Testimonial: Our God who can move mountains…

God has brought to mind a specific memory, repeatedly, that he calls to be shared.  It is the day that Jesus gave me a hug. It started weeks before the actual event…. In a time when euthanasia was being pushed in the medical field and legal arena in our country, I went to a seminar, back when I specialized with the elderly and those impacted by Alzheimer disease. In this seminar the speakers were pro ending the life of elderly patients in nursing homes. The social worker from our site also joined me and sat with me in the audience. She casually glanced over as I wrote notes and thoughts on the conversation. At the end of the presentation I stood up and countered with the risks and ethical implications, not religion based, very respectful. I was proud to have offered the counter aspect. It wasn’t easy and was not received well however I thought it to be my ethical responsibility to offer another perspective on a one sided seminar discussion. The next day at work I was called into the social workers office. I was reprimanded for speaking publicly at the conference in opposition to euthanasia. I was told I was “suffering from belief system syndrome” as if I had a mental illness. The social worker convinced the administration I needed additional exposure to alternative beliefs and I was required to attend an 8 hour seminar on spirituality in the health care field. Out of all the presenters that day only one was “christian” but it focused on the power of prayer as the power positivity and belief has on healing, not the power of God to heal. The others were about other religions, meditations, and controversial beliefs and practices. Driving home that day I felt I had just left a war zone and would be expected to report back “what i had learned” All the way home I spoke with God, my faith had not been shaken, I knew what i believed, I understood and accepted others have different views, but it was still upsetting realizing that I was expected not to have an open discussion and to condone all beliefs and practices, even euthanasia, in the least by simply remaining silent and that my own professional concerns and personal ethical beliefs were not respected. This was something I did not feel I should be asked to do ethically. Morality is a much deeper level, however even on the surface of professional ethics I felt this was not appropriate. As I neared my village I was no longer talking to God I was yelling. Tears streaming down my face. (I really should not have been driving at this point.) I wasn’t yelling at God. I was not angry at God. I was just hurt and wanted God to take the pain away. He spoke in soft thoughts in my mind and I snapped back. That wasn’t good enough. I needed more. I could envision Jesus in my mind sitting in the car with me. I knew God was with me and listening and I felt his love but I yelled back still…. No! I need more. I don’t want thoughts in my mind to sooth me, I do not want visions in my mind to comfort… I want a hug. I said to Jesus directly, you are God and nothing is impossible for you. I know it is not reasonable for me to expect you to appear in the flesh and give me a hug but that is what I need. I need a hug NOW. My God who can move mountains and bring nations to their knees. My God who loves me as a daughter, I needed a hug from my father. It didn’t matter how ridiculous my request sounded. I was like an inconsolable child. I was hurt. At this point I was driving into my home village. The village was empty on a Tuesday evening with everyone at supper. Then I saw them at the little church that was only occupied a few hours a week on Sunday morning and occasionally on a Wednesday evening. There was no reason for them to be there, on the sidewalk with their car doors open, about to get in and drive away, at the exact moment as I approached…. If the car had been there without seeing them, I would not have stopped, and a moment later they would have been on their way home, far outside of the village…. but there they were, on the sidewalk. I pulled over to the side of the road and literally jumped out of my car, I didn’t even have time to think about it. It was automatic. I think, by the looks on their faces I scared the dickens out of them with tears on my cheeks and stuttering as I approached them. I don’t even remember what I said but I told them I was there for hug and I got one. They offered to speak with me, they hadn’t even eaten supper yet, I tried to decline but they insisted. They had only stopped by the church on chance, a last minute thought as they were driving home, past the village church for some quick cleaning… I don’t even remember what we talked about. What I do remember is that I asked God for a miracle of a Hug that day. That is all I wanted but everything I needed and God moved a mountain just for me…..

Memo for open source online educational content contributors

 

To: Contributors to open source education

 

From: Salie Davis, open source designer for online education

 

Subject: Accessibility Design

 

Accessibility goes beyond disability; I prefer to interpret it as being based on ability. I say this because everyone has a different level of ability. When designing open source content you may not have the time or resources to design for all levels of ability possible, however designing for as much flexibility in the content plan to accommodate the widest range of abilities is good design planning.

Not all users of open source educational resources will publicly identify with having a disability, hence you may hear the terms “invisible disabilities” and “visible disabilities”.  Especially with online open source education, you may never “see” the user of the content or even have the opportunity to interact on a personal level with the content consumer. We cannot assume what will work and what will not work for any given ability based on our own presumptions by what we observe.

The best alternative that I see is to offer design choices that the student and/ or consumer of open source educational modules can adopt independently. Allow them to choose font type, contrast, color, sound options, volume, closed caption options, etc.  Although many personal computers have these functions available, designing the educational platform so that they work in conjunction with and do not interfere with these personal choices is a first and essential step.

Please educate yourself using the resource below.

Thank you,

Salie Davis

Resources

Accessibility Matters, MOOC  http://accessmooc.weebly.com/team-bios.html

 

Forest Exploration and Stewardship

gott_curriculm_2016 Click to download the curriculum PDF or see below

Amberosity Gott
Forests as Classrooms
Forest Exploration and Stewardship
Target Audience:
My target audience are students ages 4-7. This age group is in the pre-operational stage.
They are still very egocentric. Children at this age are very hands-on and need to try things out
for themselves in order to learn. They may have a short attention span if activities are not handson
or active play. Symbolic play, roleplaying or pretend play is important and generally well
received at this age. Children at the mid to later ages in this range are starting to perceive some
different between real and pretend. They may be able to make basic connections between what
they are pretending and how it relates to the real world.
I have taken the above information and my own knowledge of how my two boys (ages 4
and 2.5 years old) interact and learn to craft this lesson plan. I focused on the activities being
driven by student observations and guided by some basic questions from the teachers. I also
focused on ways to spark their interest and have them create personal connections to larger ideas
such as environmental stewardship and forest products. In my experience, children at these ages
greatly enjoy being able to share and teach the adults around them. Thus, discussions of the
lesson material that incorporates their observations will help engage students and keep them
interested. Students at this age also like to be able to pretend, explore and stay active. Activities
that promote imagination, movement and supervised exploration are ideal. This curriculum also
focuses on a lot of art-based play where students are in charge of drawing based on observations.
Applicable Learning Theories
This curriculum is designed to meet early childhood learning standards while still allowing students the flexibility to explore individual interests. It follows several of Humanism’s principles in that it allows students to explore what interests them under the facilitation of a teacher. The ongoing journal project is an example of this. Students are free to journal about what interests them in the context of the forest subject but are also guided by broad questions from the teacher. Another example of flexibility for student’s interests in this curriculum is the Environmental Stewardship 101 activity which serves as a jumping board for students to explore environmental stewardship topics that interest them. Students are challenged to choose an environmental stewardship activity that engages and inspires them and then to educate others about that activity.
This curriculum also uses principles from Constructivism. Throughout these activities students are asked to actively take their observation and new knowledge and make connections with what they already know. In several activities students are asked to connect what they are learning to their daily lives. For example, students are asked to brainstorm what forest products they already use and then bring in a forest product from home. This provides a pathway of understanding of why we need to protect forests and the important role they play in our lives using what students already know. Students are also encouraged throughout their journaling to improve, revise question and make new conclusions based on what they are learning and already know.
Learning Objectives
Creative Arts:
* (Knowledge Level) identify shapes, textures, and colors in forest objects and their own art
* (Comprehension Level) describe primarily through sketches or drawings 1-2 species they see in the forest
* (Application Level) experiment with colors, shapes, and materials to more accurately render their drawings of forest species
* (Application Level) produce sketches and drawings of forest species using a variety of art materials and accurate coloration/shape
* (Analysis Level) examine available materials on forest species and use those materials to inform their own drawings
Science:
* (Knowledge Level) describe the physical properties of forests, plants, and animals
* (Knowledge Level) describe what type of home these animals live in.
* (Knowledge Level) describe 1 rudimentary forest relationship
* (Knowledge Level) list 3 animal species that make their homes in the forest
* (Knowledge Level) identify an animal is a bird, mammal, reptile or amphibian
* (Comprehension Level) discuss why we need to protect forest habitat
* (Comprehension Level) identify 3 animal species that live in the forest from video, pictures or personal sightings
* (Comprehension Level) discuss changes that occur in the forest environment
* (Comprehension Level) explain what animals need to make a home in the forest; food, water, cover, and materials
* (Comprehension Level) describe through discussion, writing, or drawing 2-3 characteristics of a chosen species from the forest
* (Application Level) demonstrate the ability to independently observe, collect, describe and record information about forest habitat
* (Analysis Level) categorize items from the forest by color, species, shape, or other physical characteristics
* (Analysis Level) compare aspects of their lives to the lives of animals in the forest
Social Studies:
* (Knowledge Level) identify forest products outside the forest setting
* (Comprehension Level) describe 1 behavior they can do to help protect the environment
* (Comprehension Level) identify 1 career or job that is important to forest health
* (Application Level) apply knowledge of environmental practices and responsible behaviors to some aspect of their own lives
* (Analysis Level) explain how their actions contribute to forest and local ecosystem health
* (Synthesis Level) create an accurate map of a forest landscape using class observations
Learning Experiences and Instruction
Lesson One:
Stage One:
Established Goals:
Creative Arts:
– Uses different art media and materials
– Identifies shapes, textures, and colors
Science:
– Knows that plants and animals need food, sun, air and water to survive (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
– Observes and discusses changes that occur in their world [e.g., plant growth, colors of foliage, stages of living things (caterpillar/butterfly), night and day, seasons, weather, a new building in the community] (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
– Demonstrates curiosity about the natural environment (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
– Asks questions and proposes ways to answer them (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
– Shows interest in and discovers relationships and patterns (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
– Observes and describes the physical properties of objects (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
– Sorts living things by characteristics such as movement, environment or body covering (e.g., hair, feathers, scales) (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
– Develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means including observation, discussion, drawings, maps, and charts (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
– Makes generalizations or conclusions based on experiences (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
Understandings (from Bloom’s Taxonomy):
* (Knowledge Level) describe the physical properties of forests, plants, and animals
* (Knowledge Level) describe what type of home these animals live in.
* (Knowledge Level) list 3 animal species that make their homes in the forest
* (Knowledge Level) identify an animal is a bird, mammal, reptile or amphibian
* (Knowledge Level) describe 1 rudimentary forest relationship
* (Knowledge Level) identify shapes, textures, and colors in forest objects and their own art
* (Comprehension Level) describe primarily through sketches or drawings 1-2 species they see in the forest
* (Comprehension Level) identify 3 animal species that live in the forest from video, pictures or personal sightings
* (Comprehension Level) discuss changes that occur in the forest environment
* (Comprehension Level) explain what animals need to make a home in the forest; food, water, cover, and materials
* (Comprehension Level) describe through discussion, writing, or drawing 2-3 characteristics of a chosen species from the forest.
* (Application Level) demonstrate the ability to independently observe, collect, describe and record information about forest habitat
* (Application Level) experiment with colors, shapes, and materials to more accurately render their drawings of forest species
* (Application Level) produce sketches and drawings of forest species using a variety of art materials and accurate coloration/shape
* (Analysis Level) categorize items from the forest by color, species, shape, or other physical characteristics
* (Analysis Level) examine available materials on forest species and use those materials to inform their own drawings
* (Analysis Level) compare aspects of their lives to the lives of animals in the forest
Students will know…
 2-3 species that live in Maine forests and how to identify these species.
 Animals use resources from forests to make their homes.
 Animals have specific adaptations that allow them to live in different habitats.
 Animals have different characteristics that place them into the categories of mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian
Essential Questions:
 What types of animals live in a forest?
 What do animals need to live in a forest?
 What characteristics do animals that live in forests have? How do these characteristics help them survive in forests?
 What does a forest habitat look like? Where do animals live in this habitat?
Students will be able to…
 Make observations and sort objects into categories using physical characteristics
 Identify that an animal is a bird, mammal, reptile or amphibian based on clear characteristics
 Create drawings in the field that they can use to later identify the type of animal or plant seen
 Identify 2-3 forest plant or animal species based on physical characteristics; at least one of these should be a plant species
Stage 2: Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks:
– Students in the classroom or in the forest setting will be asked to list and/or identify species that are native to the Maine forest. This may take the form of on-site identification of species in the forest setting. This could also be incorporated in the classroom or forest through a scavenger hunt game where they must find and identify pictures in cases of lack of access to forest areas or bad weather.
– Students will create a journal of their experiences in the forest or discuss their experiences with a focus on; questions they have, answers to those questions based on their observations, observations of the physical properties of projects, observations of changes in the forest, drawings, and maps.
– Students will describe 1 rudimentary forest relationship in some detail (e.g. the chipmunk makes his home in the pine tree and gather pinecones from it for food) either in a class discussion or in their journal
Other Evidence:
– Students are able to make personal connections and observations about the forest
– Contributions to class discussions about animal species, habitat and forest ecosystems/communities
– Students are able to compare forest objects and species using their physical characteristics
Stage 3: Learning Plan
Field Trip: Forest Exploration for Journaling and Observations
** This activity allows teachers and students to establish a forest journal which they are strongly encouraged to continue throughout the curriculum.
 Students should understand basic forest safety rules such as staying with the group, not disturbing plants or wildlife, not approaching or feeding wildlife, and leave no trace principles.
 Students should have some introductory knowledge of forest animals, characteristics and adaptations before taking the field trip.
 Teachers should choose a list of species for students to focus on before the field trip. Students should also be encouraged to identify or study any other species of animals or plants they wish beyond this list.
Species suggestions:
 Eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
 Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus)
 White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
 Black bear (Ursus americanus)
 Northern raccoon (Procyon lotor)
 Red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
 Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus)
 American deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)
 Yellow bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
 Downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
 Hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus)
 Blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
 Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
 American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Materials and Preparation:
 Teachers will need to identify a local forest setting suitable for children to walk through. The setting should be a good representation of a Maine forest with areas suitable for children to spend time journaling. The forest should also ideally have prominent signs of animal inhabitants.
 Journaling materials (Notebook with white or lined paper, pencils, crayons, markers etc.)
 Laminated photos of animal species (in case they are not sighted)
 Appropiate outdoor wear for each child (jackets, sneakers)
 Field guides
Activity:
 Once at the site have children pair into groups of 2-3.
 Have students explore the site within preset boundaries with their groups
o Students should be looking for animals or signs of animals
o Questions to answer:
 What do animals need to survive in the forest?
 What signs do animals leave behind?
 Where would you live if you were a forest animal?
 What does a forest habitat look like? Where do animals live in this habitat?
 Have students regroup and share their observations. Discuss answers to the questions above.
 Lead a class exploration of the site. Use combination of laminated photos, signs of animals (scat, food remains, tracks, holes or burrows) and student observations to discuss each animal species, their homes and adaptations.
o Questions to answer:
 What types of adaptations does this animal need to live in this type of home? (e.g. The chipmunk has pouch cheeks to carry food to its home, the woodpeckers beak is long and pointed so it can grab bugs from the holes it pecks in trees)
 What signs does this animal leave behind?
 Ideally while still at the site assign each student an area to sit within the forest and give students 10-30 minutes (depending on age and time available) to journal their observations. Journals can include written or drawn observations, poems, drawing of species or signs of species they saw etc.…
o Assist students with writing the date, time, and weather somewhere in their journal entry
o If time is not available at the site have students complete their journals as soon as possible within the classroom.
o For very young students it may be best to have them sit as a group within the forest to journal.
Prompts for Journaling After the Field Trip and in the Classroom:
 Describe or draw a local species and their home
 Describe where and how you would live if you were a forest animal
 Provide forest objects for students to sketch in detail
 Write down questions for later exploration/study
 What is changing or has changed in the forest?
 Describe a forest relationship (e.g. the chipmunks live in the pine tree and eat the cones)
Activity: Sort and Match
 Students should have a basic knowledge of shapes and colors
 This activity can be used as an introduction to species, difference between species and observations. It can also be used after students have a working knowledge of forest species to assess their knowledge and observational abilities.
Materials and Preparation:
 Forest materials to sort and match; leaves or varying colors and species, sticks, rocks, bark etc.… Materials can be gathered by the teacher or by the students during the field trip. Be sure that gathering of materials is done in accordance with local laws, done sustainably and that they will not decompose before the activity is done (e.g. no live plants, insects etc.…)
 If students have background knowledge of some plant species this is helpful but not necessary to the activity.
 Each student or groups of students should have a clear table to sort items
 Students should also have a way to label and identify their created categories. This could be labels or bins to contain items.
 Fields guides and/or pictures of local species to aid students in sorting
 Camera to take photos if activity gets cut short or you want to have a visual reference for students later on
 Teachers can choose how difficult or easy to make the sorting based on their class (e.g. a teacher may only distribute red, yellow and green leaves to a pre-school class, while a 1st grade class may have several types of sticks that match to the species of tree leaf)
Activity:
 As a class have students make observations about the items.
o Questions to answer:
 What color is it?
 What shapes do you see?
 Do you recognize what species this is from?
 Is it hard? Soft? Rough? Smooth?
 Distribute the objects to individual students or groups. If using groups, it is advised they do not exceed 3 students.
 Give the class 10-15 minutes to sort the objects into categories. If needed assist students in labeling their categories. Allow students to use field guides and other identification materials if they like.
 Have students or groups explain to the class their categories and what characteristics they used to sort.
 If time allows, have students brainstorm other ways they could sort their objects
RESOURCES:
TV Show:‘Curious George’ “Curious George and the Dam Builders” Season 1 Ep. 15
TV Show:‘Curious George’ “Curious George and the Dam Builders” Season 1 Ep. 15
Book: ‘The Sibley Guide to Birds’ – David Allen Sibley
Book: ‘Forest Trees of Maine’ – Maine Forest Service (Available for free online in PDF format from; http://maine.gov/dacf/mfs/publications/handbooks_guides/forest_trees/index.html )
Book: ‘Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America’ – Fiona Reid
Lesson Two:
Stage One:
Established Goals:
Creative Arts:
 Uses different art media and materials
 Identifies shapes, textures, and colors
Science:
 Expands knowledge of and respect for their environment (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
 Develops growing abilities to collect, describe, and record information through a variety of means including observation, discussion, drawings, maps, and charts (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
 Demonstrates curiosity about the natural environment (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
 Observes and describes the physical properties of objects (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
Social Studies
 Understands and discusses why certain responsibilities are important (e.g., cleaning up, caring for pets) (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
 Notices and expresses interest in different careers and workers’ roles (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
 Demonstrates interest in simple maps and other visuals to describe geographic location, direction, distance, size, and shape (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
 Demonstrates awareness of the need to protect the natural environment (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
 Knows and discusses where some products come from (State of Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines)
Understandings (from Bloom’s Taxonomy):
* (Knowledge Level) identify forest products outside the forest setting
* (Comprehension Level) describe 1 behavior they can do to help protect the environment
* (Comprehension Level) identify 1 career or job that is important to forest health
* (Comprehension Level) discuss why we need to protect forest habitat
* (Application Level) apply knowledge of environmental practices and responsible behaviors to some aspect of their own lives
* (Application Level) demonstrate the ability to independently observe, collect, describe and record information about forest habitat
* (Analysis Level) explain how their actions contribute to forest and local ecosystem health
* (Synthesis Level) create a map using a variety of art materials and class observations
Students will know…
 How to make basic maps using their observations of a landscape
 How these jobs contribute to forest health
 2-3 products that come from the forest
 How their actions impact the environment in the areas of recycling, energy usage, water usage and stewardship
Essential Questions:
 What jobs do people have taking care of or managing forests?
 How do these jobs help keep the forest healthy?
 How can maps help us study forests?
 What do we use that comes from the forest?
Students will be able to…
 Identify 2-3 forest products and discuss how they are obtained or used
 Help design simple maps based on places they have explored or are exploring and are able to use these maps with adult assistance to navigate
 Identify 1 career or job that is important to forest health (park ranger, firefighter, biologist, logger etc.…)
 Identify forest products outside the forest setting (e.g. The Christmas tree in my home comes from the forest)
 Describe 1 behavior they can do to help protect the environment and shows follow-through in doing this behavior (e.g. turning off the light if no one is in the room)
Stage 2: Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks:
– Students will choose an environmentally conscientious behavior to implement in their daily lives. They will create a visual explanation of that activity and explain it to the
class/their parents. E.G. turning off the lights when they leave the room, turning off the water when they are brushing their teeth, taking showers instead of baths, recycling their homework etc.…
– Students will create a journal of their experiences in the forest or discuss their experiences with a focus on; questions they have, answers to those questions based on their observations, observations of how the forest is affect by humans, questions/observations about forest careers, drawings, and maps.
– Students will work together to design and create a map of a local forest area they visit. This could be located and include an urban area. Students will further use this map to discuss human impacts on forests. (e.g. There is a river next to the road where we saw a lot of trash, that could hurt animals that live there).
Other Evidence:
– Students are able to make personal connections and observations about the forest
– Contributions to class discussions about forest health, forest careers, and environmental stewardship
– Students are able to make connections between items in their home, classroom, town and where they came from in the forest (e.g. I have a wooden train track at home. The wood comes from trees in the forest)
Stage 3: Learning Plan
Activity: Mapping our Forest
** This activity should take place after “Forest Exploration for Journaling and Observations” or ideally a separate field trip should be made to the forest setting.
 Students should have sketches, notes, and observations about their forest setting that will aid them in creating a map
 Students should complete this activity as soon as possible after the field trip to allow for accuracy and/or should make multiple trips to the area to improve and revise their map
 For younger grades (Pre-k and Kindergarten) you can have them assist in designing a basic map or have them draw their own maps and then lead an expedition using their maps on the forest site.
Materials and Preparation:
 Students forest journals from “Forest Exploration for Journaling and Observations”
 Field Guides
 Large piece of paper (May be ideal to mount this on cardboard to allow for mobility and for it to be positioned where everyone in the class can see)
 Art materials for creating the map (crayons, pens, markers, scissors, erasers, paint etc.…)
Activity:
 Have students use their on-site observations to draw rough sketches of a map of the forest area in their journals
 Identify a landmark that students are familiar with and start drawing the map there. It is best to draw a class rough draft on a whiteboard so that edits can easily be made. Have students assist in identifying other landmarks and placing them in the correct areas.
 Once a class rough draft is complete assign each student a landmark or area to work on. (e.g. One student gets the school, another gets a large oak tree with bird nest, another gets the vernal pool). Students should design a drawing or marker that represents their assigned landmark for the map.
 Have students help place their landmarks on the larger map following the draft created earlier.
 If time allows you can have students revise their map after visits to the site, or have them go on an expedition using their map to find a marker you place.
Activity: Humans and Forests: Jobs
 Students should have some basic knowledge of the forest and visited their forest site at least once before this activity.
 Students should be introduced to the idea of forest products before this activity
 Journals are again a useful tool for this activity as students can keep track of ideas, questions or observations about forest careers
 Teachers will need to find and contact those who work in the local forests; Ideally you will be able to set up a classroom or site visit with 2-3 that represent different forest careers.
o Park rangers (National or State)
o Game Wardens
o Biologists
o Firefighters
o Search and Rescue
o Loggers
o Trail crews
o Urban park or forest managers
o Other forest product harvesters (mushrooms, balsam fir tips, flowers, herbs etc.)
Materials and Preparation:
 Dates and times set up with 2-3 speakers with time for students to ask questions
 Supplementary materials for those careers you are unable to get a speaker to represent but still are of interest; videos, pictures, books, props etc.…
 Students forest journals from “Forest Exploration for Journaling and Observations”
 Materials for journaling (pens, markers, crayons etc.…)
Activity:
 Before students meet the speakers have them discuss as a class and/or brainstorm in their journals different forest related jobs.
 Brainstorm as a class forest products and how they relate to student’s daily lives
 Have students bring in one forest product from their home and share where it comes from and what humans use it for
 Have students listen to/visit speakers and encourage questions related to their careers.
 After students listen to each speaker give them time to journal
o What did you find interesting about this job?
o How does this person help the forest? How do they help us?
o What forests products does this person protect or harvest?
 If necessary, introduce supplementary materials on other forest careers to students
 OPTIONAL FOR OLDER STUDENTS: Have students choose one forest career and one forest product that are related. Ask them to spend 30 minutes designing an 8”x11” poster that shows the relationship between this job and the forest product. (e.g. a student may show a trail crew building a trail and then happy hikers hiking it)
Activity: Environmental Stewardship 101
 Students should have some basic knowledge of the forest and visited their forest site at least once before this activity.
 Students should be introduced to the idea of forest products before this activity
 Journals are again a useful tool for this activity as students can keep track of ideas, questions or observations.
 Check with administration about making conservation signs for other parts of the school
 This activity can prequel students independent research into aspect of environmental stewardship
Materials and Preparation:
 Some materials from the resources listed below for students to explore
 A 30-minute TV Show that explains environmental stewardship in an age-appropriate way
 Various cleaned items that can be recycled (tin cans, plastic bags, bottles, cardboard, paper). Best to avoid anything that can decompose but composting can be discussed in addition to this lesson.
 Paper and art materials
 Whiteboard for brainstorming student ideas for energy/water conservation, recycling and other environmentally friendly activities
 Teachers may choose to show a single show or may break up the topics into separate days each with their own relevant video
Activity:
 To introduce this lesson, a kid-friendly video on environmental stewardship should be shown. Some options are listed in resources.
 After the video lead a class discussion
o What do we mean by “recycling”?
o What happens when something is recycled?
o Why do we want to conserve water/energy?
o How does conserving resources help the forest?
 Introduce and explain the slogan “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” (See the book resource “I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle”)
 Have students brainstorm simple things they can do to help the environment by reducing, reusing or recycling
 Have each student pick an activity they would like to commit to doing for a week or choose an activity as a class to do together
 Have each student draw a poster or sign that they can use at home to help them remember their chosen activity
 Check in with students and remind them to follow through with their activity
 If possible, have students help make signs for the school to promote one conservation activity (e.g. “Last One Out, Lights Out” signs for classrooms etc…)
RESOURCES:
TV Show: ‘The Magic School Bus’ – “Wet All Over” Season 2 Episode 206
TV Show: ‘The Magic School Bus’ – “Family Holiday Special” Season 3 Episode 313
TV Show: ‘Sid the Science Kid’ – “Where Did the Water Go?” Season 2 Episode 51
TV Show: ‘Sid the Science Kid’ – “Clean Air!” Season 2 Episode 52
TV Show: ‘Sid the Science Kid’ – “Reused Robot” Season 2 Episode 53
TV Show: ‘Sid the Science Kid’ – “Save the Stump” Season 2 Episode 54
TV Show: ‘Sid the Science Kid’ – “Let There Be Light” Season 2 Episode 55
TV Show: ‘Curious George’ “Curious George Takes a Hike” Season 2 Ep. 10
TV Show: ‘Curious George’ “Everything Old Is New Again” Season 3 Ep. 7
TV Show: ‘Curious George’ “Follow That Boat” Season 5 Ep. 9
TV Show: ‘Curious George’ “Maple Monkey Madness” Season 6 Ep. 7
TV Show: ‘Curious George’ “Junky Monkey” Season 6 Ep. 10
Book: ‘The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling (Little Green Books)’ – Alison Inches
Book: ‘The Adventures of an Aluminum Can: A Story About Recycling (Little Green Books)’ – Alison Inches
Book: ‘I Can Save the Earth!: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (Little Green Books)’ – Alison Inches
Graphic Organizer
Establishing a Forest Site and Journal
Lesson One
 Field Trip: Forest Exploration for Journaling and Observations
Exploring Forest and Species
 Optional Secondary Field Trip
Lesson One
 Sort and Match
Lesson Two
 Mapping Our Forest
 Continue Journal
Beyond the Forests
Lesson Two
 Humans and Forests: Jobs
 Environmental Stewardship 101
 Continue Journal
Continued Explorations and Study
Based on student interests and time, study based on student’s interests could continue beyond these lessons

Creation of a picture book lesson plan with; PDF format, power point, spreadsheet, and word document resources, as well as three video resources.

The above video gives an overview for teachers and parents

This is the story book read by the author for younger children

This is just the pages to be paused and read individually

Gods little story book about art creation teachers edition in PowerPoint 

You may adapt the PowerPoint for your own use but may not distribute any adapted information without written  consent from the author and you must give proper credit to the author

final project creation picture book lesson plan word document Salie Davis

You may adapt the document for your own use but may not distribute any adapted information without written  consent from the author and you must give proper credit to the author

gods little story book about art creation student edition in PDF

You may adapt the PDF for your own use but may not distribute any adapted information without written  consent from the author and you must give proper credit to the author

Gods little story book about art creation student edition in PowerPoint

You may adapt the PowerPoint for your own use but may not distribute any adapted information without written  consent from the author and you must give proper credit to the author

Gods little story book about art creation teachers edition in PDFfinal-project-creation-picture-book-lesson-plan-salie-davis

You may adapt the PDF for your own use but may not distribute any adapted information without written  consent from the author and you must give proper credit to the author

grading sheet for the picture book in spreadsheet format

You may adapt the grading sheet for your own use but may not distribute any adapted information without written  consent from the author and you must give proper credit to the author

Literacy Guide

INTRODUCTION TO LITERACY:

Transliteracy overcomes the debate around traditional literacy versus digital literacy to include all communication types. “Several competing concepts of literacy have emerged including digital literacy, media literacy, visual literacy, and information technology fluency, but there is a need for a comprehensive framework based on essential information proficiencies and knowledge. New media literacy and transliteracy have also responded to the rapid and ongoing changes in technology. As part of a metaliteracy reframing, we argue that producing and sharing information are critical activities in participatory Web 2.0 environments” ( Mackey and Jacobson, P. 1) Whether you use the terms transliteracy, information literacy, media literacy, digital literacy, or metaliteracy; the terminology seems burgeoning but the concepts are the same. We need to be a literate society in whatever communication device we are using.  One thing that has changed in our culture is that in education it is no long “answer the question” it is now “question the answer”!  The challenge exists now for educators on what forms of literacy to focus on in order for students to know how to use the tools in order to aquire the knowledge they need for any specified subject. Literacy is not about just reading and writing anymore. Listed below are important literacies for middle school students.

TRADITIONAL LITERACY:

Traditional Literacy is reading and writing.  By middle school this is a case by case issue, however reading and writing in the digital age is less centered on paper bound books or pencil/pen and paper.

INFORMATION LITERACY:

Typing and Text Creation

Being able to type proficiently on a keyboard is essential. Even keyboards however are becoming outdated. Students should also be aware of touch screens, and know how to access various digital menus in order to navigate different forms of text production in the digital age. Document creation in various formats and with various programs will be needed. Examples of this are the difference between using notes programs and document programs regarding formatting options. The basics of formatting and saving a document are sufficient at this level.

Visual and Audial Creation

Being able to create presentations using audio and visual applications are important. This may be as simple as using a devices microphone to create an audio file, slide presentation programs or webcams for videos.

Tool Literacy

One example of tools is the calculator. Calculators come in many forms in our digital culture and are more often found on computer screens, tablet screens and phones. Unless students are in an educational or business setting hand held devices dedicated solely to calculations are not used.  A basic understanding of spreadsheet operations, gathering and measuring data, graphs, charts, and formulas for creating graphing visuals is also important. Beyond just saving information in files on a computer, students must be able to know how to capture information that is not downloadable. An example of this is a snipping tool, or screen capture video program. Because tools are always changing I won’t try to create an all-inclusive list here.

Accessing Digital Data

Effective search methods on digital devices will need to be taught. This not only includes how to access text online or on devices, or web pages, but also visual and audio access. Students need to know how to access, podcasts, informational videos, and how to navigate them on various devices.

Navigation

Knowing how to access and navigate EBooks, educational websites, online libraries and databases will be important for students when reading and researching text in the digital age. Adaptions for audio presentation, enlarging text on the screen and other accessibility options is also beneficial to address.

Evaluating digital data

Evaluation of websites and digital information is crucial for students to determine the difference between factual information, scientific theory, opinion, propaganda, and falsehood.

Citing Sources and understanding copyright

Knowing where to find citation information and accepted forms for citation is helpful for students in the evaluation of material, and presentation of research. Understanding copyrights and creative commons is beneficial well collecting, presenting and sharing digital data.

Collaboration

Collaboration tools like online documents, chat boards, video or telephonic conferencing, mind maps and other cooperative tools can be introduced with the benefits of education and future work or interest collaboration as examples.

Safety Online

Being able to identify and protect one’s self against phishing activities, bulling, and information theft and privacy issues online is essential.

Netiquette

Online communication rules and cultural norms for politeness and appropriate behavior should be taught and enforced.

Culture: Media Convergence and Networked Participation

Culture: Media Convergence and Networked Participation

Salie Davis

I have a particular interest in open source and creative commons licensing. The book, Culture: Media Convergence and Networked Participation talks about the term “Publics” as being a shared culture. This culture operates outside of economics. The current capitalistic culture, once based on rewards and economic gain through contribution and hard work, has disintegrated from a three class step society, two a two class have and have nots of varying degrees.  With the increased technology making participation more accessible, the lower classes struggle against economic barriers by attempting to educate and assist the common culture through these technologies.  “Publics can be reactors, (re)makers and (re)distributors, engaging in shared culture and knowledge through discourse and social exchange as well as through acts of media reception” (Varnelis, 2012, Pg. 3) This works in today’s culture due to the ability to pool from a larger geography of participants.

With technology advancement, much like the evolution of the printing press and eventual media industry, Governments and top level economic status, work to create structural barriers to limit the commons exchange of thoughts and ideas in order to maintain control over the populations. One example of this is the limit on cross border internet communications. This is not only through country barriers but even region barriers within countries. For example the United States has the New England region and the South Eastern, etc.  This means when shopping online the individual is limited to options by region which essentially limits the individuals’ choices.

According to the text however, “Yochai Benkler sees these decentralized networks of communication and exchange as major catalysts of the shift to a networked information economy that is displacing the industrial information economy” (Varnelis, 2012, Pg. 8) This proposal suggests that nonmarket devices will increase through the advancement of media convergence and networked participation. Michael Bauwens also theorizes that human network- based organization may result in individuals “…engaged in the production of common resources, without recourse to monetary compensation as key motivating factor, and not organized according to hierarchical methods of command and control” (Varnelis, 2012, Pg. 8). This is explained as the networked information economy of which the costs for producing creative applications can be shared over the public space between like-minded participants who can forgo the price system in order to creatively combine their interests to create projects. This results in “…nonmarket sector of information, knowledge, and cultural production…” (Varnelis, 2012, Pg. 8).

This book does well to incorporate several different possible theories of future change based on the increase of networked participation such as the theories of Bauwens who describes this network as a person to person (P2P) interaction increasing significant social, economic and political exchanges between individuals that would not normally take place. In the same text it is also pointed out that human nature seeks like minds, therefor there is a debate that exists as to whether this P2P interaction truly initiates change or whether it just reinforces currently held beliefs through the increased access to assemble with like minds.

Varnelis keeps the discussion well rounded through the analysis of several different opinions such as Garret Hardin’s “The Tragedy of the Commons,” that considers the norm of the public realm to be individualistic and self-serving, therefor the commons is an unrealistic ideal that cannot come to full fruition or the opinions of Jane Jacobs who states her theories that the public sphere is only minimally social in nature. (Varnelis, 2012, Pg. 45). The conclusion that I am able to most relate to is … ” persistent predictions of imminent doom for established content industries, together with fears of corporate litigation and monopolistic forces squelching the emerging common culture, indicate that the future of public culture is still very much up for grabs” (Varnelis, 2012, Pg. 49). Therefore, the uncertainty and various possible future outcomes that exist as institutional and professional authorities are challenged by networked participation in the social, cultural and political realms. One example of this is the fact that P2P and creative commons sharing “…is new legislation by existing media conglomerates aiming to extend the scope of their copyright and prevent the creation of derivative work” (Varnelis, 2012, Pg. 158). It seems only through active participation can we take an active role in determining the final outcome.

References
Varnelis, K. (2012). Networked Publics. Cambridge, US: The MIT Press. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com.library.esc.edu

Educating Youth Via Video

At the Empire State College All College Conference I was fortunate to take the seminar, “Getting to Project Completion”. I was inspired by these concepts and how they aligned with my educational goals to teach project based or goal orientated learning. For adults the concepts and steps that must be learned can be more easily processed when presented via text or lecture than if presented in the same means to a young child.

I also took the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test in preparation for the seminar “Understanding your personality and how to work with others” Personality types is beneficial to understand when trying to reach a specific learner. Extroversion, introversion, sensing, intuition, thinking, feeling, judging, or perception concerning learning styles can easily be misinterpreted or seen as one being less desirable than the other. In the seminar we were inspired to see the knowledge of personality, or in this application, learning styles, as a tool in development and improvement.

I can imagine my daughter attending the seminar, distracted and unimpressed. Even with encouragement she would not have been able to absorb or retain the information presented. For young children this concept is much more complex and they do not have the prior learning or experience to help reinforce their understanding of these concepts. Finding visual ways to assist in elementary learning has been a studied and proven technique that improves the success rate in the retention of the knowledge presented. Finding ways to connect this knowledge to a child’s experiences and reinforce the learning through repetition to establish long term memory and retention of learning.

Understanding how short term memory evolves into long term memory is beneficial in designing repeated concepts that reinforce effective learning. To transition a new concept into learning the learning module can attach the new knowledge to what is already known creating associations. Through the process of repeat associations and stimulus through sensory registers long term memory is accessed and expanded on

In designing learning modules for youth, in addition to declarative knowledge, which can be accomplished through basic patterns and concepts such as math, procedural knowledge will help the student learn how to apply knowledge to specific tasks. Creating a teaching module that focuses on how to create a goal, for example and how to achieve that goal is project based learning.

Visual learning is considered the most effective means of learning and creating video presentations helps connect the visual with the verbal sensory inputs. Studies have been done with elementary level learners and can be used to help even young learners self-regulate. The video can go through several basic examples using everyday activities as the goal example.  The example video, rather than simply creating a lecture video is a proven successful tool in fostering an open learning environment. Incorporating incentives was also seen as a productive means to reinforce open education.

The learning module can be most effective when it takes the new concepts and connects them to concepts already learned. Creating a goal for a project involves many steps; thinking about why the project is important, helping the learner consider why they should care about the project, what steps are needed to complete the project, and what the project will accomplish.

For younger students to get them used to the new cognitive process of the steps needed for project planning and completion we can engage sensory registers and reinforce the new concept. This new concept begins as a short term memory item. By connecting the abstract concepts of setting a goal to concrete examples we connect the new concept to long term memory associations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Fößl, T. t., Ebner, M. m., Schön, S. s., & Holzinger, A. a. (2016). A Field Study of a Video Supported Seamless-Learning-Setting with Elementary Learners. Journal Of Educational Technology & Society, 19(1), 321-336.

ÖZDEMIR, M. m., & YILDIZ, A. a. (2015). THE EFFECT OF EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS PRESENTED IN TWO DIFFERENT CONTENT STREAM ON MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVEMENT OF STUDENTS WITH VISUAL LEARNING STYLES. (English). Journal Of Theory & Practice In Education (JTPE), 11(1), 104-124.

Sultana, N., Kubra, B., & Khan, U. A. (2015). EFFECT OF VISUAL STYLE-BASED INSTRUCTION ON LEARNERS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AT ELEMENTARY LEVEL. Gomal University Journal Of Research, 31(2), 146-155.

Achieving Your Goal – for children

https://www.mindmeister.com/maps/public_map_shell/797781992/achieving-your-goal-for-children?width=600&height=400&z=auto&presentation=1

Here is a relevant blog post concerning Goal driven learning

Identifying the Goal

These are the steps you would first repeat to the child, then as the child becomes familiar with them you would prompt, “What is the next step?” We will use a cooking example here. Remember to have the child state, “what is my goal.” instead of simply “bake a cake.”

Ask Questions

When identifying a goal it will be important to ask you student questions to challenge the motivation behind their desire to accomplish the goal.

Why

Why is the project based goal being done? In our cooking example it may be. ”

“So I can bake a cake.”

Why is it important?

“It will be my sisters birthday tomorrow.”

Why should people care?

“Everyone will share in the joy and reward of eating a cake made by me for my sister.”

What

What is the Goal? (what you want to achieve)

“to learn to cook a cake.”

Remember to delve deeper in the thought process, I.E. “What are the objectives to the goal?

“To complete the cake in time for my sisters birthday party.”

“what are the challenges or resistance that might be faced?

I have never cooked a cake before.”

What needs to happen and when?

“Read the recipe, gather the ingredients, mix the ingredients, follow the steps, bake the cake, decorate the cake, and eat the cake.”

Who

Who is involved?

“Me My Mom, My Dad, and My sister.”

When

When does this need to be accomplished?

“This afternoon, before tomorrow.”

Where

Identify where the task will take place. “in the kitchen”

How

Make a list of the steps that will be needed to accomplish the goal.

Dream or Goal

step one: Identify the Goal

What is the goal specifically?  An example would be Bake a Cake. Naming the goal helps solidify the commitment to accomplishing the goal.

Step two: Establish a Goal Time Frame.

Is this a long term goal or a short term goal? Create a set time frame for completion, while allowing for some flexibility for learning. In our example the time frame would be 3 hours of instruction time and preparation/ cooking time. This gives ample time for novice students.

Step three. Identify participants in the goal and roles

Who will participate in the accomplishment of this goal?

“Myself, my parents, and my sister”

What will the roles be for those involved?

Mom is the leader. She will instruct and Guide. I will complete the tasks. Dad will evaluate the success of the outcome. My sister will experience a birthday surprise.”

Step Four. List tools and resources needed for the goal.

In the cooking example a list can be created and gathered.

All cooking utensils and equipment needed.

Stove, pots, pot holders, spatulas, bowls, etc.

All food items needed according to the recipe.

Eggs, Milk, flour, coco powder, etc.

Step five. Complete the goal through an activity based lesson.

Help the student achieve their goal through solid goal setting, preparation and guidance through the activity.

Lesson plan preparation

Prior to beginning the task discuss all the steps.

Demonstrate the task either  in person, or via video. Allow the student to ask questions and address concerns before beginning the project.

Prepare the student


Before each goal is decided review goal setting steps through video, charts,, discussions, or other venues.

Before each activity

Review goal setting steps through videos, charts, discussions or other venue.

ChartSMART Smart Goal Setting

ChecklistSMART Smart Goal Setting

Lesson Plan Objectives

When teaching goal setting to children the objective is not simply to teach them how to accomplish the named task. The objective is to teach them the steps for goal setting and goal accomplishment through activity based learning. Hence by naming the steps each time and having the children learn the steps, they are learning how to accomplish any goal.

Methods of evaluation

Self evaluation

Self evaluation: Ask the student to self evaluate.

Did you start on time?

Did you end on time?

Was the project to big, to hard??

Was it to small, to easy?

What did you enjoy?

What steps were you challenged by?

What would you do again?

What would you do differently?

Observational evaluation

Mentor, parent or teacher led observation based on the outcome criteria.

Badging will be awarded by the instructor for learning goal setting.

Peer Evaluation

Peer evaluation based on the goals outcome and/or set feedback guidelines. Peer badges can be awarded for specific goals if done with a larger group of peers through the voting process.

New Guidelines for Screen time for Children from the American Academy of Pediatrics