Blog

November 30, 2010 -December 10, 2010

Last week, on Tuesday November 30th, I was supposed to go to Windham Middle School for the weekly meeting of the ACE Action Team. However I told Lisa that I would have to leave early to get to the symposium by 4:15 and she told me that I wouldn’t have to come at all so I would be able to be at the symposium the whole time. She told me that they would be going to the computer lab to work on creating posters on recycling to put up around the school and over the blue recycling bins in classrooms. At the symposium I split my time between my poster for my internship and my poster for my EES 305 class. I admit I spent more time at my internship poster because there were two other group members who were at the EES 305 poster the whole time. I was judged by two judges. One was Bill Leahy, who is the head of the Institute for Sustainable Energy. He told me he would be sending another judge to judge my poster who wouldn’t be as biased. Later a second judge came, a woman who told me she had her master’s in education. She judged my poser and pointed out that in my title I had put “EDU 491″ instead of “EES 491″. I had not even noticed my mistake until she pointed it out and I had been talking to people about my poster for over an hour already! Overall, I think the symposium went really well and quite a few people were actually interested in my internship. I also had several interesting conversations with people about topics that had nothing to do with my internship.

I met with Laura on Wednesday to talk about what I had to do to finish up my internship and the work I had to complete. She also explained to me and provided the schedule for December 10th. The schedule is below:

9:00 – 9:35 Arrival and greetings, opening team building activities.  All students in cafeteria.
9:40 – 10:10 Key note presentation:  Jacquelynn Garafano, Ph.D. graduate student demonstrating material science and nanotechnology.  All students in cafeteria
10:15 – 10:30 Snack all students in cafeteria
10:45 – 11:45 Workshop 1 (see list below)
12:00  – 1:00 Workshop 2 (see list below)
1:00 – 1:30 Students complete debrief survey before lunch.  Lunch all students
1:30 Departure
 

I will be working with Laura and Laurel in Workshop 1 and Workshop 2. However I will be arriving at 9:30 and leaving at 1:00. I gave Laura the Ecological Unit Plan and the rough Draft of the Layered Curriculum Lesson Plan for Laurel, who was unable to make the meeting, to look over. I will be meeting with both of them on Wednesday to discuss what I gave Laura and more work that I am supposed to complete by that time,  including four PowerPoint’s and an experiment which will be used in the Layered Curriculum lesson plan.

I will be finishing up my paper for Fred this and next week and submitting it to him by the end of next week. 
Tuesday December 7 was the last time I met with the ACE Action Team and we finished up the recycling posters and printed them out but we didn’t get a chance to put them over the recycling cans. I told Lisa that I was ending my internship this semester but that I still wanted to be involved in the program at the middle school. We agreed that I would come in once a month to meet with the group, have them update me on what they are doing, and to help them with their projects. I emailed Lisa the link to sign up for the Keep Connecticut Cool Contest officially but she has yet to sign up. I also have not heard back from Ms. Roy, a science teacher at WMS who was supposed to organize having the ACE presentation at WMS which is slightly disappointing.

I met with Laurel and Laura on Wednesday December 8, and we discussed the PowerPoint’s for the layered curriculum lesson plan, the ecological footprint unit plan and adding an appendix to the paper which would include the lesson plan itself and the PowerPoint’s. We also discussed how Laurel and Laura will be reworking what I have done and the work I have completed will serve as the foundation for the final product then the actual final product that will be put online.  Laurel also expressed that I should replace the repeated use of the “explain” in the unit plan with other words to make it flow better and be more applicable. Laurel asked me how Fred was going to go about acquiring the grade and I told her I would talk to him about it. I asked him and he told me that he would get in contact with Laurel. 

On Friday, December 10, I went with Laurel and Laura to RHAMMiddle School, as I had earlier mentioned I was planning to. I arrived at about 9:10 and the students were all in the cafeteria ding ice breakers. It was very interesting watching them interact, especially since they were from three different schools. They were very relaxed and open with each other. I met Jackie Garafano who gave me her business card and told me about a presentation she is doing in January in relation to CRISP, or Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena. It sounds very interesting and definitely something I would be interested in helping her out with. She is a PhD. student at UCONN and her talk made me interested in the work she does and it seems like a very exciting field to get into. We then were directed to our room where we would be conducting our presentation. There were two groups of students from 11:45-12:45 and from 12:00-1:00. They were very interesting groups to work with, very responsive and enthusiastic. They were well-behaved which surprised me because I seem to remember 8th graders as being generally not well-behaved when in large groups. As I was watching the students, I thought, I could be an 8th grade science teacher, Which is ironic because I always was very 5th grade history oriented. They completed the ecological footprint and one student had a score as low at 0.18 worlds and the highest score was at about 10.2 worlds. They then completed the future scenario scenes for 2050 which I had created. They worked well and the students had some innovative ideas. Some ideas were more interesting than currently realistic, such as piping all our water from other planets.

Overall this internship has greatly benefited me and has been an amazing experience, giving me experiences I would otherwise not have had. It has also given me confidence in pursuing other educational opportunities.  The time I spent working on the lesson plans and the unit plan have made me realize the process which goes into creating a lesson. After creating a lesson, going into a classroom and teaching the lesson makes you also realize how creating the lesson and the content of the lesson is only dimension of teaching. This internship has also deepened my understanding of teaching science to students and the role science can have in the classroom. This internship offered me the chance to attend the CSTA conference where I met other teachers, learned methods of teaching science, and learned about the multitude of materials and opportunities available to teachers in relation to teaching science. Working with Laurel, Laura, and Fred has been an amazing experience and they have been amazing to work with. They are all very informed in their field and have expanded my knowledge in their fields of sustainable energy and education. This internship has been a great learning experience, a lot of fun, and I am very grateful I took the time to complete this internship.

 

November 16, 2010- November 23, 2010

 Last Tuesday, November 16th, Lisa told me that they were going to postpone the solar panel project and work on some smaller projects first. I showed the students the Twelve Steps to Sustainability PowerPoint from the ISE website. I changed some of the wording to make it more applicable and understandable for the students. Going through the steps, I asked them questions about how each step applied to their school. We came up with several ideas: Styrofoam trays in the cafeteria, water “abuse” by the students (i.e. plugging the water fountains so they constantly run, water fights in the bathrooms, leaving the faucets on in the bathrooms),visiting local elementary schools to teach about sustainability, and making morning announcements about sustainability related topics to the school. Lisa asked what students were interested in working on these projects and seven students said they were. Since only half of the group was there, Lisa told me she was going to show the PowerPoint to the other half on Thursday and ask what students wanted to work on these projects. She said she would have a final list next Tuesday.

Today, Tuesday November 23, 2010 there were not a lot of students at the after school program because they had left early due to the break. We ended up making wallets out of Capri Sun juice pouches. I kind of felt that we still could have done something related to the Action Team and there really weren’t that many students missing but I also think that Lisa did not want to do anything heavy right before break.

I finished my poster for the symposium and printed it out. I brought it with me to EES 305 and showed it to Dr. Loxsom. He said it was good and he liked it. We had an interesting conversation about the difference between teaching different aged students (elementary vs. middle vs. high school and older). I will attach it to the tri-fold board this weekend.

I also submitted the rough draft of my research paper to Dr. Loxsom last week.

  

November 8, 2010-November 12, 2010

 Monday November 8, 2010:
Tomorrow I am going to Windham Middle School from 3:00- 4:00 to start an ACE Action Team. I have to admit I am rather nervous. I feel as if I am completely unprepared, I am winging it, and I do not have any spiel prepared. I have never led a large group of 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th graders before. I have trouble leading groups of students’ sometimes because I get nervous. This is definitely something I need to overcome since I will be a teacher! For instance with “The Healthy Club” at Sweeney on Fridays, I will come in with a prepared “lesson” of sorts, but when I try to implement it, I always feel as if I lose track. I will have everything written out and feel confident in what I am doing yet, when I go to do it if it does not go exactly as planned, I feel as if it slowly unravels. I am not sure if I am just being supercritical of myself though, because the after school worker who helps me out is always really supportive and always says it goes really well. Once I start what I am doing I have a hard time for some reason going back and checking what I am supposed to be doing. I just want to be able to roll and almost feel as if I am “cheating” if I check my notes for my plan for the day. It always happens too that when I am in the middle of doing an activity I think of things I should have thought of and prepared beforehand. Beforehand and afterwards, I always feel as if I should have some sort of script prepared yet when I am in the middle of doing it I feel silly having a script. That is why I am nervous for tomorrow. I also feel a bit like I really have no clue what I am doing yet ISE thinks I know what I am doing, but maybe it just is not as complicated as I am making it. But I am nervous! I find though that when I am prepared for something it is a lot easier to be flexible to what happens and to have confidence in what I am doing, which makes what I am doing more of a success.

 Wednesday November 10, 2010

Yesterday went really well which was a huge relief and makes me very happy.  I talked to the students about climate change, energy and electricity sources, the differences between renewable and nonrenewable energy, and we decided our big project will be acquiring solar panels for the school. Next week we will be researching solar panels, writing a letter inviting the principal, Madeline Negron, to a presentation the students will be making that will explain their project, and creating a PowerPoint presentation they will be presenting to Madeline Negron.  I will also be showing a brief PowerPoint on the 12 Steps to a Sustainable School and helping them brainstorm some smaller projects they could work on when there are lulls in the solar panel project. I am very excited for next Tuesday. I originally was only going to be helping the students until the end of the semester, Tuesday December 14, but I think I am now going to stay with it all the way until the judging on June 1.

I ended up writing out an outline/script of what I was going to say to the students. I did not actually refer to the script at all when I was talking, but I think writing it out helped me organize my thoughts and made me less nervous. The script helped establish what I wanted to do and what I would have to say to accomplish what I wanted to do. I also had about three teachers and five other college students in the room helping me out. The teachers were amazing with helping to clarify with the students what I was saying and helping out when the discussion fell flat, to keep the discussion going. I am really grateful they were there.

I started my symposium poster and have decided I am going to use the PowerPoint poster template because I think it will be easier for me to organize it and make changes. I am actually excited to try the template because i want to see how the final result will look like. I love to try new technologies/methods of approaching something, especially if it makes doing it easier.

 Friday November 12, 2010:
I am going to see today if I can speak in person to Madeline Negron, the WMS principal, since she has not gotten back to me yet about the presentation and Rouwenna, the ACE contact, emailed me asking what was going on.

 

October 30, 2010 -November 4, 2010

 As mentioned in my last entry this past Saturday I attended the CSTA conference in Hamden, CT. It was amazing! I started off by helping Laurel at the interactive table that was set up in the cafeteria during breakfast. At this table I explained the Keep Connecticut Cool contest to anyone who was interested. While at the table, I met several interesting people. One in particular was a third grade teacher from East Lyme who invited me to come and help out in her classroom during the month of January. After breakfast there was Session A which for me was the Keep Connecticut Cool/ACE joint presentation. The ACE presenter Rouwenna Lamm blew me away with her demonstration of the presentation she gives at schools.  I was astonished that this presentation is free (http://www.acespace.org/). I contacted Lisa Jurovaty on Monday about booking the presentation at the middle school and she said to contact Madeline. I am assuming she meant Madeline Negron, the principal of the school. I then attended the keynote speaker, Jeff Winokur, who spoke about incorporating literacy into the area of science and specifically with science journals. He also talked abut incorporating science into the classroom in general and the best way to give the students a pre-scientist experience in which they are investigating and exploring and getting comfortable with the expectations in the field of science such as reflecting on results and publishing results. After the Keynote speaker I attended Session B which was also being run by Jeff Winokur. He continued his presentation and went into more depth about setting up a science notebook and encouraging investigative classroom discussions that were not dominated by the teacher, but rather prompted by the teacher with a question, then allowed the students to talk and argue among themselves. Lunch was after Session B, and I met a vice principal who was very interesting to talk to and advised me to keep up with whatever the new trend was with the students, especially in regard to technology and applications in technology. She also gave me the heads up that once I become a teacher I will not be a person and the students will not realize that I have ears which can hear everything. After lunch I briefly toured the exhibit hall and helped Laurel out with the KCC exhibit. I then attended Session C which was about seeds presented by Dr. Ralph Yulo, a professor (or past professor) at Eastern. He was an amazing presented and I learned a lot about seeds. He gave me many ideas about ways to present a topic such as seeds to students. He sent us all home with all the seeds he used in his presentation which was very nice. I finished off the day by helping out Laurel at the exhibit hall again.

On Monday, Lisa emailed me telling me she could no longer meet with me and the rest of the teachers on Tuesday but I could meet with them on Thursday. I would therefore then meet with the students on Tuesday. I did not meet with the teachers on Thursday however because the students would be there and the teachers would not be free after school.  From now on until the end of the semester, I will be meeting with the students every Tuesday from 3:00-4:00 thought and i will start next Tuesday, November 9th. i am excited and nervous. 
I met with Laura on Tuesday to go over the details of starting an ACE action team that will participate in the KCC contest. I had have several questions regarding the trip on December 10th were we will be talking to 8th graders at RHAM Middle School in Hebron. We will present the Future Scenario Sheets that I created as a take off on the Ecological Footprint lesson plan. I was wondering what exactly the set-up of the day will be like (i.e. Will we be working in classrooms, or with small groups of children?) and will be asking Laura about this. Laura said for the action team I would start with the group of 30 after school program students and allow 8-15 natural leaders come forth. On Tuesday I will be brainstorming with the kids, asking what, how, and forming goals about improving their school environmentally and ecologically. In my absentmindedness, I forgot to ask her about the December 10 event.

 
 

October 25, 2010-October 29, 2010

I am going tomorrow, Saturday October 30th to the Connecticut Science Teachers Association Education Conference from 7:30 am-3:30 pm at Hamden Middle School. I will be helping Laurel and Laura at an interactive table in the café from 7:30-8:30 to talk with people about KCC and CTEnergy Ed. From 8:30-9:30 I will be attending a presentation by the ISE and ACES (Alliance for Climate Education Assemblies, I am assuming). From 9:45-10:45, I will be listening to keynote speaker Jeff Winokur give a talk relating to science and literacy in the classroom. From 11:45-12:15 I will be attending a workshop entitled “Talk and Writing as Tools for Deepening Science Understanding in Grades 3-5 and from 12:45-2:45, I will be attending a presentation entitled “Amazing Journeys of Seeds”. I will also be helping out at the exhibit hall at the ISE table.

I am at meeting with the WMS students next Tuesday, November 2nd for the KCC team to brainstorm our goals.
I am also making my symposium poster on my internship as a whole and will be presenting what I have been doing and what I have accomplished in my internship thus far on November 30th.

  

October 18, 2010 – October 21,2010

 October 18, 2010:
I went with Laura on Monday to Windham Middle School (WMS) to present part one of the ecological footprint lesson plan to three fifth grade classes. I helped out with all three lessons, helping explain what each part meant to the students and answer any questions. I watched Laura present for the first two classes. For the third class I felt as if I was prepared to present and was familiar enough with the material. However the third class was a bit rambunctious, I got side tracked with a student who had a question which really wasn’t a question, and Laura ended up presenting the third lesson. I had trouble with classroom management and keeping the students quiet to listen to the lesson. This frustrated me because I really wanted to lead the lesson. However due to time constraints there really wasn’t time for me to wait for everyone to quiet down. Since Laura has more experience working in classrooms it made sense she would lead since she has more experience and better control over the students. This is something I will have to work, on developing classroom management tactics, as I approach a teaching career. I was disappointed that i did not get to lead any of the lessons. It was a lot of fun working with the students’ and they seemed to grasp the concept of ecological footprints. They were impressed with their results and what they implied.

During the break between two of the classes, the topic of recycling and whether WMS had single stream recycling was brought up. The teacher whose classroom we were working in, Mr. Collins said at times he janitors did not even recycle but just put the garbage and recycling together into the garbage.

October 19, 2010:

I emailed Laurel and Laura about the recycling issue Tuesday morning and Laurel suggested that I start a Keep CT Cool (KCC) Group at WMS. I would need to first find a teacher who would be willing to work with me then propose the idea it to the school.

While I was at my math tutoring class at WMS on Tuesday afternoon, I asked Ms. Jaros, the WMS math coach, if she knew anything about the recycling program at the middle school. We ended up asking the janitor who always comes by the room during our class whether WMS had single stream. he said they did not. The janitors have to separate cardboard and paper from the bottles and other recyclables.  Another tutor said that perhaps single stream was only limited to residential and not provided to big institutions such as schools. But I mentioned that Eastern dorms had single stream and the dorms surely produced more recyclable products then one middle school. The janitor also said that if there was a tissue in the recycling container it is considered contaminated recycling and all the recycling must go into the garbage. Another problem with recycling that arises is that many students will put messy things into the containers and therefore the janitor has to put plastic liners in the containers to keep them clean. He also said sometimes there is too much cardboard and it overflows the recycling container. A question that I was wondering but did not ask was what they did with the extra cardboard when it overflowed. Did they put it into the garbage? A thought that occurred to me right now is that the janitor said they usually did not unfold the boxes unless they were rather large. But if the boxes were unfolded there would be less air space and more cardboard could fit into the recycling containers. This would be especially helpful if the extra cardboard has been going into the trash.
October 20, 2010

This morning I emailed Willimantic Waste (the garbage and recycling removal company for WMS) about instituting a single stream program at a elementary/secondary schools. The following is my email and their response:

 

“From: Kehoegreen,Katie M(student) [mailto:kehoegreenka@my.easternct.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 7:52 AM
To: info
Subject: Single Stream at Schools

Dear Willimantic Waste,
My name is Katie Kehoegreen. I am an Intern at the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University. I am researching single stream recycling and how a school would go about changing to single stream. Is single stream recycling available to all schools, more specifically elementary/secondary schools, by Willimantic Waste? Is there any additional cost for changing from a regular recycling program (i.e. limited recyclables and having to sort items) to a single stream program? Would there be any additional work on the part of the janitors if such a switch occurred?  What are some of the steps and procedures that would be necessary to complete this change?
Thank you and Sincerely,
Katie Kehoegreen”
“From: John DeVivo [John.Devivo@williwaste.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 10:31 AM
To: Kehoegreen,Katie M(student)
Subject: RE: Single Stream at Schools

Katie,
Thank you for the e-mail.  Currently, WWP has some elementary schools that are single streaming the paper and other waste from the classrooms.  At this time, WWP is speaking to the schools when the current contracts are up for renewal and explaining the single stream model to the school.   If the schools choose to single stream, WWP is there to help with the transition. Most janitors will have issues that are related to how their job is done.  But these issues can be overcome through communication in the schools.
Regards,
John

John DeVivo
Willimantic Waste Paper Co., Inc.”

I forwarded this email to Laura and Laurel because it seems I would not be able to do anything with installing a single stream system while engaging the students. The issue seems to reside more with the higher offices. I mentioned however that I could still work with the students on raising of awareness about what does and does not go into the recycling bins and the condition/cleanliness of materials being put into the bin within the school. Laurel responded that i need to make sure this is the kids club. This was a good reminder. I need to not go in there bulldozing with my objectives and not allow the students to express their ideas, problems and solutions for their school to become more environmentally and ecologically friendly.  The students must be the one running the club. That way they will become more invested and interested in what they are doing.

October 20, 2010:
Sandy Jaros emailed me the name of the teacher who runs the after school science club. Her name is Lisa Jurovaty and I actually already know her because I take one of her students out for tutoring on Friday. I had Laura email her along with the rest of science teachers about the KCC contest and will also talking with her in Friday when I go in to pick up the student I tutor.

October 21. 2010:
I meant to ask Fred after class today about the symposium poster, but I was rushing to finish my English exam and did not get a chance. I need to email him to clarify what exactly I am doing my symposium project on. Perhaps I can set up a time for a brief face to face meeting next week.

 

October 12, 2010-October 13. 2010

October 12, 2010
I completed the future scenario forms adding water, shelter, and clothes. I compiled them all into one Word document, adding the fifth grade ecological footprint calculator to the bottom. I edited the Layered curriculum lesson plan and added a few more activates. I also finished editing the Too Cool for School experiment to make it appropriate for the Layered Curriculum lesson plan.  I also made a few changes to the final ecological footprint lesson plan unit.
I feel a bit lost with the layered curriculum research paper. My paper does not seem to have any real direction. I also am a bit confused as to what I should be doing for the November 30th Symposium project. I like to know ahead of time what I need to do and have it clarified so when I go to work on a project or paper the topic has already been stewing around in my head for a while.

October 13, 2010

I met with Laura and Laurel. today. Laurel went over my final draft of the ecological unit plan and had several suggestions for clarifying, editing, and improving the unit plan. She also went over the Too Cool for School Experiment. She liked how I had edited it, but believed it needed more direction. She did not like the name of the experiment as it connotes negativity towards school. She suggested the lab be made  into  a life cycle demonstration. And To prepare for the activity in Layer B, in Layer C students would complete several life cycles which would be used in the experiment. She also suggested the experiment be a whole class activity. Laura said for Monday she would have all the printouts ready and I would just need to show up at 8 at the ISE to go over to the middle school. I will be working with Laura in three science classes from 8:30-1:30 with a break in between Science B and Science C. I will be leaving at 1:30 to go to class at 2, but Laura will be staying for the fourth science class to finish presenting the lesson.  

 

September 25th to October 8th

Since I did not have a meeting with the ISE this week there is not as much to report. I mostly just continued to work on continuing to work on my climate change lesson plan and finish the future scenario sheets for the ecological footprint lesson plan. I also wrote my research project proposal, worked on my

research paper, and drafted out ideas for how I want to present my research project for the November 30th Symposium.

On October 18, 2010 I will be going into Windham Middle School with Laura and presenting Lesson One of the ecological footprint unit plan to four fifth grade classes. I am a little nervous, but I think I will do okay. Laura said she would be doing the first couple classes then once I became comfortable I will teach the second two. 

An interesting connection has developed between my internship and my ART 370 class a one month class I just started taking. The professor was talking about creating lesson plans and applying Blooms Taxonomy to the lesson plans.  It was a nice feeling to already know what Blooms is and how it can be applied to lesson plans. I will also be creating three lesson plans for this class and with the experience i have gained thus far from my internship, writing this lesson plans will be much easier.

 

September 24th – September 30th

September 24-26, 2010

I worked on the climate change lesson plan over the weekend editing the options for layers C, B, and A. I also looked up new videos and articles that could be used in Layer C. I worked on finding appropriate content (pictures, text, diagrams, ect.) for the three power points on causes of climate change, effect of climate change and for the three power points that the teachers will be using in their lectures. I found some good websites that had good content to be used in the PowerPoint’s. I think one of the websites was somehow connected to the EPA website. Unfortunately I had the links saved in a word document which has decided it is corrupt.
September 28, 2010

I typed up the Layered Curriculum Lesson Plan for Climate Change. I found videos that pertained to each of the three sections I will be focusing on for the PowerPoint’s. I also finished up the final unit plan for the ecological footprint for our meeting tomorrow.

September 29, 2010
I met with Laura and Laurel at ten. .  Laura and Laurel gave me some suggestions to improving my climate change lesson plan. We went over each layer and discussed how to some activities were better off in Layer B then in Layer C because of the depth and some were better in Layer B rather than Layer A because of the lack of depth. Laurel suggested that I limit the number of videos and games a student can do for credit in Layer C (i.e. A student can only do two assignments involving watching videos or only 20 of the 60 points can be from videos). They gave me two websites: teachertube.com and teachersdomain.org as good websites to find educationally relevant videos that are appropriate without having to search through youtube.com.
They suggested I make a PowerPoint on Spheres of Sustainability that would be used as a transitional document between Layers B and C as some of my Layer B and A work pertains to the ethical and moral responsibilities of climate change.

They said I would be working on the Keep Connecticut Cool Contest starting with going to the conference on October 30th by learning about starting a cool school when I listen to the speakers. I would then start working on that part of my internship after attending the conference

We agreed to meet in two weeks and would email each other between then to keep in touch.

.

 

September 9th to September 20th

 September 9, 2010:
I was able to catch Dr. Koirala in his office before my 8:00 class this morning and he agreed that he would look over the lesson plan next week once I completed it working on it with Laura and Laurel. I stopped by ISE at 12:15, but Laura and Laurel were away and were not to be back until one or after. I emailed them asking if we could meet on Monday between 10-2, my next available time, to go over the ecological footprint and to see if the current draft was acceptable and would work in the classroom. Laura and Laurel emailed me back with suggested changes for the lesson and lesson plan outline. I am going to make these changes, then meet with them on Monday.
September 11, 2010:
I made changes to the ecological footprint lesson plan and began writing my research paper for Dr. Loxsom on the process of putting together a layered curriculum lesson plan on climate change.
September 13, 2010:

I met with Laurel and Laura at 11 at the ISE. We discussed time limits in the classroom and the importance of keeping the lesson simple. Laurel emphasized the importance of not having too many things going on in the classroom at one time, as to not distract the students. She also explained the need to clarify assignments on the lesson plan and the need to explain activities at a fifth grade level. This was mainly in application to the activity where students would create an ecological footprint for a 10-year old living in 2050. They suggested the students could brainstorm on the idea, but not actually complete a whole other footprint due to time restrictions. They both emphasized cutting the standards used in the lesson plan down to the ones that truly apply.  One of the last suggestions they made was cutting the lesson plan into several lesson plans and making it into a unit plan which would include all the standards and all the activities in the original lesson plan. This new unit plan would be offered to the teacher as something that the ISE could continue in their classroom on other days, or that the teacher themselves could do. We agreed to meet next Monday at 10 to go over the unit plan I would create.
I emailed Dr. Koirala to let him know I was finished with the lesson plan and was ready to meet with him to discuss how to best implement the math sections in the 5th grade classroom.

September 15, 2010:
I met with Dr. Koirala at 10 am. He said the ecological footprint calculator would be able to be used by 5th graders. He emphasized negative numbers being written down as positives so the students would not get confused when adding them together. In section three of the lesson plan, he suggested students would find ten percent of their ecological footprint by removing the last number of their total number and discouraged the use of formulas which the students would find confusing. To find twenty percent, he suggested they would double the number they found for ten percent. Dr. Koirala mentioned the importance of having assessable verbs in my objectives. He suggested changing some of the wording of the objectives so they would be able to be evaluated. Specifically, he suggested changing terms such as “come to understand” to “describe” (i.e. “Students will come to understand what an ecological footprint is and what it represents” changed to “Students will describe what an ecological footprint is and what it represents”). Dr. Koirala agreed with Laurel and Laura about cutting down the standards, as typically in a lesson plan there would one, or at most two, standards from each main subject. I finished the unit plan and the four lessons in the plan. I emailed them to Laura and Laurel for comments.

September 17, 2010:
Laura and Laurel sent me the unit plan with comments to look over for Monday. Laura reminded me that the lessons were not actually lesson plans since they were not in the right format.  I changed them so they were and printed out their comments for perusal over the weekend. I found more material to use in the Climate Change lesson plan and worked on my research paper.

September 20, 2010:
I met with Laurel and Laura from 10:00 to 12:30 and we discussed the finalization of the unit plan for the ecological footprint. There were a few tweaks that needed to be made, but overall it is good to go as is. We discussed the possibility of being able to present all four of the lessons in the unit, but admitted the teacher would most likely only have time for us to do the first lesson. The teacher could then complete the other 3 on their own if they so choose. They gave me an outline I could be filled out to use while actual teaching the lesson which charts the time, the teachers activity and the students activity during that time, and materials needed for the activity. They introduced me to Bloom’s Taxonomy, which is a broader look at the concept Dr. Koirala mentioned about assessable verbs. We agreed to meet next Wednesday the 29th at 10 to finalize the ecological footprint lesson and go over what I have started working on for the climate change lesson plan.

Laurel, Me, Laura

So far, I find that the material I am working with and the work I am doing coincides really nicely with my major (elementary education) and my minor (sustainable energy). I feel that through the creation of lesson plans, I am gaining experiences which will pay dividends in the future when in the education program and when I am a teacher. When I am a teacher, this experience will help because of the in depth exposure to state and national standards from all subject areas and how to correctly apply them in a classroom setting. The creation of lesson plans is teaching me that multiple aspects, such as discipline and methods of teaching the material, must be to be included in the lesson plan. A lesson plan goes beyond just material you want the students to learn.  Working with time limits is teaching me to be critical about which material goes into the lesson and to only choose the most important activates that bring across the objectives best.  Critiques of my lesson plans now will pay dividends in the future because I will already know not the make the same mistakes (i.e. including too many standards).   Although the work is intensive and hard, I find it to be fun and intriguing to put together lesson plans and find material for use in the lesson plans.

I think I am fulfilling my duties so far in my internship. One thing that I have not started yet, and that has not been mentioned yet, but is on the course outline for my internship, is the Keep Connecticut Cool Contest. I am not sure if I am still going to be involved in this contest in any way and to what extent. I will ask Laurel on Wednesday.

 September 8, 2010

Begining My Internship

 I began my internship at the Institute of Sustainable Energy (ISE) here at Eastern on August 30, 2010. I am working under Laurel Kohl and Laura Worthington in the Educational Outreach sector of the Institute. Dr. Fred Loxsom, the endowed chair for sustainable energy studies, is the faculty director for my internship. 

August 30, 2010: On August 30th, I stopped in briefly to drop off the books Laurel lent me to read. Laurel was not in but Laura was, so I gave them to her. Laura asked me to come in on Wednesday, September 1 from 10:00 am-1:00 pm. She also asked me send them my final schedule for the fall for planning purposes to be able to arrange times with teachers at the middle school and for arranging times that I can come in to meet with them when necessary. Laura showed me the white board where they write their schedules for the upcoming weeks so I would always know in advance where they would be.

Laura mentioned she had been in contact with Fifth grade teachers at Windham Middle School who would be interested in having the ISE and me come in to their classrooms and presenting a lesson. After leaving ISE for the day, I checked the Grade 5 Connecticut Curriculum Standards for Science. There did not seem to be any standards that related to sustainability or energy. I wondered what kind of lesson plan I could develop that would work in the classroom to satisfy the teachers’ needs and work to satisfy ISE’s needs.
September 1, 2010: On September 1st, I met with Laurel. We discussed creating a lesson plan using the layered curriculum style that went along with the Grade 9 Connecticut Curriculum Standards for Science, specifically standards 9.7 through 9.9. Laurel suggested doing the lesson on climate change. She said I would not be creating all new material but would compile material from the ISE website and material I found on other websites such as www.NREL.org and www.eere.energy.gov. I would create it using the layered curriculum style therefore creating a base layer (Layer C) where students would build their knowledge on climate change, a second layer (Layer B) where there would be fun activities relating to climate change that would entice them to complete Layer C, and a final Layer A which would include open ended questions that students would have to explore and research to answer. The grades students’ receive are based on how much of each corresponding lettered layer they complete.
I asked Laurel if she had any suggestions for my research paper for Dr. Fred Loxsom. She suggested I do it on the process and creation of my layered curriculum lesson plan and have it be more of a project then just a paper. I told her I would have to check with Dr. Loxsom first. (I checked with him later and he accepted the topic).
September 2, 2010: On September 2nd, I worked on changing the ecological footprint lesson plan to a lesson pan that would work in the 5th grade classroom. I found standards not only under science standards, but also under math, social studies and reading/writing that correlated to the lesson plan to reinforce other subject areas while working in the area of science.
September 3, 2010: On September 3rd, I stopped at ISE to pick up some papers I had left behind on Wednesday. Laura told me I was adjusting the lesson plan for a 50 minute period. She expressed surprise at me needed until October 18th to prepare the Ecological Footprint Lesson Plan. I explained that it was going faster then I thought, but the extra time would allow us to meet and work out any disagreements we might have about the lesson plan and once it was finalized with Laura and Laurel, I would meet with Dr. Hari Koirala to discuss the technical application in the classroom relating to the students ability to do the math and any changes that might be needed to make it a better success in classroom application.  As I was leaving Laura asked me if I was going to attend the Connecticut Science Teachers Association Conference on October 30, 2010 and I confirmed that I was.

September 5, 2010: On September 5th I decided I will be using standards 9.8 and 9.9 for the climate Change lesson plan. I started by choosing activities for each layer. Beginning in the Workbook, I completed Key # 1-3 to help organize my desired outcomes for lesson plan and central topic for each day.
September 7, 2010: I searched for magazine articles, books, newspaper articles, videos and video clips to supplement Layer C activities for climate change lesson plan.
September 8, 2010: On September 8th, I finished the Ecological Footprint Lesson Plan and Outline and emailed them to Laura and Laurel. We are planning on meeting tomorrow at 12:15 to go over the material and smooth out any rough edges. It was also decided that I would be going into Windham Middle School on October 18th to present the lesson for three science classes with Laura.

The four books that Laurel gave me to read are:
1. Layered Curriculum by Kathie Nunley. This book explains what a layered curriculum lesson is and how to set one up. It explains grading and the benefits layered curriculums can have for use in the classroom because of the multiple types of learners in the classroom. This will also be used in creating my Grade 9 lesson plan on climate change.
2. Layered Curriculum Workbook by Kathie Nunley. This is the supplement book to the text. The work book gives examples of layered curriculum lesson plans and activities used within a layered curriculum to help you set up your own. It also gives step by step outlines how to set up a lesson plan. This will also be used in setting up my lesson plan on climate change.
3. Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel. This book describes the different way people live around the world. This book will be used to supplement the lesson plans I will be creating and the lesson plans that already exist that I will be adjusting for my own use.
4. First Days of School by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong. This book shows the practical side of being in the classroom and reaching your students in the best way possible. This book will be use as a reference for how to best bring across material and have an attitude towards students when in the classroom that will allow the most learning to occur.

[This is my first entry and on the longer side because of the explanatory nature needed.]

 
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