Early enthusiasm evident

I was talking to a first time attendee on the trolley from the hotel to the convention center this morning. Cecelia Dygdon told me the web site was overwhelming, she found a lot of sessions she wanted to attend, but didn’t immediately realize they were spread out between the convention center and a couple nearby hotels. She was headed to the first time attendee meeting, so I’m sure she’ll get some great advice from the folks there.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons Seashells are multifunctional. In addition to housing and protecting an organisim, they can be used to spark scientific curiosity and literacy.

Cecelia describes herself as a career-changer, having worked in industry for several years after teaching for a short time after college. She’s now a high school chemistry and physical science teacher in the Chicago, Illinois area. She says she came to the conference because “it’s good for me to hone my skills. I really need to relearn things; not just content but pedagogy.” Cecelia is in the Department of Education’s ACTS program.

The first session I planned to attend was packed to overflowing. I couldn’t even get close to the door! Apparently a lot of educators got up this morning with Differentiated Science Inquiry on their minds.

Good thing I had another session in mind as an alternative, Connect the Dots to Help Students Develop Literacy Skills Along with Science Content. Karen Ostlund shared how she has incorporated literacy into scientific exploration for sea shells. Hands-on activities for the participants, and examples of student work illustrated her methods well. Interesting fact I learned in the session this morning—shell colors are like a “memory,” recording changes to the mollusk’s environment.

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