Some great new Nature Journaling from Sam Killion's Fredericksburg City Schools class.      "I tried out nature journaling at the end of the school year and my kids loved it.  We created simple little booklets.  The first day, we went outside and drew whatever we saw.  The next time I took the microscopes and students either could draw or use it (the next time I would want to work on translating what they saw using the microscope into the journals).  The last time we did it we talked about diagraming and students practicing diagraming something they saw in nature." Student drawings Great student work from a collaboration between an Art Teacher, Meredith Stalker, and School Librarian Megan Laskowski at Courtland Elementary in Spotsylvania county.      "Pictures from journaling Megan Laskowski and I did with third graders from our last week of school. We used one-35 minute art/library class period to introduce nature journaling and model the experience together and a


      The Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History has developed a simple field kit designed to be used with a number of the school/community activities offered by the Museum.  I bought one during a visit to the Museum, and as you can see it's fairly simple, but it includes a lot of very useful materials:      I particularly like the Explorer Journal activity card - it has the student trace a leaf, then use the magnifier to add detail.  The index card in the upper right corner is also pretty interesting.  It provides a format for a card index file (a database) of observed objects.      This could very well be a student version of the kit provided by our grant.  I've put together a few of these student kits and I could provide class sets of 5 or 6 to a few interested teachers.  Or, we could provide more kits as school sets (used by several classrooms) or library sets.        Let me know if you're interested in working with these kits - I'll be bringing a few to the June


     As we get more examples of student work I'll post the links to the materials here, on the blog.  I'll move things to the Student Work section later, but for now you'll be able to connect to everything via new posts.      We have four great examples of student work this week.  The comments before each link are from the teacher.  I've also copied an example of student work from each activity. First, from Brittany Austin, more examples of student journaling from her students at Fredericksburg Academy.      "My students have been enjoying Forest Friday all year, and they are thrilled to take a closer look at nature with the digital microscope I received during our workshop. We drew pictures of tadpoles and wrote a fact on May 13, and on May 14 we took the 4-year old class to the creek to release their pet tadpoles! The children got first-hand observations and some really neat photos with a digital microscope and redid their tadpole pictures with updated facts. On


     We will be offering several field sessions throughout the summer.  The sessions will be 1=2 hours in length and will provide grant teachers the opportunity to gain additional hands-on nature journaling practice and learn more about how the technology provided by the grant, especially the digital and stereo microscopes, might be best used in the classroom.  We also have some additional materials we will distribute during the workshops for those who can attend one of the sessions.      The first session will be held June 5, between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.  If you wish to attend this session, please e-mail George Meadows as soon as possible.  Other sessions will be held in late June, mid-July, and mid-August.


           The devices are plug and play, which means you shouldn’t need to install any new software – just plug them in a USB port and they should work.  You can download additional software if you’d like, I’ve put links for youtube videos providing how-to’s for downloading and using the specialized software for the digital microscope.  Sometimes the specialized software gives you a few more options, but if you just need the basic functions don’t worry about downloading any additional programs.      To get started (I’ve tried both devices on Windows, Macs, and Chromebooks and they all seem to work well) with the simple version: Windows - In the lower left corner of your screen there's a windows icon - if you click that you'll see all your apps.  You should see one called camera.  Click that and it will probably start your webcam.  When the webcam view comes up look on the right side for a reversal arrow (usually two arrows joined as a circle).  Click that icon and it should sw

WORKSHOP - Saturday, May 8

WORKSHOP INFORMATION      Our workshop is scheduled for this coming Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. May 8.  The workshop will be onsite at the Crow’s Nest Research Center in eastern Stafford County.  The address is 400 Marlborough Point Road.  Once you’ve turned right off Brooke Road onto Marlborough Point Road, drive about 1.5 miles and the turnoff to the Center is on the right. Follow the gravel road for a short distance till you come to the red barns on the left – parking is on the right near the Caretaker’s cottage. The workshop schedule: Watersheds and MWEE session provided by Friends of the Rappahannock – about 2 hours Working Brunch – distribute materials, discuss future work Nature Journaling introduction and practice – about 1.5 hours      The entire session will be held outside and will involve some short walks.  You’ll need to wear comfortable, foot covering walking shoes, and hats and mosquito spray are recommended.  Drinks (water, fruit juice) and snacks (energy bars) wil

Nature Journaling Video from the Clifton Institute and a free Nature Journaling book

     The Clifton Institute has a number of videos describing their approach to Nature Journaling.  You can find one with ideas for teaching students how to journal here:   This video demonstrates John Muir Law’s journaling model from his book  How To Teach Nature Journaling .  A free PDF download of this book is available here: