Saturday, May 26, 2007

They liked it!

On the very last day of school, with only an hour left in the school day, I pressed the all-call button in our school office and made the big announcement: Our nature study grant has been approved by the state with FULL funding!

Wow! In addition, a local lumber company has promised some free materials for the construction of the bridge and stations along our trail.

I had hoped to get up to half funding and make up the rest from local school and civic groups.

They liked it, they really liked it! (Apologies to Sally Field.)

When I first started thinking about it, the project was just a modest extention of the current little nature trail. Then as I read, talked to naturalists, professors, other teachers, my students, -- I began to realize that what I really want is more than that. We want our kids to learn more. We want them to do real science, to write from real experience, to learn to appreciate and protect resources, to use math in real situations, to read with an immediate purpose, to tie our community into the history they are studying. We have seen studies that show learning that takes place in the context of the real world around you, sticks.

So the nature trail extension became a small but necessary part of the first year of a new component of our continuing program of using the environment as an integrating context for learning.

Now I have some work cut out for me this summer as we plan the implementation of this new effort.

No comments:

Post a Comment