thunderstorms
Each group then shared what we are thinking of investigating with our campers. Each group took a slightly different route, which is great!
Michael then gave us a tour of some of the spaces on campus we will have to use with our campers on days 3, 4 and 5:
- Rm 285. We were shown how to use the technology. If you are unfamiliar with using the touch screen, practice before you do it with campers!
- Rm 285A- the prep room- We have an incubator to do Coliscans in 24 hours, a fridge and a freezer (not for food!), dissecting scopes, hot plates, various types of probes (Vernier, Data Hub), an infrared thermometer, many other tools, and, of course, a slinky and a magic wand! If you need to learn sterile Coliscan techniques, Michael can help.
Casting a spell
- Rm 162 downstairs- There are colored rolling duffel bags for each group to use. We also have hip waders, fishing vests, and, of course, Maxi Pads.
We then walked through oddly colored underground caves……….
……and ended up in Hutchinson Hall, where we explored some science labs that we can also use with campers. These labs have: lab coats (which will help the kids feel like the real scientists that they are), safety goggles, dissecting scopes (also ask Michael for help learning these), gloves, another incubator and glass wear.
We were reminded to leave the rooms better than we found them, and to make sure to go over basic lab safety with our campers, such as wearing safety goggles, lab coats, not allowing horseplay, and asking before you touch anything. We also talked about how giving the campers a positive experience on our campus may help them feel that they belong at a college. It did for many of us!
And………last but not least………I think that Ryan is the only cohortian (not a word) to not have done the class blog yet this semester, so, Ryan, you’re up!