Jul 17, 2008

Been a while, I know!

Yes, it's been quite a few days since I last threw up... I mean, last posted my random thoughts. I have been so snowed under at work that I have been too pooped to post!

This week was "Virtual Field Trip Week" at the Co-op, in addition to "Dave is now the Technology Coordinator" week.

On Tuesday, we hosted a group of Social Studies teachers and connected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in the morning for a program about population density and westward expansion and how that tied into the development of stadiums and team locations, then connected in the afternoon for a lesson on the effect of social life on the uniforms the players wear. Both were very interesting and really ties social studies into baseball and vice versa.

On Wednesday, we brought in a group of Library/Media Specialists for two programs with the Library of Congress. One was an extensive overview of all the things you can find at www.loc.gov, from old pictures to scans of primary sources (like fragments of the draft of the Declaration of Independence) to all kinds of sound recordings and videos. Then, the other program from the LOC was how to interpret and analyze photographs - looking at them objectively (what do you SE in the picture) and subjectively (what do you THINK about what you see - time of year, historical period, what was happening) and then moving toward analysis (what QUESTIONS does the photograph raise - "Does Colonial Bread still exist?" "Why was Colonial Bread tied into the War?" "Does this bridge going into Little Rock still exist?"). It was very informative and educational.

Today (Thursday), we connected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with a bunch of Physical Education teachers for a program about disabilities and diseases, and how people with certain "special abilities" learned to adapt and go on to play major league baseball. Players like Jim Abbott (birth defect - missing hand), Mordecai Brown (severed fingers), Dennis Eckersley (alcoholism), Pete Gray (missing limb), William Hoy (hearing impaired), and Jackie Robinson (diabetes). That was a great program, and I learned a TON about special abilities and players that I had not known (and ones that I did not know were battling with their challenges). One of the most interesting players I learned about was William Hoy. He was a deaf mute that literally changed baseball forever. It was because of his impairment that baseball umpires began using signals (for strike, out, safe, etc)!! How cool is that!?

In the afternoon, we connected to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for the most INTERACTIVE program we have sen yet! It dealt with the five senses and how our bodies use the senses and how our bodies adjust when we lack one or more senses! We had a lot of fun as teachers tried to guess objects they couldn't see, "smell" with their tongues through a straw, taste foods without looking or smelling the foods, and much more!! That was flat-out hysterical and educational!

So, that's what I've been up to this week!

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