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Chapel Hill teacher to lead lesson from Louisiana swamps

Posted April 16, 2009

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— Estes Hills Elementary School teacher Liz Coleman will be more than 800 miles away from her class next week, but she still expects her students to pay attention to her.

The fourth grade teacher planned to leave Friday for Slidell, La., to be part of a research team of scientists and volunteers collecting data and seeking answers to questions about climate change.

Teacher to lead lesson from Louisiana swamps Teacher to lead lesson from Louisiana swamps

Thanks to satellite and Internet technology, Coleman’s students will get an interactive lesson about her project.

“When I’m sitting there in the swamps of Louisiana, I want them to feel like they’re in the swamps of Louisiana doing the research with me and becoming scientists, in a sense,” she said.

Coleman plans to teach live from the field through a Web cast and her daily blog, which will include pictures and video. Her lesson will focus on caterpillars and what they can tell us about climate change and ecology.

“I’ve already learned about the different ways caterpillars protect themselves,” said student Ellie Cohn.

Coleman says the trip is a great way to take learning beyond the classroom walls.

“The students, they’re seeing science in a real way, in real life,” she said.

The students said they can’t wait to see what their teacher discovers in the swamps.

“It’s important to be interactive, because you get to learn a lot of stuff and usually have fun while you’re doing all this stuff,” said student Amy Smith.

Coleman will be away for seven days as part of an educator fellowship sponsored by Earthwatch Institute. Estes Hills Elementary is giving her professional development credit.

26 Comments

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  • radical Apr 16, 2009

    This sounds like a fun time for the teacher, and a good test for elementary distance learning. Hope it doesn't catch on, or we will be shipping all our teaching jobs overseas along with all the tech jobs.

  • smegma Apr 16, 2009

    Hope she doesn't discover the alligators, Malaria or West Nile. eat lots of crawfish (cause i wont)

  • nufsaid Apr 16, 2009

    ""Public education" is only one component of a child's learning process - a child's education does not end when the school bell rings dismissal. Elementary school children may look up to a teacher, but the real role model they should be following is at home.

    Tunnel vision - constricted sight - tight beliefs: that seems to better fit the definition of conservatism but I'm willing to keep on open mind about it."

    You are correct that parents have the responsibility to be role models for morals. The schools should only educate and not indoctrinate. The fact that you see tunnel vision to equate to conservatives and ignore the fact that public schools seem to be pushing a liberal agenda may say something about your education (indoctrination). Or maybe the bias of your parents(were they "educated in public schools?). No offense, but you don't seem to have an "open mind".

  • CarolinianByChoice Apr 16, 2009

    "Public education" is only one component of a child's learning process - a child's education does not end when the school bell rings dismissal. Elementary school children may look up to a teacher, but the real role model they should be following is at home.

    Tunnel vision - constricted sight - tight beliefs: that seems to better fit the definition of conservatism but I'm willing to keep on open mind about it.

    As I stated, anything I say here will be "wrong" and not be respected as another point of view, so this is my last comment on the subject.

  • nufsaid Apr 16, 2009

    "I like engaging in lively and intelligent discussions of facts..brandeedee"

    Then stay away from liberals. Generally facts are not their friend.

  • nufsaid Apr 16, 2009

    "I second that tylodaat!! I have stopped posting lately because I grew weary of forums here that are rife with people who rabidly attack the comments of others, no matter how innocuous the comment may be. I like engaging in lively and intelligent discussions of facts, and how those facts may be interpreted differently by different people to form differing opinions. Lately though it seems people are intent on telling others their way is the only, and right way to think - - -what a bore
    brandeedee"

    The left is not interested in discussing differing opinions. They want to stamp out the speech of those they don't agree with. Just take a look at what happened at UNC this week.

  • CarolinianByChoice Apr 16, 2009

    "It amazes me how some people will always find something negative to say. Commenting on how someone is pushing their won agenda is nothing more than pushing your own because if you were on there "side" you wouldn't be criticizing them. - tylodaat"

    I second that tylodaat!! I have stopped posting lately because I grew weary of forums here that are rife with people who rabidly attack the comments of others, no matter how innocuous the comment may be. I like engaging in lively and intelligent discussions of facts, and how those facts may be interpreted differently by different people to form differing opinions. Lately though it seems people are intent on telling others their way is the only, and right way to think - - -what a bore

  • nufsaid Apr 16, 2009

    "It amazes me how some people will always find something negative to say. Commenting on how someone is pushing their won agenda is nothing more than pushing your own because if you were on there "side" you wouldn't be criticizing them.
    tylodaat"

    Wow. Maybe I believe that public schools are no place to push agendas. How about teaching the basics without political influence? Certainly not the case now.

  • nufsaid Apr 16, 2009

    "I guess I am a "middle of the roadie" because I would rather my child be taught/investigate ALL sides of an issue and then make an intelligent, informed decision instead of taking a tunnel vision approach to it. brandeedee"

    You make a great point. The problem is that the public education seems to take a "tunnel vision approach". And the vision is a liberal vision. Don't discount that children look up to teachers (at least in the lower grades)and believe them without question.

  • colliedave Apr 16, 2009

    collecting data and seeking answers to questions about climate change.

    How can she collect data about climate change over just a few days? She is following/teaching the religion of radical environmentalsim. Imagine the outrage if she was going into the swamps to teach Christianity!

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