Reflections from Elementary liaison
    How would you like to go on a field trip that you don't have to organize, send out permission slips, or constantly be counting heads? Can you imagine laughing, sharing stories, getting rejuvenated and meeting people from all over the state in February? Maybe you would like to get some new math or science activities to boost your late winter teaching? All this can happen at the state math and science conference in Huron, South Dakota. This is a good time to check with your principals and see how to get leave for next year 2007. The conference has a nice selection of opportunities for elementary educators and integrated the language arts components into the math and science areas in many of the presentations.
    I teach second grade in an older building with limited classroom space to set up science experiments, no money for science supplies, little time to prepare lessons, and short weekly time slots for science. Here are some ways I have found to create a scientific atmosphere for my students with these obstacles.
    1) I start the year with nothing in my room. I let the students build it all with me. We talk about one of the skills a good scientist needs to be able to do- observe. Every day when the students arrive I add, move, or delete some item in our room and during opening activities they are very excited to spot it and share. 2) We take walks in our building and around it and observe and share changes and things we notice. 3) Our students love the science books in our leveled literacy library. 4) We have a thermometer hooked into our window and a student has the job each week to report the weather before recesses. 5) We are currently writing "All about books" in Writer's Workshop and many of the students voluntarily choose science topics.
    I wish you all a happy spring!

Marcy Farrand

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