Challenges & Successes

My Students Discover experience so far has been one filled with many challenges and successes.  Surprisingly enough, my team came up with lesson ideas with ease.  I think the nature of the project we’re working with really lent itself to grade-level-appropriate and content-related lessons, so we were certainly lucky in that regard.  I also have to give a shoutout to my team, while I’m on the subject.  We have a really great dynamic – Stephanie works really well with us non-science folks, helping to bridge the gap and teach us when we’re not sure what’s going on, really making the content accessible.  Lena is a seasoned teacher with great knowledge and experience about teaching.  Her background in elementary education and teaching AG has been really helpful when it comes to literacy and differentiation, which is something we’ve tried to highlight in our lessons.  Rachael has a background in science, so she has been really encouraging when we don’t fully understand the science we’re working with, and loves to get work done!  I’ve been lucky to work with such great teammates, and I can’t wait for the rest of our experience!

One of our greatest challenges was trying to incorporate ways to collect data within lessons, keeping them aligned with the standards.  We were able to think of great lessons using data that already exists; but, in order to help contribute to the eMammal Citizen Science project, we have to find a way to collect data in our lessons – or, at least in one lesson.  

Another challenge we’ve had has been making the data and lessons accessible to as many people as possible.  Because our study uses a very specific software program – one that is only available on computers, not on tablets or iPads – we are going to have to come up with ways to make the information accessible to teachers who may not have these technology resources.  The struggle has been productive, however, because we’ve been able to give lots of constructive feedback to the eMammal team about how to improve their website and make the project accessible to all.  

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