First Thoughts on From Learning to Research project & summer institute

This is my first blog ever, not just my first blog for L2R. I must confess that I feel like my students must when asked to do something publicly that they are not quite sure they have mastered. It's not an altogether comfortable feeling, really--a little "first day of a new school" plus "what if I fall flat on my face?" In any case, one of my biggest goals for this project is to immerse myself in new-to-me skills so that I can bring them to my classroom. If I don't try things out myself, I am much less likely to ask my students to do it.

I am really quite excited about L2R. My little charter school is grounded in project- and place-based learning and I see L2R as a way to amp up our units a notch or two or ten. I know my students will be enthusiastic about working with both real, live scientists (as opposed to the long dead variety) and other students in different parts of the country. Even as we situate our project along the river that flows through our tiny city of Keene, New Hampshire, they will be able to compare their work with that of others working in their own diverse communities. How exciting is that? They will learn that reading about another part of the globe in a book or on a website or by watching a video is one thing; speaking to and sharing data with folks who live in that other part of the globe is quite another.

This past year, my 7th and 8th graders used many of the GLOBECarbonCycle activities to begin their learning about climate change. Those activities provided nice structure for our study, especially since most of my students knew little about the carbon cycle itself and carbon's role in climate change. I hope to learn even more so that I can build on what we learned last year and support my students in even deeper learning this year!

I'm looking forward to the start of our adventure next week!