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NATURE JOURNALING IN A FIFTH GRADE CLASSROOM

  Nature Journaling in a Fifth Grade classroom             Earlier this week I was able to visit Amtulnoor Grosser’s 5 th grade classroom at Garrisonville Elementary in Stafford to talk about Nature Journaling.   It was a great visit and I really enjoyed working with her great bunch of fifth graders.   During my visit Amtulnoor and I talked about ways to introduce the topic and how it might fit in as a regular classroom activity.   Based on that discussion and my observations of the class working in the classroom and outside, here are some ideas for using Nature Journaling.     Journaling using more than one notebook. 1.   The small, 3.5 in x 5.5 in, ruled journal - this is a pocket-sized, portable journal that students can carry just about anywhere.   It’s a place for recording quick observation, questions, ideas, and very simple quick sketches. 2.   The larger, 5.5 in x 8.5 in blank page journal – this is the larger journal for drawing/sketching/mapping.   3. The single object car

REVERSED IMAGE FROM YOUR DOC CAM?

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            Some folks have noticed that, when using the OkiocamS doc cam for conferencing, what you see on your screen is reversed – a mirror image.   Most of the time this is due to a pre-set in the videoconferencing software (Zoom, for example.)   One important thing to remember is that the people you are presenting to see a normal, non-mirrored image.   It is annoying though when you are sharing documents or images and, to you , everything is reversed.   The Okiocam website provides a good explanation here: Seeing Mirrored Video? Click here – OKIOLABS (zendesk.com)   In short, the reason is: “Even though it can seem unusual and unnecessary that while video conferencing, the video in your preview window is mirrored, there is an explanation for it, and it is not a fault with your OKIOCAM. Video conferencing applications do this because, in general, it is easier to adjust your position in the frame and it is more natural to view yourself mirrored (like how your reflection look

GOOGLE 3D ANIMALS and Nature Journaling

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      Nature Journaling involves a lot of observation, and the best observation comes from looking at the actual living organism, using your eyes or a magnifier of some sort.  That's not always possible so we have to make use of pictures or video clips, not always a good substitute for the real thing.  Now, with virtual reality and augmented reality we have another option.        Google 3D provides a good, easy to use, and free introduction to this alternative.  It's available on phones and tablets, and doesn't require an app.  A good how-to can be found here .  You just google an animal (other objects are available as well), scroll till you see this link: Click the View in 3D icon and you'll see a rotatable moving image that you can resize.  You'll also see a button that says "View in your space."  Click that and you camera will open and you'll see an icon of a hand with a phone.  Point your phone at a flat, well-lit area and the animal will suddenly

JOURNAL DESIGN - Request for feedback

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     Michelle Midkiff, a fourth grade teacher at Fredericksburg Academy, came up with some ideas for  Nature Journal design.  You can click here to see a PDF version of Michelle's journal.  For printing, print 2-sided, flip on short side. It will print as a booklet, and you can just add a cover and staple together. If anyone is interested in having it for their files, Michelle will email them a publisher doc so users are able to change whatever they'd like.      She would also like to get some feedback from the group for the following questions: I am concerned that it is not the correct length. I mean, I left out so very many things I'd like to include: fact sheets, vocabulary, puzzles, etc. But would that make it a workbook and not a journal?  Maybe it should just be a load of blank pages, because this way it's too teacher-led and the students would not have as much ownership of it. Maybe it would be good for a field trip to Crow's Nest, or anywhere outdoors, so t

STUDENT FIELD KIT - Version 2

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      Thanks to everyone for the excellent suggestions and ideas regarding the student version of the Nature Journaling field kit.  We've come up with a new kit, pictured below.  I don't think it's the final version, there are still some questions about making the kit grade level appropriate - should K-2 kits use crayons rather than pencils, or designing field and tree cards for younger grades, for example.      But, for this version: replacing the paper bag with a canvas shoulder bag - thanks to Michelle Midkiff of Fredericksburg Academy for this idea adding a small canvas bag to hold pencils, crayons, ruler, magnifying glass, and cards adding crayons and tree cards for bark/leaf rubbings getting rid of the colored pencil box - the next step may be to move to bulk buying colored pencils.  Any colors that we need or don't need?  Some folks suggested more browns and greens. a 9"x12" lapboard (double-sided dry erase in this case) with a clip as a support for jou

STUDENT FIELD KIT

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      During our summer workshops, we’ve been distributing examples of a student field kit we developed for this project.  We hope to give each educator a few of these kits to try out in their classrooms so that we can get some feedback regarding the materials, how they work in the classroom, and what additional materials might be useful.  The kit includes: Magnifier Colored pencils Clear 6" ruler Pencil Notebook Field Cards Crayons, Tree Cards, blank paper for tree rubbings (Just added!) We are also considering additional items, and looking for a small canvas bag that would replace the paper lunch bag we're using now.   Any ideas, comments, or suggestions you might have as to how the kit can be best used or additional materials that might be added, would be greatly appreciated.  We're particularly interested in how the Field Cards and Tree Cards would work for nature journaling projects.

COMPLETING THE PROJECT

     The focus of this project has been Nature Journaling and how it can best be used as a technique/tool for helping students learn about nature.  The model for this approach has been the use of questioning, observing (through text, drawing, and images), and then attempting to answer some of those initial questions using what’s been learned by observing.      For the final component of this project we would like to ask you to tell us what you’ve learned about journaling over the course of this project.  An exploratory approach would be to address the following questions regarding your use of journals with your students/children: • What did we do and why? • How did it work, or not? • How could it be made better and/or more meaningful in terms of techniques, skills, materials and resources?  Some examples might be: “I would definitely spend classroom time on basic drawing skills before going outside – and here’s how I would do that….”, or “I found that having students ask question