Plan your typical weekly schedule: A sample schedule would be 4 periods a week, in addition to our joint meetings on Monday nights:
- Monday night class, 7-8:30 pm
- Tuesday, 1 hr: Begin learning Lyrical Life Science song; begin reading LLS chapter.
- Wednesday, 1 hr: Practice LLS song; complete LLS chapter and workbook.
- Thurs (or Fri): Do a nature walk (and create an entry in your nature journal).
- Fri (or Thurs): 1 hr: Continue working in your nature journal. To do this, use resources that will vary from week to week, often including one of the following: Comstock’s Nature Study or Pond Life, writing or drawing, or anything necessary to explore something of special interest, perhaps prompted by the recent nature walk.
For each unit I’ll post on this blog a list of assignments in a lesson plan like the one above, but not everyone has to do all the assignments – what’s listed in “lesson plans” is just a guide, and you can make changes that fit your family schedule, interests and life. Don’t miss out on special opportunities that present themselves unexpectedly. No two families – and no two kids – need to do exactly the same thing. Adapt my suggestions to your own family goals for science this year. But my advice is: never omit the nature walk each week in order to complete some other assignment listed in the lesson plan!
- Reserve one class period each week for going outdoors on a nature walk.
- On weeks when there is a song to learn from Lyrical Life Science, typically allow 2 class periods per week to read the chapter and complete the workbook.
- In addition, if you begin learning the Lyrical Life Science song on Tuesdays, immediately after Monday night classes, and allow some time to listen to it and sing along with it every day, this will give you the most days to learn it before the next week’s class. Practice the LLS song whenever you get in the car to go anywhere. 🙂
- If there are two days for LLS and 1 day for a nature walk, use the remaining day for the nature journal, and for reading Comstock, Peterson, Pond Life or other resources. It’s more important to spend time on the latter than to complete the LLS chapter or workbook. Sometimes learning the song will be enough, so don’t let LLS take over the schedule and displace the other things.
Here’s what to expect on Monday nights:
- We’ll start off by singing the Lyrical Life Science song together that we’ve been working on that week (if any).
- Then we’ll proceed to a lab activity. BUT: on the first Monday each month, instead of a lab activity, kids will have the opportunity to share any entries in their nature journals that they wish to “show and tell.”
- We’ll discuss any questions that arise from the readings for the week.
The meetings will last about an hour and a half, from 7-8:30 p.m. Moms are encouraged to stay and participate, or to eavesdrop on the goings-on from the library.
Who is the teacher? Answer: this year, everyone is a teacher! Each kid and each Mom will play an active teaching role. Kids will teach some Monday nights when there are topics that excite them. Moms will need to consult with kids during the week as they complete their “assignments,” to adjust and adapt them if desired. I also thank you for organizing any field trips you wish to lead on weekends or other occasions. We’ll keep track of these, and of other opportunities, on the calendar, which can be viewed by clicking the “calendar” link in the Tags area of the right margin.
- Send me any web urls for your own blogs or websites (if you have them) and for any other favorite websites of places we might visit or that offer interesting resources. I will add them to the links in the right margin of this blog.
- Please share with me any of your favorite books, resources, stories, quotes or poems about biology and science pedagogy.
- Share your thoughts with all the other Moms and kids frequently, either by group emails or by commenting on this blog. BTW, I will not include our kids’ full names on this blog.