Labor Day is just a week away, and with it comes the traditional end of summer for many people. Once the cookouts and pool parties are over, most children will be back in school for the year, if they are not already. It can be just as difficult for teachers to get back into the swing of the school year as it is for the students, so there are a few ways to ease both yourself and your students into it.
It’s likely that your minds, and your students’, are still on the fun you had over the summer, out on the water or enjoying the outdoors in other ways. So why not think about the fun things you can do outside of the classroom this year with a field study?
There is information for more than 300 field studies in the Chesapeake Bay watershed available on Bay Backpack. From stream water quality monitoring to restoration activities, lab visits and wildlife tours, there is something available for all age groups to get a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE).
The Irvine Center in Owings Mills, Md. has information about its 2010-2011 educational programs available now here. The Center provides 10 options for field experiences for all education levels.
If you can’t get approval for a field study or it is too difficult to take your students out of the classroom, be sure to check about in-classroom opportunities as well. The Irvine Center, for example, offers Nature in the Classroom programs that might be a perfect fit in December and January during the cold winter months where getting outside can be especially difficult.
You can also schedule in-classroom presentations to students of all ages by staff currently working at the Chesapeake Bay Program. If you are interested and live in the greater DC or Baltimore areas, please contact Kristin Foringer or Lindsay Eney.
Start talking about field trips you are planning for this year now and your students will be motivated to keep going with that light at the end (or middle!) or the tunnel! Create a list of options for field studies that go along with your curriculum and then ask your students for input on where they would like to go. Getting your students involved in every aspect of the MWEE will help them realize how much of a difference they can really make!