Author Bio: Casey Murrow
Casey Murrow is Co-Director of Synergy Learning and editor of CONNECT.
- Connect articles
by Casey Murrow:
- Inventing with Blocks, The Work of Karen Hewitt
- Karen Hewitt's research has shown that the work children can do with her block designs relate directly to essential elements of the NCTM Math Standards. a book by teachers Mary Gemignani and Alice Leeds, Mathematical Thinking, developed with a grant from two science and math coalitions, supports this contention by noting how the block sets can be used in relation to specific NCTM Standards.
- Nuturing Curiosity
- An interview with author and educator Bernie Zubrowski about nurturing children's curiosity .
- Magnets in the Hands of Seven-Year Olds
- The students in Linda Bushway's second grade classroom were eager to work with magnets. A discussion revealed that they knew a great deal already. There was interest in the class about what made magnets work, but no clear ideas about this very complex issue.
- Sound Walk, Sound Map
- What do you hear near the school? Could we go outside and make a collection of sounds and then bring our ideas back and make a map? Questions such as these started two groups of first graders off in different directions from an older school building at the edge of a downtown neighborhood.
- On the Trail of Matter
- In this March/April '98 issue of Connect, you will see strategies for investigating certain aspects of matter with students. This work is important because matter is, among other things, the overarching category that allows us to discuss and differentiate solids, liquids and gases.
- What is rust? Do all metals rust? Or, as one fourth grader said, "Cause it just sits there for a long time and nobody uses it and if it's metal, it could get rusty from being old and not used."
- In the Field:
- This interview is with two fourth grade teachers about the vernal pond project they conducted in the spring of 1997.
- A Holistic Approach to Math Learning for K-2
- Allyn Snider and Donna Burk accepted an unusual challenge from the Math Learning Center at Portland State University in Oregon. The job was to build a complete, K-2 math curriculum that would be linked with upper grade curricula to provide a fully articulated K-8 math system.
All the curricula would use a visual mathematics approach to problem solving.
- What's Under Your Tree?
- Ideal for fall study, this activity examines what can be found under one tree.
- Second Graders Extend a Motion Investigation
- In a professional development project that involved focus groups of teachers working and observing in one classroom for a period of time, Synergy Learning staff introduced small pieces of wood with several axles (spindles) mounted on them. A variety of spools were available to children, along with rubber bands to serve as drive belts.
- Mentors for the Newest Teachers
- Many people who have studied mentoring in education feel that student teachers and beginning teachers would benefit immensely from a strong relationship with a mentor. Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has institutionalized this idea in its state approved teacher certification program, the "Teacher Training Course." The one year program is designed for individuals who already hold a Bachelor's degree.
- Long Distance Mentoring
- One-to-one and face-to-face is what most of us think of as a mentoring relationship. but when this is not possible, other options may be worth investigating. Two examples that Connect's editors encountered in preparing this issue involved fax machines and electronic mail.
- Investigating Water
- The carefully researched OBIS
materials of the mid-1970s remain a treasure of ideas and investigations of all sorts. OBIS stands for Outdoor Biology Instructional Strategies and was developed by Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, California. Here, from the original trial edition, are
several ideas that can promote thinking about and investigating watery environments:
- Garden Notes from Grade Two
- Judy Sims has a classroom of 2nd graders in California who know a great deal about gardening.
- Intensive Field Studies
- In this remarkable four week program, students conduct significant research on amphibians and reptiles.
- The Question Comes First
- Teachers from several states met to explore approaches to developing scientific and mathematical questions and then gathering data about them.
- Conversations with Susan Dunn and Rob Larson
- For this issues of Connect, we wanted to talk to Susan Dunn and Rob Larson to learn what new issues and concerns they see in this remarkable field of learning, seven yers after the publication of their book.
- Dandelions and Rosemary
- In the following interview Lin Dunbar-Frye reports that the study of herbs draws teachers and students into such varied opportunities for study as: colonial history, students' cultural backgrounds, ethnobotany and the growing needs of plants.
- Curriculum From the Community
- Using community resources enhances children's practical learning skills while building community support for your school and classrooms.
- Managing Field Studies
- Field study managment suggestions.
- Light Work
- Working with the topic of light, no matter what the ages of your students, is easier if you have a few simple tools.
- Surrounded by Challenging Problems
- Questions near at hand can become investigations that call for predictions and engage children in valuable problem solving exercises.
- "Belonging to a Vast Family"
- In this issue of Connect, teacher-authors provide examples of students working with the concept of sustainable systems in ways that are age-appropriate.
- Tools to Meet the Standards
- We believe that it is impossible to meet national (and most state) standards in science, math and technology without extensive use of appropriate tools, equipment and hands-on resources.
- Sculptures on the Move
- Fifth graders design and build sculptures that can be balanced and travel on a length of mono-filament line.
- What's going into the Ocean?
- Ocean dumping, how far inland was the ocean and teaching opportunities for both.
- Exploring Inquiry and Problem Solving
- Jimmy Karlan strives to create, "Problem solving classrooms where students are as encouraged to find problems as they are to think about how they are going to solve them. [Such a classroom] is also a place where failures are viewed as opportunities and a place to construct ones own understanding of phenomena."
- Global Warming
- Current topics chosen by the editors of Connect because of the teaching opportunities they present.
- The Changer and the Changed
- Ever since the publication of Charles Darwins studies on evolution, there has been great fascination in the ways through which plants and animals adapt to their environments in order to survive. A number of the articles in this issue explore ways in which we can introduce students to adaptation, change and survival.
- Current topics chosen by the editors of Connect because of the teaching opportunities these stories offer.
- Underwater Volcanoes
- Last summer scientists diving in the research vessel, Alvin, discovered a line of volcanoes on the Pacific Ocean floor about 300 miles off the Oregon coast.
- The Integrated Inquiry Project
- The Integrated Inquiry Project (IIP) mentioned in this issue is a professional development project now in its third year. It is an example, in a real-world (real-school) setting, of the value of long-term work, in which teachers are treated professionally and where the project evolves to meet local needs and interests.
- Water Wheels
- Power from water wheels
- Too Warm?
- To conduct a practical investigation in a classroom on the topic of polar sea ice would be a difficult challenge because of the many variables, including ocean currents. But an icecap developed over millions of years on top of the landmass of an island offers opportunities for modeling and discussion.
- Protecting the Joy of Science
- For Jeanne Moore, access to science kits means useful new resources to support the eager learners in her first and second grade classroom. When she was offered a chance to take part in a professional development program that would prepare her to train other teachers in certain kits, she was quick to say yes. Along with other teachers throughout Vermont, she studied a group of kits designed for primary years, then tested them in her classroom.
- Along with the development of the brain, humans have another great advantage, the opposable thumb.
- "Can I See that Curriculum Online?"
- Increasingly, new curriculum materials come with online tools, as well as the now familiar CDs and DVDs. While print materials are still the dominant form for teachers' guides and print is often the only thing that students are given, all of this will change as new technical opportunities arise and as publishers look for cost-cutting strategies.
- Defining and Exploring Wetlands
- With boots and a small bucket, you and your students can begin to investigate a local wetland. Add hand lenses and a few clear plastic boxes in which you can capture (temporarily) insects, muck from the bottom, and small pieces of debris and you will make remarkable discoveries about the diversity of life in the wetland.