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Classroom Use; Your experiences
Topic Started: Aug 16 2006, 11:56 AM (4,366 Views)
creznicek
Administrator
We are working on getting funding and support to continue the EagleCAM project and would like to hear from any teachers out there who have used the EagleCAM with students. I know some of you have written directly to me with your stories and we really appreciate that. Just wondering if there are any more to share.

Thanks much, Cathy B)
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MaMiMoBa Mom
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Hi Cathy,
I am not currently teaching in the classroom...staying home with my three kids now. I dream daily about returning to the classroom though!

I can tell you that I emailed my former co-workers and my daughter's third grade teacher about the various websites that I was watching. I encouraged all of them to forward it along to any teachers that may be interested. I thought that any teacher that was instructing their students about the 50 states and such would clearly mention the national bird. I thought by viewing the webcams the students would be able to make a more personal connection/association with the national bird. I thought they'd be able to learn just how important it is to help protect the bald eagle. There are so many tangents that could occur from this experience.

Just by viewing a variety of nests, the students could even track various weather changes across the globe as well as time differences. I taught first grade and we did a weather unit. This, I think, would have helped the young ones to get a better understanding of the world around us. Children at this age are egocentrical by nature, and it's always fascinating for them to be able to "see" all that occurs outside of their small world.

As far as time... the kids are always having to determine what time it would be 3 hrs. from now, earlier, etc... By being able to view a nest just at sunrise for the west coast, when I'm over here on the east coast, that too would help the children to form a picture because sometimes these abstract thoughts make little sense to 5-7 year olds.

Teachers could also do countless lessons on notemaking/notetaking. They could help students to sharpen their observational skills as well. Pairs could be posted at the computer at different time frames throughout the day to be the observational scientists and make notes of what they've viewed. I'm thinking of the early egg turning frequency changes as well as observing which parent is on the nest at which time, length sitting on eggs, food drops, sibling behaviors, etc... I'd also encourage a discussion period at the end of every day. Children learn best from one another and what one student views may be very different from another. By discussing and communicating, that would enhance the other learners to look for those behaviors the next time they were the observational scientist.

Computer involvement is another whole story! The students could learn to upload photos of the different activities that they were monitoring, save images and use to create an entire report. Groups of students could be designated to monitor and report the various stages of growth and development. An entire school could use this idea to conduct their own fundraiser/adoption and raise a nest! I just get goosebumps thinking about how an entire school community could get together and generate so much interest, hope, and financial support! Both the parents and children could continue their learning at home during the afterschool hours observing and discussing the changes at the nests!

I really could go on and on... my 9yr. old daughter also selected the bald eagle to do her own report. She never finished it, mind you, but she was gathering so much information from variuos threads and websites related to the growth and development of the bald eagles. I, of course, loved learning along with her!!

If I can ever be of any help in the future, please contact me.
Nancy
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Hikers
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I know my daughters friend in Santa Barbara, Ca. watched the eagelcam in her classroom daily. I will give her your email.
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gardenlinda
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:soar:
I teach First Grade in Pennsylvania. My class and I watched the eagle's nests everyday from April 1st to the middle of June when we left school for the summer. I know that the children learned so much about how nature works and how animals grow. In fact the children had their parents watching the site on the weekends. I know of several families that were going to continue over the summer.
Next year I will have a Smart Board in my classroom and I want to begin tracking the nests in February.
We even watched the videos that showed the babies being thrown from the nest because I thought it was important for them to see how hard it is for animals in the wild. The day the Ravens were attacking the one nest almost all day was hard for them to watch. We got to see some of the birds banded and how hard the scientists had to work to get to the nests. I can't say enough about how positive it was for my class.
We shared the information that we were learning with other classes in our school and then they began to watch as well!
Linda
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lau
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Hello,
I became aware of these nest after our nest in Maine failed this year. We are not allowed the capabilities of watching live but we will be watching the non neo next year. I teach American History to 7th and 8th graders, learning about our national symbol is wonderful and allows for many interdisciplinary lessons.
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KarenTX
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Hi!
I teach Pre-K children in an elementary school in Texas and my class watched the PH nest up until the time the eaglets were thrown out. I did not have the computer on when that happened, but when we turned it on we were all upset to find that the eaglets were missing. The children wanted to know where the eaglets were so I researched and was so happy to find the iws site, forum and all the other nest cams that I had not known about. I was able to let the children know that the eaglets were okay and being cared for. (We had been watching through nature.org.)

My 4 and 5 year old students really enjoyed watching the cam! They were able to see how the eaglets changed as they grew older and the differences between the babies and their parents. They were also fascinated with watching the parents feed and care for their eaglets and the different sounds that the birds made.

I am unable to use the forum at school or neokast at this time. I can get non-neokast, but I am going to request this year that we be allowed to download neokast and unblock the forum so that we can watch more nests and have the children participate a bit on the forum. Hopefully that will be granted.

There were quite a few classrooms in my school besides mine watching the PH nest too. I will be passing on the info about the iws site and all the other cams when school starts again.
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staying6
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Well, as a homeschool family, we have watched the nests with great interest. In addition to watching the nests we have read many books now and watched many videos on Birds of Prey. We also took a field trip to a birds of prey rehabilitation hospital and sanctuary nearby. This winter we are planning on taking a tour to see Bald Eagle nests in our area and learn more about them nesting along the Mississippi.

My children have learned about DDT and the other dangers to Eagles and have learned about many different types of birds of prey because of the beginning here with the Eagle Cams. They cried over the PH chicks and they painted pictures of them all including the adults and babies. They know many of the eagles numbers and refer to them in that manner as well as using their names. The excitement that accompanied fledgling here was huge! The deaths have been equally hard in the other way.

Through this site and my reading here, my children's vocabulary has soared when it comes to birds of prey and birds in general. We have all learned immense amounts of knowledge by reading here and watching here. We do not end our learning here though, we continue on with other resources and we have found this to be such a rich experience for us.

We have also found that due to this new knowledge we have noticed so much more in our own little back yard birds. We can see the parents caring more and we notice which birds are where and what the calls of the parents are and what the calls of the chicks are. We have gone on bird watching walks in our area seeking out new nests to observe pretending we are like Steph and Dr. Peter Sharpe. (My kids also know those names btw.)

Our education has been vastly enriched by watching the Eagle Cams and by using this forum for research. We have encouraged other homeschoolers by showing them this resource as well.

My kids are only 5 and 7 and they have more knowledge now than many adults have concerning birds of prey and I can honestly say that it all started right here.
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Early Bird
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I work as an aide with 2 kindergarten classes in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. While we have a small population of eagles in the nearby Montezuma Wildlife Refuge there is not camera coverage nor a wonderful forum to watch and learn from. This year we have watched the eagles since early March and I have provided eagle facts both general and specific to these eagles. One of the classes this year is very interested and have asked some very intelligent questions. This particular class is also currently doing a bird unit so we are able to talk about all types of birds whle enjoyig this wonderful experience of an actual live bird experience. The most interesting thing I have seen is that many of the children have played 'eagle family' during outdoor recess.

I hope to be able to talk about the role of being good environmentalists with the children. The opportunity was more readily available last year with the use of the incubators. I have not yet spoken about the damage caused by DDT as I think with young children it is best to let the information flow with what is happening on the screen and also with where their questions and comments take us. One final note, a couple of weeks ago soon after I began introducing this to the children, a first grade student and a former 'Kinder' eagle watcher presented his knowledge of eagles from research he had done and from his memory of the eagles last year. It was very impressive for the K's to hear from another and only slightly older student and also gave this 1st grader a wonderful boost to have such a wonderful audience.

I can't say enough thanks to the forum moderators and administrators and also to the wonderful team of biologists and staff for this opportunity. It is certainly a group effort and I hope to be able to enjoy sharing in it for years to come.
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creznicek
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You are so welcome and we would love to continue to hear stories about the kids and what they are learning!

Thank you for sharing, Cathy
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Early Bird
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The K kids continue to amaze me!!! One day we were watching the eaglets at the TH nest and I was sharing information. Soon after many questions some began to get antsy as it was free play time. I asked it they'd rather play or continue and had a mixed reaction. Several continued to ask questions and talk. This had lasted over 20 minutes!!!! Amazing for kinder kids. Today one of the children shared the book she had borrowed from the library yesterday entitled "Eagles". She shared some of the pictures and some of the information that she and I previously discussed. Again all the rest of the children had questions!!!

The interest that this class has shown, given their ages, is amazing!!! They are also getting lessons about over and inappropriate use of chemicals in our environment and when we discovered that eagles will eat garbage we talked about how things get thrown away both on land and in the water that can harm wildlife. Lessons abound and it is a joy to watch them soak it up!!

So cheers to this forum and all who take part from Dr. Sharpe and his band of merry 'eagologists' to all of you who watch and comment!!! :><:

Thanks,
Judy
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