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Reflection and Elementary GLOBE: a cross curricular application


One of the things I do as a GLOBE partner is facilitate workshops for educators. When I facilitate a workshop for credit, I always require a short reflection. I use reflection because when teachers, like all of us, stop and think about what they learned the learning is deeper and more relevant. And, candidly, they are more likely to implement GLOBE into their classrooms.

To give participants direction in their reflecting, I use the 4 R model of reflection: review, relate, remark, revise.

- Review. Participants review and summarize one salient aspect of the workshop. Discuss one particular thing that was meaningful to you? We covered a lot: pedagogy, content, skills. You don't have to discuss all of it, just pick something that was meaningful to you.

- Relate. Participants will relate the content reviewed to their classroom practice, discussing standards, a plan for implementation, and possible modifications with their learners. What do you think you will use with your learners? How does it fit into your curriculum? What adaptations will you make?

- Remark. Participants will extend their review to remark on aspects they found particularly useful, interesting, or challenging. Remarks should include ancillary, clarifying or supportive information or perspectives. Was there something we did or discussed that impacted you in some way? Why? What else do you know about this that influences your response?

- Revise. Participants will discuss how the workshop revised an understanding or practice. Discussion should focus on the changed state of perception. Did you change the way you understood or approached a topic or practice? What was the before and after?

I don't expect reflections to include all of these "Rs". I give this framework to the workshop participants as a starting point. I find that most teachers blend the R's  in their discussion. 

In addition to evidence of participant learning, I am also looking for exemplars, reflections that show clearly and specifically how GLOBE can be implemented into instruction.

One such reflection I received recently was from 4th grade teacher, Julie Prasek. I am sharing an excerpt from her reflection, used with permission. Julie demonstrates an innovative approach, using GLOBE in her reading and math instruction. I've italicized the relevant sections. My comments are in blue. 

Attending the Basic GLOBE workshop gave me a renewed love for science. I have not taught science for several years as a homeroom teacher due to departmentalization between staff. In attending this workshop and exploring the GLOBE website there are many activities that could be used to enhance other subject areas. I enjoyed the hands on activities which all students can do and all of the activities could be modified to be used at your level. So the most meaningful item I took from this workshop is to allow students to explore, ask, share, and be part of nature.

 

I plan to incorporate the atmosphere – clouds information with my leveled reading group students. We have a unit in reading that the main story is The Man who named the Clouds, written by Julie Hannah and Joan Holub. (She found a relevant topic in her reading curriculum) I plan to do the activity on the GLOBE website called Cloud Watch. This will be easy to incorporate since I do not have science equipment in my room – preparation – none, prerequisites – none – I will not have to worry if new students have missed something they should know, and the only materials needed is printing the GLOBE cloud Chart which is easy as we have a colored printer and school. The time needed for this activity I may need to adjust since my students do leave the room for other classes but, that is an easy fix- Time Ten minutes, one to three times per day for five days; plus one-half to one class period for discussion I plan to schedule this discussion right into my reading time. This lesson also gives way to many writing ideas! They could journal and draw what they saw outside. They could also write a creative story on what is in the clouds, or what is above the clouds. (GLOBE provides students real world experiences. Student writing is better if they have a personal connection to what they are writing)

 

I plan to also use the lesson Estimating Cloud Cover: A Simulation when we work on our fraction unit. What a great way to review clouds and show how subjects can be related. (Using clouds across the curriculum helps students see that what they are learning in school has real world relevance, answering the question "why do I have to learn this".) Again, this lesson is easy to prepare which is always a plus and we get to go outside. In the spring I plan to teach the lesson Observing, Describing, and Identifying Clouds again this lesson is easy to prepare for and relate back to a topic already learned and students love going outside!

As a GLOBE professional development provider, I make it a point to stay in regular contact with the educators.  I am curious to see what Julie, and other teachers, eventually do with GLOBE. 

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