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What’s in your students’ backyards?  On May 6, join Maine teacher John Van Dis to explore strategies for getting your students out observing their immediate environment and reflecting in journals. Inspired by David Haskell’s The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature and Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Nature Notes from their student work publication Findings from the Field, John began developing a structured approach to observing and journaling. During the workshop, we’ll look at graphic organizers and rubrics created by GMRI and discuss different ways to engage your students, whether it’s regularly observing a small circle of forest floor or embarking on 30 minute walks through their neighborhoods. This is the first session of a two-part conversation about engaging your students in their own student-focused citizen science projects.

In Part 2 (May 8), learn strategies for getting your students out asking their own nature-based questions about their communities, and then moving those into investigatable questions. It’s not always a fast process and we’ll look at ways to break this down into steps which may continue on into next year. For now, perhaps the most important aspect is getting your students out into the world observing and asking questions.

Learn more and register at