Personal Inquiry Blog

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

"Wiggling" in the tub and "Weaving" elsewhere

Now that I’m more aware of my thought processes, I realize that I do a great deal of thinking in the bathtub. (Some scientist whose name I can’t recall said “bed, bath and bus” were his times for creative thinking.) So whilst having a nice, leisurely soak in (appropriately enough) my claw-footed tub this morning, I was deciding what to do with all of this information I’ve amassed. Most of the physiological information I will probably file cerebrally. Goodness knows there are already too many websites devoted to that information. I want to focus on what the average person can do to help the professionals in the fields of rehabilitation and re-establishment and I want to have a service component. Volunteering was proving to be problematic. Soaring Hawk Raptor Rehabilitation Center is too far away. And while money is always needed, it’s not really service. So it came to me the other day that I could make a quilted wall hanging that could be auctioned off to raise money by the rehabilitation centers. An annotated bibliography is also on my list of things to accomplish since I want to document this entire process for a seventh grade language arts Resident Expert Project. If we get the students to start exploring a topic that interests them early in the year, they can work on their information inquiry skills all year as well as doing guided reading for Sustained Silent Reading.

This project has been a good exercise in letting go for me. I am such a control freak most of the time and I really let this take me wherever it led. I think as teachers we have to be a lot less invested in the specifics of what students research. As long as they are in the content “ballpark” we should give them their head as much as possible. Look at the interesting things I discovered by not having a fixed agenda. I know we don’t always have the luxury of lots of time for them to “wonder” around, but projects like the Resident Expert need to be encouraged for that reason.

Wingmasters in Massachusetts emailed back and sent their telephone number so I will call them tomorrow. The University of Florida group also finally emailed back but they weren’t involved in a re-establishment project with the burrowing owls so that was a dead end. I’ve had such good luck with emailing people so one dud isn’t bad.

I started a PowerPoint this morning and I’ll have some of my student workers look at it to see where I need to add information or transitions.


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