Final ESCI Reflection.. What did I contribute?

“I shall participate, I shall contribute, and in doing so, I will be the gainer” – Walter Annenberg

I think that through out this semester I have entered each class with this mind set.  It is my belief that I actively participated in every class whether that be in a class discussion, science experiment,or  copular learning groups.

I believe that I was able to add insight into what teaching environmental education can look like.  Drawing on my experience from my summer job as an interpreter.  As someone who is also passionate about environmental education I believe  I was able to participate whole heartedly in discussions.

I believe that my passion for inquiry and hands on learning also helped my to be engaged in class.  I believe that inquiry is a fantastic way to learn about not only science but also other subjects as well.  In this class we talked quite a bit about using inquiry and  I found all the conversations to be very interesting.

Overall, I believe that I entered the class everyday and actively participated to the best of my ability in whatever that capacity might be.  I was open to learning and sharing my experiences.

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Reflecting on group work

This semester has been filled with lessons, the biggest lesson was working on our group project.  Creating our unit was a great process and I was able to see growth in both myself and my group members.  I felt the work was divided quite equally and everyone was able to contribute equally.  We were able to work quite effectively via google docs and it was fantastic to see how technology can really help people work together while not physically meeting up.  As everyone knows education students are extremely busy and I was really impressed with how well the google doc worked and how my group members also worked.

893c2dc36bc46a07743afc32efbfe370.jpg  This unit was the unit I taught during my 3 week block and I referred to our website more then once looking for resources, especially for early finishers.  I actually included the interactive websites for students who finished their inquiry project early and they loved the websites and were able to learn from them as well.

As for my personal contribution, I included the resource list, 2 lessons, videos and some activities (experiments).  As this was the topic for my 3 week unit I did have quite a bit of prior experience and a large amount of resources.

Overall, I found my experience with my group to be a positive experience.  I enjoyed my groups
, their company and their options they shared during our group process.

ESCI Journal… Science is Cool

64ca99902dd87149bc0d84b7e93ce723.jpgI love science, I have loved science my entire life.  I am fascinated with experiments and the way nature creates rocks and leaves.  I crave understanding and always have a question about “why” something is the way it is.  But not all my students will share my love.  How do I help them see that science is cool?

Science can be an overwhelming subject, filled with definitions, theories and brand new ideas that must students will have never seen.  This complicated information is important to teach our students, but how do we make it less intimidating?

In a previous post I discussed inquiry based instruction, and how I wondered if it was the best fit for all learners.  I understand that every student will have a different learning style and I wondered if inquiry can best fit all our students.

ESCI Journal… What makes a good science teacher?

1715d7fdd303002dba5f27ad53f8d399.jpgThis class essentially is teaching us to be science educators, but what is a science educator?  What does a science educator do? What separates a science educator from any other form of educator? Do we teach science differently from how we teach other subjects?

It is often pointed out that science should be taught using inquiry.  It was said in class that “Inquiry is really the only way we should teach science.” I have thought in depth about this statement.  As an educator I love teaching with inquiry and I love participating in inquiry.  But not all learners will share my love of inquiry.  For some students this method of learning can be anxiety inducing, especially if they have no prior history with this method of learning.   Inquiry can be confusing and messy.  It is important to remember differentiated learning  and include these ways of teaching in our teaching of science.

All students will learn differently and we need to be flexible and teach to their strengths.  We teach students and we need to meet their needs.  So in closing, no I do not agree that the only way to teach science is through inquiry, I think we need to include different ways of learning, at the very least introduce the idea of inquiry slowly, so students understand the process, I love inquiry and plan to teach inquiry, but I do not plan to teach science only using inquiry.

ESCI Journal…Wascana has what?

Wascana-Park-55222.jpg        As an educator often the most complicated aspects of teaching are finding new and exciting resources to use in a classroom.  Specially finding resources related to environmental education can be difficult at times.

This presentation proved to be a great resource for me as an environmental educator.  Sarah provided a lot of great resources that I will use as a future teacher and as a current environmental educator. I had no idea Wascana offered so many programs that allow for so many great hands on experiences.

Learning in my opinion is the most meaningful when learners can connect the learning to a hands on experience.  Sarah provided tons of examples for hands on experiences that will relate well to the environmental curriculum.

 

ESCI Journal..Just how important is the curriculum?

4439dedf7cc089a2f5bda117c6a1f673.jpg  Lately we have been talking about the curriculum and the importance of understanding how to best use the curriculum.  Curriculum is a core component and as educators it is stressed to us that we need to be following curriculum when we teach.  This all sounds fine and dandy but what does following curriculum really even mean? Anyone who has spend some time reviewing curriculum knows that the document itself is a fairly wordy, complicated document.

Often when I come to a new outcome in the curriculum I have to set time aside to ‘decode’ what the outcome and indicators are asking I teach my learners.  The wording is sometimes complicated and requires me looking up words to truly understand what is expected?

Recently I have realized the great resource that the full curriculum document can be, found within this document is vital information that is awesome in understanding what is expected of us as educators.  Having the ability to see the over arching themes for a subject has proved to be helpful in planning my unit especially.

I have learned that understanding curriculum is a process and from a mistake can come a better understanding and learning opportunity.

ESCI Journal Entry.. Experiments, Experiments, Experiments

3334e66553f0abaf574a8461398c7124.jpg             I love experiments, I love hands on learning.  I find I make the most meaningful connections to the learning that is happening when I feel I have contributing to the learning process.  I love to make hypothesis’ about what I think will happen, and either see my hypothesis come true or see another result happen.

I would like to believe that most children will also find experiments engaging and make meaningful learning from what is being taught.

Over the past few classes we have done many experiments in our class.  We have learnt that styrofoam melts when combined with acetone.  We learned how land erosion happens and preventative measures that are in place to help stop erosion, as well as many other things.

With each experiment I gain a better understanding and gather new idea to take into the classroom with me.

 

Fostering Inquiry by scaffolding curiosity – ESCI

Inquiry is a new and emerging form of teaching that puts students in the drivers seat of their education.  They decide what they do and don’t want to learn.  Inquiry fosters some of the most meaningful learnings because people learn best when they find the answers to their own questions.

Inquiry in science fosters so many opportunities to establish a deepfe181c0727c9da5a1cb1f1c2e22c756f.jpger understanding of the world around us.  Inquiry can extend the learning far beyond the classroom if done properly.

Science lends itself well to inquiry because a portion of science is the scientific theory.  Scientific theory is a theory of exploration through experiments.  Inquiry also is a process of exploration through many different processes.

 

 

What’s this about Composting? ESCI Reflective Journal

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As  I entered the classroom knowing we were having a presenter talking about composting, I was filled with excitement.  I love the idea of composting and am thrilled at the idea of learning more.  I want to begin my journey in composting by first having my own verma composting bin in my apartment.  I was and still am a bit uneasy about having something that potentially could smell terrible, in a space I live in everyday.

I loved learning about the red wiggler worms and how awesome this hungry little worms are.  I found it so fascinating how easy composting can be as long as you understand the basics.

As a nature interpreter for Sask Parks I am constantly looking for new ideas I can use at the lake to help our campers lessen their footprint on our earth.  Of course we have programs like leave no trace and I talk everyday about the importance of having a healthy earth but composting seems like a really good concrete idea I can bring to the lake.  In theory it will not only help the earth and fertilize the garden I plan on planting this summer (indigenous prairie plants) but it will also reduce the amount of scented food that is going into our trash that attracts bears to the campgrounds.

I wonder.. ESCI 310 Science Journal

7630c5a1a73d760d6c7f70ae400dca83.jpgEveryday I wonder and ponder hundreds of questions in my mind. Ever since I have been a small child I constantly seek to understand, I question everything I see and I have an intense need to understand. I suppose this is partially why I chose to enter the profession of education, so that I might teach the ‘why’ to other humans.

I wonder why we as humans have chosen to ignore the science and destroy our earth in order to attempt to satisfy our materialistic wants. I wonder why some people chose to be blind to the fact that we are indeed killing our earth. I wonder why we don’t as a whole do more to protect our earth. But most prominently I wonder how I as an educator can foster a change of understanding in the generations to come. I wonder how I will teach them to see with both eyes. To understand the world from a euro western perspective but to also understand our world from a traditional indigenous perspective. How, I wonder, how will I foster an understanding of the environment that supports modern science but also respects traditional beliefs.

As I sit and wonder all of these things my desire to know ‘why’ and ‘how’ is coming to light and I feel myself already thirsting for the answers. I know that I will not be done until I understand what I need to do to teach children to wonder about how they can help our earth. This, of course will take years of listening and seeing with both eyes but this is a question I am excited to begin to learn the answers to. I wonder where my thirst to know will take me.