Saturday, April 28, 2012

Connecting Kids through Birds: Bird Migration

I've mentioned before that we are participating in a pilot program through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology this year. The program is called Connecting Kids through Birds and involves Wiki pages and reporting the actions we take as we go through the program. I'm not entirely sure what the plan is for this curriculum once the pilot is complete. This year is actually the second year of the pilot involving more educators than the first effort. We are all over the country and there is a coordinator local to each region who helps with interaction with the Lab of O.

I decided to try it out and see if a homeschooler could join the group. Success! Now I'm reviewing the curriculum from the eyes of a homeschooler. I think it is a great program and we'll see how it becomes available to the public in the future. Currently, some of you may be familiar with programs like BirdSleuth. Since there is a connection with other classrooms piece to this, I'm not sure how that will look for availability for homeschoolers. I'll be sure to let you know the final result.

In the meantime, we've been doing lessons in the categories of migration, conservation, science collaboration, and citizen science.

We played a little game showing why birds migrate- for resources!

J6 reads to us about the robin- afterward we talked about why a robin migrates. His food source goes dormant for the winter- of course.

We've really enjoyed the video links we've been given to view as part of our lessons. The other day we did a lesson on shared habitats and how we can conserve bird habitats. Next up is some bird watching and we'll be planting some bird friendly sunflowers and taking a field trip. Once the we finish the lessons, I will turn in my evaluation and we get some new binoculars and a new field guide. We're pretty excited for both!


TN Quiltbug said...

Would SO love to learn more about this--and possibly even participate. Is there any way to still join, do you know?

Dana said...

It looks like a really interesting study. I hope it turns out to be something available to homeschoolers!

Heather said...

Quiltbug, the pilot has been going since September and we are wrapping up. When I hear about the next phase, I'll be sure to tell of the BSW readers! It has been a pretty good experience. I will say it is very much oriented to the classroom (and it's done very well from my classroom science teacher perspective). It does need some tweaking (and relaxing) from the homeschooler perspective. I recently sent some questions over so when I get some answers, I'll try to be more informative.


Phyllis said...

Sounds very interesting.