Monday, April 30, 2012
When we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo last summer, we were highly amused by the friendly beaver and stood for a long time as he swam back and forth in front of us. I marveled at his long orange teeth and flat tail and how he held his front paws in front of him, seeming to coyly show off in front of the crowd of visitors. Solana spent quite a bit of time filming these antics on my phone. (As an aside, how cool is it that the Lincoln Park Zoo is free?) I can’t say that I was ever interested in beavers before, but when we came home and I saw some books on beavers at our local library, I wanted to read more about them. I was so much more engaged having had the hands on experience of seeing one up close. It really made me experience as a reader the impact of experiential learning and background knowledge on motivation: ideally something to replicate in the classroom either through virtual learning or hands on science centers.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Root-vue Farm was a Christmas gift, but we waited until spring to plant. It's a great spring science activity: very hands on and doesn't take up a lot of space. So exciting when the plants start to grow and the roots appear! I only thought of it as a home activity, but recently at a meeting of preK-12 teachers focused on the needs of ESL students, a pre-school teacher recommended it for the classroom and it made perfect sense! It came from For Small Hands, my favorite Montessori catalogue (great for book recommendations, hands on science, etc.), but is also on Amazon.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Solana and I both enjoyed this book by Chris Van Allsburg. The story of Annie Edson Taylor, who decides to go over Niagra Falls in a barrel at age 62, is an incredible one. The story brings out how ageism kept her from achieving the fame and fortune she desired. It's also a great read for the sheer thrill in the details of the ride.