Quail Project: Updates 3 Alive and 2 Dead

Way back in the fall we started up a quail project where my 4th and 5th grade ELP students incubated and hatched quail eggs. This project has continued and we now have four mating pairs. From these pairs we have plenty of eggs and one of our 7th grade homerooms has taken on the challenge of hatching the eggs of our original quail.

This entire quail project has been quite interesting to follow. We are all in this together learning and figuring things out. We have quail all over in various cages at student homes, teacher homes, and school.

Recently we attempted to release some quail in a courtyard at one of our schools. It was an experiment because we were not sure if they would fly away or remain. We are happy to report that after a few weeks the quail have found the courtyard to be a place called home. We have lost only one baby quail so far, but still have a mating pair laying eggs daily and two younger quail.

This whole piece is interesting. The courtyard was created to remember a student who died. Nicole was a student at Hoover Elementary School. Nicole Wooldridge, 9, died in May 2001 after battling neuroblastoma cancer for most of her life.

A cool thing emerged from the courtyard and that was a pair of ducks who mated and raised ducklings in the courtyard each year. This year was the first time that the ducks did not return. We find it only ironic that we had a successful year of hatching quail and found it fitting to continue the tradition of nature and the life cycle.

While we are working through this whole experiment I had a 7th grade homeroom class take on the challenge of hatching quail. They would come in the morning, lunch, and after school to check the temperature and rotate the eggs. This past Wednesday, May 15th, was the 23rd day of incubation. We were not sure if any eggs would hatch because often times the first eggs quail lay are not the strongest and it takes time to develop good quality eggs.

We were thrilled to have three quail hatch. We then added a fourth on that Thursday and Friday we had to help one guy hatch giving us a total of five.

Three are doing quite well. One of the original quail that hatched died Friday. He had a serious neck problem. Saturday morning my son and I found the quail that needed help hatching had died also. This is part of nature and somethings that we can talk about and learn from as a class.

So, with one week left of school what are we going to do with the quail? My son wants to help raise them so with only three quail we will be building a cage to help take care of them at my house over the summer. This should be one interesting story to unfold.

During the week we do livestream the quail via Google Hangout and YouTube so be sure to tune in. We run it live starting around 8 – 8:30 am Central time.

The quail are now 5 days old and it is amazing how much stronger and bigger they have become in such a short amount of time.

Here are several videos and images from our quail adventures in the past few weeks. I will be adding to this set every couple of days.

And last a short video documenting the hatching of our quail named Oreo

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auditory point of view websites for students

A few useful sites to give students a different perspective from an auditory point of view:
Aural History (cool excerpts, recorded interviews / speeches, audio segments from movies, etc.)
Science Radio (radio stations from around the world)
Free Old Time Radio Shows (the serials are fun to listen to. Great sound effects and acting.)
Live Radio Stations of the World (fabulous site!! even has police scanners!)
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Bald Eagle Student Showcase: Video of Presentations and Link to Visuals

Here is a video link to some of the student projects from our ALCOA Eagle Eye to the World Showcase. 30 students from the Bettendorf ELP program in grades 4 and 5 presented an independent study project on one aspect of bald eagles.

Here is a link to the video – http://youtu.be/3PxDIW19g0I

This is the link to our bald eagle global project page as well as all things we have done with the eagles – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/Final+Showcase

Feel free to check out all the things on the site above.

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ALCOA Eagle Eye To The World: Bettendorf Student Showcase Night Part 1

On Monday, March 18th from 5:00 – 7:00 students who are part of the Bettendorf Schools ELP program conducted a student showcase to show off their work on their independent study projects that they have been working on all 3rd quarter.

We have 85 presentations spanning from grades 4-8. The elementary grades (4 and 5) focused on bald eagles as part of the Eagle Eye to the World project that was created by several teachers and former students.

IMG_5379Students made their way into the middle school around 3:30 after being released from school at 3:20 to setup their stations. We placed 30 elementary students in four classrooms in a manner that gave each student plenty of space to conduct a presentation and to quiet the noise from the hallways. Students had from 3:30 – 4:45 to get ready and prepared. After setting up students could eat pizza with their mentors from 4:15 – 4:45 (we have our elementary students paired up with 8th grade students to offer guidance). Also, during this time they were able to talk with Allen Holloway. Outside of the classrooms we had expert painter Allen Holloway set up painting a bald eagle to show the community all the various career pathways that studying something like the bald eagle. could provide. He was in the middle of painting a current painting of a bald eagle which was just amazing. To watch him work was a sight indeed. I had a chance to speak with him and he was such a remarkable guy. He had lots of visitors passing by and stopping to admire his work. It was a great pleasure to have him for our showcase night. When I was discussing ideas with him I found a couple ideas to be important. First, by sharing his passion for painting students are able to realize that you can make a living out of your passions despite what people tell you. He told me how everyone told him he could not live as a a painter and now he does just that. His story is important for students to hear that they should never give up on their dreams. Second, he talked about how important having something like this is for students. He wished he had something like this project available to him as a student. That was a big compliment to what we are doing and what we are striving to achieve.

Our big goal with the showcase is help our students learn to speak publicly and be able to articulate their thoughts and ideas. If we can begin to develop this in grade 4 and have them speak to hundreds of people on a night like this, then think about how amazing they will be thinking on their feet by the time they graduate. They will be ready for the real world.

IMG_5380Even more important to me about this night is that it provides students a chance to showcase their hard work and talents. I have told the students from day one that if you put in the time and hard work to this project, then you will be busy all night. I don’t have to give a grade because the audience response will tell you how you did.

Additionally, this gives the students a chance to show off their work. So often in school kids turn in work to one teacher who looks things over and gives a few comments. This gives them a chance to share their knowledge with hundreds of people That is awesome!

Each student had to focus on one aspect of the bald eagle that they were interested in studying more in depth. They had to create a display and have a station for people to visit. Additionally, to keep things engaging each student was required to have one interactive component. This interactive component forced the audience to engage in the material. When they complete the task, then they are awarded a clue to our scavenger hunt. You can view our scavenger hunt and handout here – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/Final+Showcase

I will be sharing their stations and work shortly. I have been working on some video and images. In the meantime I wanted to share just one of the things we offered during our showcase on Monday. Below is the painting he was working on. And yes, I have all intentions of buying this print when it is finished.

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At 4:45 we began to usher the students and anyone who showed up for the sessions into the auditorium for our next special presentation which I will share in Part 2 coming shortly once the video finishes up. Stay tuned.
You can check out all things about this night and our global project here – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/
We are currently tracking and keeping a log on the eagles and eaglets. Feel free to help us out. We are trying to crowdsource the documentation of the eagles.
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Bald Eagle Photo Album Updated – Bald Eagle Days

I have updated the photo album pertaining to our Bald Eagle Project taking place now. This weekend I attended Bald Eagle Days and was able to snap some pictures of an eagle about 4 feet from me. Very cool.

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4th and 5th Grade ELP Class – New Year and Christmas Cards from Japan

I have updated our picture album from cards and letters from our friends from Japan. Last week students were able to see their cards that were created by their friends from Japan. This week we will finish making our cards and send them on their way. We are always amazed by how artistic each card and letter is when they arrive. So amazing.

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The Power Of Flattening Our Classroom

I am currently running a Bald Eagle Project and I wanted to share a blog post written by the teacher who is participating from the Netherlands. It just goes to show how powerful global connections and projects can really be.

http://eagleeyecamera.wordpress.com/

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Bald Eagle Project – An Eagle Eye To The World is off and running

A project that a few Bettendorf teachers and former students created over the summer is underway. As of right now I am running and operating the global project. We are now up to 5 schools participating which is pretty good for the first year of doing this project. We will be using the Alcoa Bald Eagle Camera to drive learning and enhancements of 21st century skills.

You can see the project page here – http://eagleeyecamera.wikispaces.com/home

Right now students and teachers are in the handshake phase getting to know one another through the use of Edmodo. We are having a great time learning how to use this site and to establish some relationships. Already we have been able to see the eagles the last few days. It is very cool. The wiki project page has a lot to offer so be sure to check out all the pages. The school from the Netherlands has created a book in both English and Dutch on the artwork page.

You may not be a participant in one of the classes, but that does not mean you cannot join in the fun. You are always welcome to follow along, create artwork or projects, and join us on this expedition.

It is off to a great start and I look forward to seeing how things develop. Teachers and students are all learning at the same time and shouldn’t school be about everyone learning and growing? I think so.

If you have questions, suggestions, or any great ideas please let me know. Until then, check the camera, watch the eagles, and watch our learning grow along the way.

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Pringle Chip Challenge: Video explanations and ready for packages to arrive!

If you have been following all of the awesome events and projects taking place in my 4th and 5th grade ELP classes, then you know we have been working on creating a container that will allow Pringle Chip to be mailed to another state unharmed.

You can read about the whole project and requirements here: http://coffeeforthebrain.blogspot.com/2012/10/pringle-challenge-is-underway.html

Last week while we were finalizing our containers(we were under the gun with only about 2-3 class periods to get it all done) students were asked to step out into the hallway and record a little bit about what they created and why.

I apologize for the movement of the camera as the students did not have the most steady hand.

When the packages arrive and we Skype with the classes I will be sure to share the results.

Here is 4th grade

Here is 5th grade

Last, here is a slideshow of pictures and video documenting the creation process. There are some awesome ideas in here.

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