Friday, March 1, 2013

Fossils and Rocks or how a literacy person takes on science...

At the end of the month I feel tremendous guilt that I haven't blogged more.  And now I have missed February completely.  Time just speeds along.  I sit here thinking of the highlights and sometimes the low points as well.

 Last Friday was one of those days when I sometimes thought I was reeling but eventually we settled into learning about fossils and you have to know how great is to see how excited they were with handling fossils that were 2.6 billion years old.  It's kind of a Wow experience!

I often feel like the worst science teacher in the world.  It's a subject I have often avoided teaching in the past (it pays to be able to speak more French than your colleagues)  but I have taught it for the last few years and honestly, I have enjoyed it!  I love how much the kids like it.  Setting up experiments when you don't have a proper science room, and figuring how we can all properly examine rocks etc. has caused me a few nightmares but the engagement of my students is really worth it.  I just got a note from one student asking if he could do an extra assignment on rocks and minerals.  Again thanks to the internet, there are many great resources out there.  Gone are the days where you just ordered a film or film strip.  And I am looking forward to a field trip to the MacMillan Space Centre and taking a virtual tour of the rock formation of our own area.

I always think my students are clever and artistic, and here are a few samples of the mini books they did on the properties of rocks.

I also find that my forays into science enrich my own travels.  This summer when I visited The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland grade seven Earth Science was really giving me connections.  I could really see the basalt and the remnants of the lava flow. 

And everywhere I go I seem to collect rocks...

And the children's book I always think of when  we study fossils is Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth, a book touching on the conflict between evolution and creationism.  For older readers interested in fossils, I suggest Amazing Creatures by Tracy Chevalier, a historical novel about Mary Anning who had a remarkable knack for finding fossils.

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