Journey North

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Love to Teach, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Jun 28, 2008

    Just wanted to let everyone know about an amazing site...Journey North. :) It has a variety of wonderful projects that your class can participate in. We have been involved in the Butterfly Migration project and this year did the Mystery Class project. I would highly recommend both of these, and would be very happy to share our experiences with both these projects with anyone who might be interested in participating in them. :) Both were wonderful, but the Mystery Class, especially was an amazing experience, at the end of which, we were able to correspond via e-mail with each of the 10 Mystery Classes located around the world....it was awesome!!

    Journey North Site
    http://www.learner.org/jnorth/

    http://www.learner.org/jnorth/mclass/index.html
    This is the actual site for the Mystery Classes Project from Journey North.

    http://www.learner.org/resources/series127.html
    This is a video which takes a look at the project. It is the 4th video at the bottom called Sunlight and Seasons. You will have to register to log in, but it is free. This Annenberg site is a wonderful site filled with instruction videos that you can access for free in almost every subject area and level. :)
    The address for the site is http://www.learner.org/index.html
     
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  3. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jun 28, 2008

    Thanks- I am going to look at it more closely- has much potential to use next year.
     
  4. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Jun 29, 2008

    Thanks for sharing! This could be a useful resource for me when I teach plants in the fall, and I'll be sure to share it with our 2nd grade teachers who teach a unit on insects! :)
     
  5. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    :) It is a fantastic site, and it offers something for every grade level, it seems. The monarch butterfly migration simulation is one that is readily adapted to the lower grades. We've done it for several years, and it is so exciting when they "migrate" back to us and to see where they came from. You don't get your own back; they can be from all over NA! The only drawback for us is that we get out usually by May 15, so sometimes they arrive after we have already dismissed for the year. We are a small school, though, so we make sure the kids each get one. :)

    The Mystery Classes were quite a challenge for my 5th graders, but out of 10 groups (each group tried to find a different class), 8 groups got their class right. I thought that was pretty good for our first try..I was learning right along with them!! We were then able to e-mail these classes. Actually, 2 of them were research centers, one in way northern Norway and the other in Antarctica.

    One "class" was actually an American 9 year old girl from Washington state who had been adopted from China. She and her mom were spending the year in China, and she was going to school over there. We had just heard back from them when the earthquake struck right in the city and area where they were staying. Thank goodness, they were all right. Did it ever make current events become personal for my kids!

    Another "class" was in South Africa, taught by a teacher who when she wrote back to us, told us she was from Vermont!! AND her class was also trying to find all the Mystery Classes, but she had not told them that they were one of them!! I thought that was so cool!! That must have been fun for her watching them be confused as to why the location of one of the classes was sounding so familiar!!

    It was a great experience for us!! To do all 10 would probably be way too hard for classes younger than 5th, but I think it could be adapted to be a whole class activity, rather than groups, where you just tried to find one or two of the classes? :)

    Sorry so long...It is just such an amazing site!
     
  6. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jun 29, 2008

    How awesome & thanks for sharing. I have a sister-in-law who would love this. I'm going to send her the link.
     
  7. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Jun 29, 2008

    :)
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 29, 2008

    thanks for the link. I'm homeschooling my kids next year (with the help of my mom) due to the increased demands of my ds's training schedule (he's a competitive figure skater), and this like has soooooooooo much stuff that can be used for them. Thanks again.
     
  9. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Wow, a figure skater! Always my favorite part of the Olympics!! That is so cool!! The VERY best of luck to him!! How exciting!! :)
    What grade is he? How many children of yours are school age? Teaching them at home will be a growing experience for you all, and so very rewarding, I am sure!!

    (Guess, since I started this thread, I can hijack it, right?!!! :hijack:
    :D
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 29, 2008

    I've been doing the Symbolic Monarch Migration with my classes for 8 years...It's a great program.
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    LOL...hijacking your own thread, eh? He's going into second grade. He just turned 7 and has been skating since he was 4.5. He's just passed both of his pre-juvienile tests, so he's moving up in the world. His interest is pairs skating, so, as he said when he was four, he can "throw girls". His goal in life is to win the olympics. :) My other two boys are 9 and 6. They skate only because we spend so much time at the ice arena that they would be bored if they didn't have something to do, so they have skates and play on the public sesions. His training schedule is insane, and getting more so, so we're taking advantage of the homeschool resources the arena offers. My mom will be doing a lot of the teaching, since I work two jobs to pay for it all (and he gets a LOT of funding, but there's still a lot I pay out of my pocket...it's an expensive sport...$1500 for a pair of skates that might last 6 months....ugh). Okay...hijack over...lol.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 29, 2008

    About how much time did you devote to each project, Love to Teach? Do you have computers in your classroom?
     
  13. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Jun 29, 2008

    On any of them, the site has a wealth of support and activities, and you can go as indepth as you wish to. Journey North also sends e-mail updates on each project, weekly I am thinking. For us, with the butterflies, we just basically make our paper butterflies and send them off and then wait for their return. I don't go too much into depth with them because they have already done it in 3rd and 4th. In our school, the third grade teacher goes the most indepth and really study the lifecyle of the monarch butterfly. I am thinking that Czacza could better tell you how much time it takes. :)

    This year was our first go at the Mystery Classrooms, and I am really pumped about that project. I really was feeling my way around, learning right with the kids this year. :) I am thinking that next year, it will take less time, but I may want to incorporate more of the wonderful supplemental activities they offer? I would say that it took at least an hour to an hour and a half per week, initially when we were all learning how to figure out and graph the photoperiods. We started in late January and by the time, the first cultural and geographical clues started coming in, it was more like an hour per week. The photoperiod info. and clues would come by e-mail each Friday. I looked over the info on the weekend, and then we usually took Monday afternoons to work on it. If we needed more time, we found an additional half an hour during the week, and as we understood better what we were doing, sometimes teams had to find time during the day to work on their own.

    One of the best things about the project is how it incorporated science, math, social studies, geography...gosh, actually everything into it!! The VERY best thing is how it makes learning relevant and expands the students' awareness of the global world they live in!! :)

    So the short answer (way too late for that!!) is about an hour to an hour and a half classtime each week. :)
     
  14. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Oops, Daisy, forgot about the computers question. We do have 5 laptop computers in our room, and both a mobile lab and a computer lab to use, so we are really fortunate...when the laptops work, that is!! We also have wireless internet which has had a big impact on how we teach this last year!

    For the Mystery Classes, we didn't need the computers for the first part, but really did when the "clues" started coming in, and when the classes were revealed, and each group read about their class and wrote e-mails to them.

    For the first part, I used my laptop and our projector and showed the Journey North materials as a whole class activity. I also made a Wiki which the students could access and write to each other. When we started out, the plan was to collaborate with our 7th grade Georgraphy class via the Wiki. They, however, never made use of it. My students did use it, but just to communicate mostly within their own teams. The 7th grade teacher and I plan to collaborate again next year, making sure that the Wiki is used. :)
     
  15. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    You are one busy mom!! And a very dedicated one!! :angel: Coming from SD, land of snow and ice, it seems strange to me to hear someone from Florida spending so much time on the ice!! :haha: I think it all sounds so exciting, and I so admire your commitment. How nice that your mom will be sharing the job with you...commitment and dedication must run in the family. :angel: Best wishes ALL around!! :)
     
  16. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Thanks...the family already does help. My parents help me get him to and from the arena, since I can't get him there during the week (too busy working two jobs). And yeah, it is kinda funny about his choice of sport...a boy, and from florida...and not just florida but DEEP south florida...like less than 30 miles from the tip of the mainland. But, it's what he wanted, and he's good at and and really dedicated to his sport.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 8, 2008

    What's nice about Journey North is that you can pick and choose from the activities suggested. I only do the Symbolic Migration- we study habitats, adaptations, migration as part of our science curriculum. I also tie in some mapping activities with this, and a little spanish vocab so we're hitting a lot of curriculum points.
     
  18. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Sep 10, 2008

    Czacza, there are so many links to follow on that site, so much information to be had, that it appears overwhelming. How do you suggest starting?

    The big nature center near here is having a Monarch Madness event the 21st, so I'd like to begin using this site next week.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 13, 2008


    Becky- go to this link:

    http://www.learner.org/jnorth/sm/index.html

    It's the symbolic migration- you'll love it!
     
  20. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Sep 13, 2008

    That does sound dynamite. I might see if some hs friends want to join in.
     
  21. flesteach

    flesteach Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2008

    I did the Butterfly Migration in my Spanish class. It was wonderful!
     

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