Monday, November 23, 2009

Coming Soon...

  • Leadership Team Elections November 23, 2009
  • Portfolio Showcase December 7, 2009
  • Zebrafish Reflections

Summer MUSEings...

This August a handful of Rochester Education students, former students and in-service teachers attended a week-long profesional development experience called MUSE. This collaboration between The Minnesota Science Mueseum and Winona State University took these teachers on a journey to understand the link between communication, Discourse and STEM integration. We teachers were challenged to define the nature of science, to question our beliefs about intelligence, to understand inquiry-based learning and to unpack the new science standards in an effort to find connections with other disciplines. All of this happened through authentic experiences that placed the teachers in the place of their students. We learned how to apprentice students into the different Discourses. The experiences were rich with language and tools often unfamiliar to us.

On one field trip to a highway cut on US 52, we measured the height of a columnar section called the Decorah Shelf using an inclinometer and a Jacob Staff. Few of us had ever heard of these tools let alone understood what they were used for, but by having an authentic experience we were able to understand that these tools help geologists understand changes in our area. The experience helped us to understand how the shelf is one of the ways our local drinking water is filtered and the need to preserve it. Think of the learning students could gain from such an experience! What we really took away from the experience was the need to teach students that they are the scientist, engineer, and mathematician and how to bridge those disciplines with language.
The week was filled with similar experiences that pulled in language arts, social studies and community building. I really felt connected to science in an authentic way for the first in my life. It is through these experiences that real meaning is made for students. The week was an amazing opportunity and I sincerely appreciate all involved in making it happen!
Colleen Loy

Tracy's NEA Adventure...

As member with NEA (National Education Association) and as a student within the EMSP (Education Minnesota Student Program) I had the opportunity to travel to San Diego this past Summer. It was a twelve day trip (June 26 through July 7) that helped me grow as a person and as an pre-service teacher.
The first part of the conference was the NEA Student Program session. The theme was Where in the World Are Your Core Values? At this portion we evaluated what was important to ourselves as educators. We were offered several different workshops to enhance our “toolbox” as educators. My favorite workshop was Welcome To The Jungle: Surviving Your First Year In The Classroom. The presenter offered great ideas for pre-service teachers and helped prepare us for what is to come as we start in the classroom.
Along the Student Program portion of the confrence I was able to go to Balboa Elementary school as a part out “Outreach To Teach.” Here we helped fix up the school. We painted, put bulletin boards up, did landscaping, painted murals, cleaned, and talked with teachers. Then we were invited back to see the students and talk with them about giving back to the community and how it is important to help out, without being required to do so.
At the second portion of my trip I was able to attend the NEA RA as a student delegate. Our group was at the San Diego Conference Center for the NEA RA. The atmosphere of the area was exciting and fun. Being with the National Education Association on July 4th was an amazing experience. The theme of the NEA RA this year is “Hope Starts Here.” The most inspirational part was when all of the student delegates and teachers under 30 were called up on the stage to be recognized that we are the future of education. The audience gave us a standing ovation. We sang Hero by Mariah Carey. Then we chanted “Hope Starts Here, Hope Starts Here, Hope Starts Here. It was at this point that I really realized the impact that we have upon the education system. It was a wonderful experience to spend the fourth with 10,000 educators. It gave me a sense of pride and gratitude for our country and our country’s educators.
Besides attending workshops and the RA I was able to enjoy the city of San Diego. I went to the famous San Diego Zoo, Ocean Beach, a Padres and Dodgers baseball game, lots of fun restaurants, and many different shopping areas. Overall the trip was amazing. I had a wonderful time and met many amazing people.