BY Dyan Demers
West Tisbury School
The funds from this grant will be used to purchase a classroom set of binoculars for myself and the other 4th grade teacher at West Tisbury School. I am a first year teacher so I do not have a lot of supplies. One of the most important things I would like to instill in my 4th graders is a love of nature and respect for the environment. To do this, I will be building an outdoor classroom this year. Part of this outdoor classroom environment will be having students make lots of observations, such as bird watching. This will also follow the NGSS Science standards for both Life Science and Physical Science. The Life Science standard is as follows: 4S-1 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. Students will be able to see birds in their natural habitat and make observations and drawings of them. I plan to do an entire bird unit, with students making models of different birds, fulfilling the NGSS Physical Science standard [ 3-5 ETS1-5 MA: Evaluate relevant design features that must be considered in building a model or prototype of a solution to a given design problem, and 3-5 ETS1-3: Plan and carry out tests of one or more elements of a model or prototype in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify which elements need to be improved. Apply the results of tests to redesign a model or prototype.] This will be a large unit incorporating many disciplines and binoculars would be a great asset.
How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
I will evaluate this project by monitoring student enthusiasm and excitement for our outdoor classroom, as well as the bird unit designs. I will evaluate the standards using various assessments. My goal is to have students present their bird prototypes and sketches at a parent night or even our annual STEM fair. This project will incorporate many disciplines and will hopefully be a great STEAM project.
Benefit to the students and the school
The benefit to ME will be significant as I do not have any materials because I am a new teacher. I would love to make a positive impact at this school and community and I am very excited about this project. I have a wildlife Biology background and I would love to utilize my knowledge and skills in ornithology. The benefit to the school and community will be to have students that are knowledgeable about birding and binocular use.
Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
I hope to get my outdoor classroom started ASAP and will wait for binoculars to start my bird unit. Thank you.