So, today it's in the upper 70's here; the birds are singing (I just saw two purple finches!), the flowers are flowering their hearts out, the pines are getting ready to drop yucky yellow pollen everywhere, the bugs are bugging all about... spring has really sprung. I've been trapped in the office most of the day, but am looking forward to an activity I have planned for this afternoon.
I am taking ten 8th grade science students on a Nature Amble this afternoon. I was developing my "cheat sheet" so that I had some ideas about activities we can do while on our walk, and some things I may want to focus on - just in case the amble itself doesn't prove to be educational or interesting enough. Armed with some of my own ideas, I jumped on the handy-dandy internet to gather some more tid-bits of wisdom in case I had over-looked a really fun activity. I came up with a few good ideas, including a way to trick my students into writing nature poetry (which I think could be really fun, and would be a nice thing for me to read over and maybe even use when I do PR for my program later in the month). Anyway, while I was poking around I stumbled across this "environmental education idea":
"Students visit a Web site that gives information about nature trails at Bubbly Spring State Park in Missouri. They use the information to complete an activity sheet on the fractions and their applications."
So, let me get this right... students get a WORKSHEET (tree killers), that they then can sit at a COMPUTER (using energy and increasing their carbon footprint) to LOOK UP INFORMATION (no actual thought involved here, just web-surfing) about NATURE TRAILS (hello, they are going to look at PICTURES of a NATURE trail. Wow. Doesn't THAT sound fun??!) to learn about fractions... It seems to me that they might reconsider this; and modify it in a variety of ways, the number 1 being: TAKE THE KIDS OUTSIDE!!!!!!!!!!!! Even if they can't get to the nature trails (which would be a shame), they could at least use the concepts while out in the woods behind the school, or at a neighborhood park, or at the very least, on the playground!
Anyway, when I get back from my Nature Amble, I'll update the post with photos and maybe some poetry! We'll see how it goes.