Summer Reading & The “I Wonder Circle”

I’ve been catching up with Sean Musselman’s blog about science education. (Clicking “follow” is so easy. Actually reading content, not so much. I’m repeatedly rediscovering bloggers in my network that are overdue for the harvest. Musselman’s blog is a case in point.)  His recent post about the use of texts in science classes is useful, including this:

The National Science Teacher Association’s Science and Children has been publishing a list of outstanding trade books for several
years now with connections to learning strands and activities to boot.


This got me thinking about what’s all the rage in parent-school talk—summer slippage in skills development.

I’m going to check out some of the titles on these lists on our next trip to the library (off the bat: Leopard and Silkie, by Brenda Peterson, and Moonbird, by Phillip Hoose).   I’m also resolved to check my inbox more regularly for Sean’s posts.

Musselman also blogged recently about the “I Wonder Circle” and about the nature of inquiry in teaching elementary science. Those of us getting our toes wet in citizen science and OOST-based science may also find his posts on this subject useful.

The Host-Parasite Thing, with Many Digressions

Image copyright University of Montreal
Did you know? Ladybugs, aka ladybeetles, can be parasitized by wasps.

Ideas and facts aren’t bad just because we acquire them via social media. As a parent and self-teaching nature club guide* I’ll take what I can get from the Internet. Here’s an example. So am I a host or a parasite in the digital food chain?

*I’ve been calling myself a “leader” of the club I started for elementary kids. but that’s because, in addition to “teacher,” it’s what the other spunworgs** seem to expect. But I think I’m ditching that. “Leader” is  girlscoutspeak. (Let me tell you sometime about my research on the scouting movement in mid-20th century Botswana. But not here.) Point is, I actually don’t lead the kids; they tend to lead me.

**I hope my twelve-year-old never outgrows her capacity to speak backwards. She’s been a happy contributor to our family-specific lexicon. I bet you’ve got an FSL, too. You do know adolescents have always been a fundamental contributor to language change, throughout human history, don’t you? You may love or hate particular neologisms (I got me some humdingers I love to hate), but do not a Luddite be on slang as a whole.

Goings-on for Kids at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Yet more shilling for the Harvard Museum of Natural History…seriously, these look like terrific programs.

Harvard Museum of Natural History Goings-On

Kids’ classes, clubs, and programs – Harvard Museum of Natural History.