Although camp officially started last Thursday, today was the first day we really spent time with the students on our project. We headed back to Burnap’s farm to get some soil samples, get some aerial pictures, and learn about farming from the farmers themselves!
We avoided the rain, I think the students learned a bit, and I learned a whole lot! Most importantly, we made some great connections with the students.
Our plan was to break up into three smaller groups and rotate through three different sites on the farm. Two of the sites were fields from which we had collected strawberries during out last visit, and the third site was in the parking lot! At each site we made observations about the time of day, weather, and soil before we took soil samples to be analyzed later. We also had a chance to fly a GoPro several feet up into the air using a weather balloon and take some aerial photographs of each site. Tomorrow, we get to analyze all the soil and see if we detect any differences between the sites!
I have learned a great deal about teaching so far. Although this is summer camp and doesn’t need to adhere to any official standards, we are creating lesson plans for each day of camp. These haven’t included all the details that formal lesson plans will, but we have gotten a good introduction into the structure of a lesson plan and what types of things we need to consider during out planning. In addition, we are working with experienced teachers from Sodus middle school and high school. Not only do they know the kids and the area, but they model good teaching practice throughout our lessons. Today I learned some strategies for making sure students were listening and respecting each other when they were talking. In addition, I learned how to work with students when they are collecting data and to hold them accountable for completing their tasks. I look forward to implementing these strategies tomorrow and learning some new ones too!