When you hear the word fossils, more than likely the first thing that comes to mind are bones. Well the 3rd grade students at Bolivar-Richburg learned that there are much more to fossils than just bones. During this Environmental Science program, the students discovered the true challenges that paleontologist face in trying to search and recover these remnants. The students were able to get their hands on some tools that these scientists use. One tool that was used during the program was a toothpick and the material included a “stone” (chocolate chip cookie) that has “fossils” (chocolate chips). They used the toothpick to carefully dig out the “fossils” in the “stone”. Once finished, we had a discussion on some of the challenges that paleontologists face.
In addition to digging out fossils with special tools, the students also were able to investigate and examine different types of fossils with a magnify lens. The items vary from squid shells to petrified wood to shark’s teeth. As they investigated, we discussed the process in which remains go through to make that change from their current material to a stone fossil.
Lastly, the students were able to take clay, form it into a stone shape and take shells to make imprints of fossils in their newly formed stone. After their stone fossils were created, they were able to take them home and let them sit to harden.
This is just one of the many Environmental Science programs that CA BOCES has to offer! For more information on this program or others available to you through Environmental Science please feel free to contact Lance Feuchter at (716) 376-8379 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Lance Feuchter, CA BOCES Learning Resources
There have been numerous activities that have occurred out in Friendship this year and a few accomplishments. We’ll highlight a few of them as we continue to grow and learn. At the January 25th in-service day we celebrated Friendship moving off NYSED’s watch list as they’ve shown growth through multiple layers at New York State. That was a result of years of work to do what’s in the best interest of students. To continue an afternoon of celebrating and teamwork the Friendship staff, led by school psychologist, Kimberly Riordan, worked in teams to complete a scavenger hunt with the Goose Chase app. Goose Chase allows you to form teams that have to accomplish certain tasks and can take photos to show that they accomplished the task. Those photos go to the moderators of the challenge to award the pre-determined points or not. This was an excellent team building opportunity with many of the photos shared before the faculty left.
The other activity that our 5th grade team took on was to run a BreakOut EDU review session to have students answer questions to review for their “Solids, Liquids and Gases” unit. Mrs. Sleggs and Mrs. Malinowski set up teams that the students worked on to solve specific problems. Each problem helped unlock a different lock on the box. Once every group solved their problem they were treated to a special reward/treat. Thank you Alex Freer from Learning Resources for showing us BreakOut EDU earlier this year!
By: Mark Carls, CA BOCES Professional Development
Check out this month's Advancing STEM Challenge!
Did you hear that?
Advancing STEM Challenges are designed to bring engineering and design to your classroom in a simple, easy-to-implement, challenge-based way. Modify our Advancing STEM Challenges for your classroom. A new challenge will be posted monthly.
School librarians within CA BOCES are having an amazing year!
Whether it’s borrowing books from other school libraries to prepare students for a multi-school reading competition, providing a maker space where grades 7-12 compete to see whose best at repurposing odds and ends, promoting OverDrive’s class sets to teachers, or using instructional strategies to engage all learners, school librarians are exploring a range of techniques for whole class and group work, guided learning, and individual activities.
On January 17, school librarians reviewed the new National School Library Standards which complement and strengthen content standards. Focusing on the six Shared Foundations (Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore, and Engage) and school librarian Competencies, each librarian chose one competency of strength and one that needs strengthening and were challenged to come back to our next meeting on February to share examples of personal growth and impact on student learning.
Recently, librarians at Franklinville and Friendship had students write letters to Senator Catharine Young and Assemblyman Joe Giglio. Students not only learned how to properly address an envelope (and where to place a stamp), but crafted hand-written letters expressing why their school library and librarian is important to them. In the afternoon of the January CLC, school librarians participated in civic engagement by meeting with Assemblyman Joe Giglio and a representative from Senator Young’s office at St. Bonaventure’s Friedham Memorial Library, where the receipt of students’ letters mentioned.
Meeting with state representatives provided librarians from public, academic, and school libraries to share why library funding is critical. Specifically, the need for broadband access so students can complete homework. Although a student may have access to a cell phone, the monthly data plan is quickly exceeded when accessing databases or other sites needed for homework. This was a meaningful experience for school librarians. (Photos below by Danielle Newman, librarian at Fillmore Central School @FscLibraries ).
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Over the past few months, Kathryn Mendell and myself have facilitated the Mental Health Literacy forum with about 70 teachers and leaders from the region. The purpose of the Mental Health Literacy forum is to share and provide information on mental health education provided within our community and area schools. We shared guidance for developing effective mental health education for ALL students at all levels while embedding mental health well-being into the entire school environment.
The NYS Education Department expects schools to utilize the guidance documents and other resources available to adopt or develop its own district curriculum aligned with the NYS learning standards and to tailor instruction based on the school district’s identified needs at the local level. The hope is that these changes will positively impact our student’s awareness of mental health prevention, treatment and stigma.
With the expansion of mental health in schools, it is expected that school personnel, students, families and communities will more openly discuss mental health well-being.
By: Tessa Levitt, CA BOCES Professional Development