Backup of David's Livejournal

dblume the teacher

Last week, I volunteered to drive a bunch of second graders to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and I got volunteered to teach 5 sessions of the "chain of life in the Slough" class.

Yes, that's me, in a rare moment of actually having the attention of a classroom full of seven-year-olds.

The class was actually pretty fun.  The bowls of green water came from the sloughs just outside, and they were full of life!  They were pretty good for demonstrating the differences between the producers (the phytoplankton), primary consumers (things that eat that) and secondary consumers (things that eat those, too).

I had a big microscope with a monitor attached to it that could show the whole class what I was examining.  It was a hit.

All the kids were pretty well behaved.  The only hard part was the cleanup.  There was phytoplankton everywhere!  (OK, I don't really use words like that.  But I wanted to sound teachery so  davidd would understand.)

Props to the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, an endangered species that only lives a few miles from my home.  Happy Unbirthday to you.  (They only live 9 months, so they don't see a birthday.)

Tags: photos


 pastilla on Oct 28th 2008 at 3:22 AM
Everything looks so ordered and peaceful. (But interesting . . .look at the kids, they're riveted!) Go, you!

 dblume on Oct 28th 2008 at 3:39 AM
Either somebody just yelled at them, or I told them, "You don't get to scoop any of the green water unless you pay attention to me!"

 metroid23 on Oct 28th 2008 at 4:44 AM
Dude, who DOESN'T want to play with phytoplankon?! Also, I thought you were a programmer or some such, what in the world do you do anyways? :)

 dblume on Oct 28th 2008 at 3:41 PM
You got it. I'm a programmer, but I go by many names. Anung un Ramen, Baalzeboy, Daddy, Honey, Worm. The refuge took care of the curriculum, and all the volunteers had to do was study well-prepared guides. It was the most efficient and well-prepared government program I've ever seen.

 davidd on Oct 28th 2008 at 7:56 AM
Where'd you get your mad zoology knowledge... not to mention the ability to engage the interest of 7-year olds? Did you arrange this entire presentation? One of our teachers has frequently talked about the microscope/projector gizmos, but to date none have materialized at our school. I recently salvaged three microscopes which were destined for the dumpster, and have made a possible contact at a middle school who is looking into sending me a few more which are destined for her dumpster! That is truly marvelous green water! There was a slow-moving creek behind the house where I grew up filled with water that color... and yes, there was amazing stuff to be seen beneath a microscope.

 dblume on Oct 28th 2008 at 3:49 PM
I cherry-picked that photo because the scene was idyllic. Ah, if only every classroom were like that, eh? Still, the kids were pretty well-behaved. I was impressed. I got a real sense for who the over-achievers were, and who that indifferent kids were. The wildlife refuge had everything the volunteers needed. I was given a presentation overview a few days earlier, then when we got there, I was shown how the one microscope with the monitor works. Then it was up to me.