Monday, January 14, 2008


Today all Science teachers at Chets Creek enjoyed grade specific workshops by Rick Ellenburg, the 2008 Florida Teacher of the Year. Rick is an elementary Science Resource teacher from Orlando and was actually a Kindergarten teacher for many years and has a degree in Early Childhood. Rick talked about centers that kinder teachers can use tomorrow. One of those was the "take apart center" which is a way for youngsters to practice fine motor skills by taking apart telephones, toasters, etc. He suggested cutting the cord off and then putting the appliance in a center with a few screw drivers. You might try loosening a few of the screws to get the children started. What a great idea for some of my youngsters - especially boys - who really need that extra practice!

Rick also talked about "observation centers." Normally we might include a few magnifying glasses and some shells or leaves and acorns for students to observe, but Rick includes pheasant feathers, snake skins, small eggs, rat skulls - more interesting things that children can observe. Rick also keeps small insects and objects in plastic medicine bottles that are the perfect size for little hands.
All in all, Rick believes that Science needs to be integrated into our entire day.

 The questioning that we are talking about as a reading comprehension strategy that good readers use is the same questioning that good Scientists use. We need to make that connections for our children. Science content can easily be integrated into our Language Arts work. Science and reading are intertwined as we think about nonfiction text features and comprehension strategies. Teachers need to develop a knack for asking the type of questions that lead children to think instead of simply giving them the answers. This is the same technique we use in Math - raising the level of thinking without giving away the answer. Bottom line - Science piques the interest of our young students, so let's use it!


ellenburgra said...

I looked at your blog a few months back and it gets more interesting every time I visit. Great pictures! You are too kind with your comments - I bragged on your teachers and school when I was in Ocala on Tuesday. Thanks again for a fun day!

Anonymous said...

The work shop presented by Rick was very fresh and timely. I have already implemented the take apart center in the lab. We truly are on the cutting edge.
See you in the lab.
Deb Stevens